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What are Family Rights with a Wrongful Death in Missouri?

It is normally unthinkable to lose someone we love. In the very unlikely event that it happens, the survivors of a person who died due to someone else’s action or negligence have the right to claim damages. A person’s life can never be quantified, but the laws of the state of Missouri offer juries the options to try for the sake of their survivors.

Who may sue for wrongful death in a Missouri civil court?

The spouse or any direct descendants of a person who may have been killed in a wrongful death case. Descendants include people who were legally adopted. Parents may also sue on behalf of their children, including adoptive connections.

What may juries award plaintiffs in a Missouri civil case?

Any actual losses due to a wrongful death, including the costs of a funeral, may be awarded. Missouri law also specifies “the reasonable value” of the person’s contribution to the plaintiff’s life. A jury may also estimate and award the value of a person’s earning power if his or her life had continued naturally.

Who may be sued for wrongful death in Missouri?

A person may cause wrongful death through actions, like irresponsibly driving a car. A company may cause one or many by making or distributing a dangerous product or services. These parties and their successors may be sued at any point that a legal plaintiff survives.

Do I need a lawyer in a wrongful death suit?

The paperwork just to file a suit is often complicated. Cases are often won on the details, so a judge may recommend that a plaintiff retain legal counsel.

Source: Louisiana State University, “Missouri Laws on Wrongful Death and Survival,” accessed May 30, 2018