You may have heard about wrongful death lawsuits in Missouri, but there is also something called a survival action. There are differences between the two.
What is Wrongful Death?
In Missouri and elsewhere, a wrongful death claim could be filed if your loved one died as a result of another person or company’s negligent or intentional acts. The potential grounds to file a claim for wrongful death is that your loved one’s death must have been directly linked to the harmful intent or negligence of another person and/or company.
What is A Survival Action in Missouri?
In the state of Missouri, survival damages are those that occurred to your deceased loved one between the time of their injury and their time of death. They are the injuries and damages your deceased loved one could have filed a claim for if they’d lived.
What are the Differences Between Wrongful Death Laws and Survival Laws?
There are two major differences between survival laws and wrongful death laws. First, the wrongful death laws in Missouri would allow your loved one’s estate to file the lawsuit.
Without wrongful death laws, your loved one’s estate couldn’t file a claim.
Second, the wrongful death and survival laws authorize a separate type of damages.
Who Can File A Claim for Wrongful Death In Missouri?
Not just anyone is allowed to file a claim for wrongful death in Missouri. Typically, the people who are the best candidates are, in this specific order:
- Surviving Spouse
- Children of the Deceased
- Parents of the Deceased
- Children of the Deceased Siblings
Additionally, only one wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.
What Types of Compensation is Available in a Missouri Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are two types of compensation available: pecuniary and non-pecuniary. Pecuniary damages are financial damages suffered by your deceased loved one and your family. Non-pecuniary damages are non-tangible damages.
What Do Pecuniary Damages Include?
Pecuniary damages include such things as medical expenses, lost wages incurred during their hospitalization, etc.
What Do Non-Pecuniary Damages Include?
Non-pecuniary damages include non-economic losses that may include:
- Mental Anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of Care
- Loss of Comfort
- Loss of Parental Advice
- Loss of Affection
- Loss of Companionship
What Damages Are Available Under Survival Laws?
Survival laws allow your loved one’s estate to be awarded damages that your loved one incurred from the moment they were injured until the time of their death. They may include such things as:
- Your Deceased Loved One’s Pain and Suffering
- Lost Earnings Until Their Death
However, if your loved one died immediately as a result of the accident, their estate would be entitled to pain and suffering, if it can be proven, but would not be entitled to any lost earnings.
Are You Considering Legal Action?
In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the only way to hold those responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions in cases where criminal prosecutors haven’t filed any criminal charges.
The loss of your loved one may have caused you emotional trauma and financial burdens.
If you have considered taking legal action against those who may be responsible for your loved one’s death, you should contact a skilled and experienced Missouri wrongful death lawyer.
The wrongful death lawyers at the Kansas City, Missouri law firm of Krause & Kinsman can assist you during this difficult time. We have the dedication, resources, and the skills necessary to fight for you and help you get the compensation you and your family deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.