Personal Injury, Divorce, & DWI Law Blog

Wrongful Death Actions In Missouri

Wrongful Death is a broad practice area that encompasses many other areas of the law. In the olden days, there was no cause of action if the negligence or intentional tort resulted in death. The theory was that the cause of action belonged to the injured person only, and extinguished when that person passed away. Obviously this resulted in extreme injustice where the basis for the tort was also the cause of death. Fortunately, the Missouri Legislature has made it possible for family members to sue for the loss of a family member.


Section 537.080, RSMo. states:

Whenever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof, the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, which damages may be sued for....

As a result, family members have the right to pursue many types of cases ranging from auto accidents to premises liability to medical malpractice that result in their loved one's death. There are special procedures that must be followed both in bringing these actions and when distributing the recovery to the family members entitled to the proceeds. Our injury lawyers are experienced with these procedures and can help bring a meaningful recovery to you for the loss of your family member.