wrongful death in Missouri

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Missouri?

When someone’s negligent actions cause someone’s injury, they can seek compensation. However, when these actions lead to someone’s death, someone can seek compensation on their behalf. This is called a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Wrongful death is a death that occurs from a negligent or intentional act that would entitle the affected individual to compensation if they hadn’t died. If you recently lost a loved one due to the actions of another individual or company, a Missouri wrongful death lawyer can help you seek compensation. 

Before you take action, it’s important that you understand Missouri’s wrongful death laws. These detail your eligibility to sue for wrongful death in Missouri and the damages you can collect.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Missouri

The first step in seeking compensation is determining the cause of your loved one’s death. Missouri recognizes several types of wrongful death cases. 


Many wrongful death cases arise from a form of negligence. This includes car or truck accidents in which the other driver was at fault. It also applies to defective products that could have caused your loved one’s death. 

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a specific type of negligence in which a medical professional’s negligent actions lead to the death of your loved one. For example, if an incorrect prescription causes them to overdose and die, that is an instance of medical malpractice.

Missouri’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years, which is shorter than the three-year statute of limitations for other wrongful death claims. 

Intentional Acts

Finally, an intentional act like an assault that leads to your loved one’s death is also a wrongful death case. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri? 

Missouri limits wrongful death lawsuit eligibility to surviving family members. The Missouri legal system separates these parties into two categories, prioritizing the surviving spouse, children, parents, and grandparents. 

If none of these parties exist, the second category, including the siblings of the deceased, may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased also doesn’t have siblings, the court may appoint a plaintiff to represent their interests. If you want to represent the deceased’s estate, you must file a petition for the court to appoint you as plaintiff ad litem.

Damages You Can Collect in a Missouri Wrongful Death Case 

A Missouri wrongful death lawyer can help you seek damages to compensate you for your losses. Compensation for wrongful death cases can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. 

Economic damages include:

  • Loss of income
  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses from the last illness or injury

Non-economic damages include: 

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of service
  • Loss of guidance
  • Loss of support

While there is no cap on damages for a wrongful death claim based on negligence or intentional actions, there is a cap for medical malpractice cases. The cap for non-economic damages in Missouri wrongful death medical malpractice cases is $700,000. 

In instances of intentional acts, you can also seek punitive damages. Unlike the compensatory damages described above, these damages work to punish the liable party.

Sue for Wrongful Death With Skilled Missouri Lawyers

Wrongful death cases are complex. Contact a Missouri wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC, for legal representation to seek justice for your loved one.

While no amount of money can ever bring your loved one back, wrongful death claims are important because they allow you to hold the liable party accountable. The damages you collect can provide some relief in this troubling time. 

If your family lost a loved one due to another’s actions, call (636) 519-0085 today to schedule a free consultation.