Damages for the Wrongful Death of a Family Member


A younger woman and older woman embrace by a grave of a family member who died a wrongful death.

As attorneys who handle wrongful death cases in Missouri, we’ve helped surviving family members navigate the uncertainty that follows the death of a loved one. Whether the death occurred because of a defective product, a car accident, dangerous property, a police chase or a tractor trailer accident, we’ve fought for clients to help them obtain compensation to ease their financial burdens.  

Defining Wrongful Death Laws in Missouri

When someone dies because of someone else’s negligence in the State of Missouri, the party who caused the death can be sued for wrongful death.  However, not every family member or dependent can sue for damages in this type of case. Missouri law explains that certain groups, or “classes” of dependents have priority over others in a lawsuit. These groups are described as: 

  • The first group that can recover for wrongful death consists of the surviving spouse, children, the surviving descendants of deceased children, and the mother or father of the deceased party.
  • If there is nobody in the first group, the second group consists of the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants; or
  • If there is nobody in the first two categories, a plaintiff ad litem appointed by a court. 

Types of Missouri Wrongful Death Damages

The Missouri Statutes for wrongful death are RSMo § 537.080 through 537.100. There are different types of damages or recovery available when a person dies from the careless or negligent act of another person or a company. In Missouri, the economic or pecuniary losses in a wrongful death case include medical expenses incurred before the death, funeral expenses and lost wages. Other damages include those for loss of services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, support and others. 

Helping You Take Charge After Tragedy

Through our experience, we’ve learned how to demonstrate these losses by helping show the physical, emotional and psychological relationships between the deceased individual and his dependents or family members. For examples of cases we’ve handled where wrongful death damages were at issue, please see our past results page, which provides a sample of these types of cases.

If you or your family has suffered an unfortunate loss of a loved one, let us help you. Please contact our attorneys to begin building your case.