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Wrongful death claims: Requirements and circumstances

Fatal accidents happen every day in Missouri and elsewhere around the country. When these accidents happen as a result of another person’s or party’s negligence, unlawful behavior or recklessness, close family members of the deceased may be able to pursue viable claims for wrongful death damages against the responsible parties.

Not only will loved ones who survive the death of a mother, father, sibling or child suffering with mourning and loss, but they could be experience serious financial difficulties after losing the support of a wage-earner. In the case of a successful wrongful death action, Missouri courts might require the responsible party to financially compensate close family members for the death of their loved one.

Here are the primary elements that plaintiffs will need to prove in their pursuit of a wrongful death action:

  • A victim has died.
  • The death of the victim was caused by another party’s negligence or intent to cause harm.
  • Close family members survived the deceased victim, and those family members suffered damages as a result of the death.
  • A personal representative has been appointed to the victim’s estate.

Here are several common types of accidents that could give rise to a wrongful death action (there are many more):

  • Medical malpractice that caused the patient’s death
  • Fatal airplane, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, boating, ATV and other types of vehicular accidents
  • Fatal occupation-related exposure to a hazardous substance or condition
  • Criminal actions that lead to someone’s death
  • A death that happened while the victim was engaged in a supervised event

The decision to pursue a wrongful death claim is just as much a personal decision as it is a financial one. If you have made the choice to pursue justice and financial restitution after the tragic loss of your loved one, you may want to reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.