Legal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Get Your Injury, Accident, And Insurance Questions Answered By Attorneys Who Know The Law
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My brother died in a St. Louis car accident. Do I have any rights to sue the responsible driver for my brother's wrongful death?
It depends on what family members have survived your brother. The family members who have the first right to sue for damages are the spouse, children and parents of the deceased. If your brother had no spouse AND no children AND his parents are both dead, then you, as his brother, would have a right to sue. However, if your brother has even one of the above (a spouse, a child, or a living parent), then you do not have a right to sue for damages. Section 537.080 RSMo. sets out the order in which relatives have the right to sue.
My friend was killed in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver. Who can file a lawsuit for my friend's death?
A wrongful death case can be brought by a certain class of persons based on how they are related to the deceased person. Under Missouri law, the surviving spouse, children, mother and father of the deceased all have the right to file a lawsuit. If a child of the deceased person is also deceased, then the deceased child's children may also bring suit. All of these people have the right to bring a joint lawsuit.
If there are no persons in the class listed above (no children, spouse, mother or father of the deceased), then a brother or sister of the deceased can bring the claim. If there are no brothers or sisters, than the law should be consulted to determine whether anyone has the right to a cause of action for the wrongful death of your friend.
What is the statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim must be brought within 3 years of the date of death.
My friend who was killed in a car accident has a surviving spouse and one child. The surviving spouse and the child don't get along. If they both are entitled to sue, which one of them actually gets the money that comes from the lawsuit?
If more than one plaintiff is entitled to recover, than all of the plaintiffs will share in the award. If the parties cannot agree, then the court will determine how the award is divided among the various plaintiffs.