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Missouri Wrongful Death Law

In the unfortunate event of the death of a loved one, wrongful death statutes may create a means of some measure of relief for grieving families. Wrongful death laws allow the families of deceased individuals to recover compensation for their loss. Recovery is available if death occurred as a result of the negligent or wrongful actions of another. In essence, wrongful death statutes allow family members to recover civil damages for the deceased. In Missouri, relatives of the deceased may recover damages if the deceased would have been able to recover damages if he or she were still alive. See Section 537.080 MoRevSt (2009).

The Roberts Law Firm P.C. understands how traumatic the experience of losing a loved one can be. At the same time, proceeding with a wrongful death action may be necessary for a family to obtain the support essential for coping with such a loss. Attorney Greg L. Roberts is available to discuss the legal issues surrounding a wrongful death at any time. He can be contacted by phone at 636-530-9199 or toll free at 866-585-5643 with any questions or to set up a free consultation.

Which relatives can recover under Missouri’s Wrongful Death Statute?

The relatives who may recover for a wrongful death are divided into two classes. Class (1) relatives are the decedent’s spouse and children (and descendants thereof). Class (1) relatives have primary entitlement to bring a wrongful death action on the decedent’s behalf. Class (2) relatives are the decedent’s parents. Class (2) relatives may bring an action only if there are no Class (1) relatives entitled to do so. If neither a Class (1) nor a Class (2) relative is available, the court may appoint a Plaintiff ad litem to bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the deceased. Id. Only one wrongful death action may be filed on behalf of any deceased Plaintiff. Id.

Defenses to a Wrongful Death Action

In defending against a wrongful death action, a Defendant can raise any defenses which would be available if the claim was brought by the deceased. Section 537.085 Mo.Rev.St. (2009). In wrongful death matters, the case is run from a legal liability basis as though the relatives are standing in the shoes of the deceased. The difference between a wrongful death action and one brought by the original Plaintiff is that the harm done, and therefore the recovery, may be much higher in the case of the Plaintiff’s death.

Understanding and Knowledgeable Counsel

At The Roberts Law Firm P.C., we handle the confusing legal process surrounding the death of the loved one. After such a loss, family members need time to grieve and heal. Attorney Greg L. Roberts specializes in providing sensitive and competent counsel so that clients do not have to deal with frustrating bureaucracy during such a difficult time. Roberts provides free consultations for those with questions about the death of a loved one. He can be contacted by phone at 636-530-9199 or toll free at 866-585-5643 with any questions or to set up a free consultation. All consultations are confidential.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.