Wrongful deaths occur when a person dies as a result of negligent, reckless, or intentional acts by another party. Under Missouri law, survivors can file claims to seek damages on the deceased’s behalf or to recover losses that occurred in connection with the wrongful death. Here is some information on who can and cannot file a wrongful death claim in the state of Missouri.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In short, surviving family members or representatives of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim in Missouri. The state divides claimants into two categories.
- Category one claimants have the highest priority and is comprised of immediate family. Spouses, parents, children and grandparents are all included in this first category.
- Category two is for decedents who don’t have any surviving spouses, children, grandparents, or parents. Under this category, the next living sibling or descendant can file the wrongful death claim. If there are no surviving family members, a representative of the deceased’s estate can file. The final type of individual included in category two is a plaintiff ad litem. According to Missouri law, a plaintiff ad litem must be suitable and competent to file a claim, and must be requested by someone who is entitled to the deceased’s benefits. A plaintiff ad litem is usually a court-appointed individual.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you believe you’re entitled to benefits from a wrongful death, the wrongful death claim must be submitted as soon as possible. Most claims can be filed within one to three years, but there are many specific rules to follow that often require nuanced experience to navigate. In order to receive your full benefits in a timely fashion, it’s best to consult with a professional. A wrongful death attorney will know all the ins and outs of filing for a claim and help you receive the benefits you deserve.
Experienced Wrongful Death Claim Lawyers in Missouri
The lawyers at Lanzotti & Rau can help you through the wrongful death claims process and pursue legal action to receive compensation for your loss. To learn more about our legal services or how we handle our wrongful death cases, call us today at 573-335-9300 and schedule a free case evaluation.