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When can a car crash lead to a wrongful death claim in Missouri?

You’ve just arrived home after a fruitful day at work. Then your phone rings. It’s an emergency number. Someone you love dearly has been involved in a grisly car crash. And it is fatal.

If a car accident leads to a loved one’s preventable death, you may hold the liable party accountable through a wrongful death claim. But, like other legal matters, you may need evidence to successfully litigate your claim and receive the compensation you deserve. And part of this involves establishing whether the death in question was indeed wrongful. 

What is wrongful death?

Basically, death is considered wrongful when it is occasioned by someone else’s unlawful or reckless actions. Wrongful death falls under personal injury claims. In other words, were the victim to survive their injuries, they would have filed a personal injury claim. But since they succumbed, someone else has to sue on their behalf. 

Understanding the link between car crashes and wrongful death

When a loved one’s death is directly linked to the injuries they sustained in the crash, then the other driver’s actions will likely come under scrutiny. If the accident was occasioned by the following driver behavior, then you may have a strong wrongful death claim against the defendant:

  • If the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the accident
  • If the defendant failed to yield way
  • If the defendant was knowingly driving an unsafe vehicle
  • If the defendant made an illegal turn
  • If the defendant disregarded basic traffic rules 

Most of these driver behaviors are criminal in nature. Thus, the defendant may also face criminal charges besides the civil lawsuit that you will be filing. 

Pursuing justice for your loved one

A loved one’s sudden death can be both traumatic and devastating. The loss becomes unbearable when you learn that their death was preventable. Learning more about Missouri’s wrongful death laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests when filing a wrongful death claim.