What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action in Missouri?

Wrongful death and survival actions are civil actions that can be filed in Missouri after the loss of a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of another person. If you or your family has lost a loved one, a Missouri wrongful death lawyer can review your legal options and help you pursue justice.


What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?


You may have grounds to file a Missouri wrongful death claim when a loved one dies due to someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional act. Situations that may lead to a wrongful death claim include:


  • Car Accidents – If a person dies in an automobile accident caused by another driver’s negligence, their survivors may file a claim against the driver.
  • Medical Malpractice – When a doctor fails to properly diagnose or treat a medical condition and a person dies as a result, their loved ones may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the doctor and the medical facility.
  • Intentional Killing – If someone intentionally kills another, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim against the killer. This civil action may exist independently of any criminal action.


Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?


Missouri law governs who can bring a wrongful death action. The two primary classes who may take action are:


  • Class 1 – The surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents of the decedent may file a wrongful death claim.
  • Class 2 – If the decedent has no survivors in class 1, their surviving siblings or their siblings’ children may file a wrongful death claim.


What Compensation Can You Receive from a Wrongful Death Claim?


The compensation typically awarded in a wrongful death action includes medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.


What Is Missouri’s Survival Action Law?


A survival action is a claim that a decedent’s estate can file separately or in conjunction with a wrongful death suit. Survival actions compensate the estate for losses the loved one suffered after their injury but before passing. The decedent could have pursued compensation for these losses had they survived their injuries.


Survival actions cover losses such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of income, medical expenses, and, in some cases, punitive damages.


What Are the Differences Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action?


The key difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action is who can file each action. The deceased person’s family must bring a wrongful death claim. In a survival action, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must initiate legal proceedings.


Get Help from a Missouri Wrongful Death Attorney


If you recently lost a loved one due to another party’s careless or intentional action, you may be eligible to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim, survival action, or both. A wrongful death attorney at Holland Injury Law, LLC, can help you seek the compensation and justice you, your family, and your late loved one deserve. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

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