wrongful death statute of limitations missouri

If your loved one has died due to the negligence of another person or corporation, you may have a claim for wrongful death in Missouri. However, the Missouri wrongful death statute of limitations may disqualify you from filing a claim.

Wrongful death claims are never easy. Incidents that cause the death of another rarely occur by chance. Signs and records may point to the negligent act of another or the intentional conduct of another that caused the death.

Despite these facts, don’t miss the period of time to file your claim. If you do, this eliminates your ability to recover damages for your loss. 

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The laws in Missouri dictate what parties may file a wrongful death claim. Missouri law authorizes the following three different categories of individuals that may file a wrongful death claim:

  • Class I: surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren of the deceased; 
  • Class II: siblings of the deceased or their descendants; 
  • Class III: court-appointed plaintiff ad litem. 

If no party exists to qualify under Class I, the party qualifying under Class II may file the wrongful death claim. If no party in Class II exists to file the claim, the court then appoints an individual to handle the wrongful death claim. 

What Is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Missouri? 

In Missouri, the law dictates a wrongful death statute of limitations. The wrongful death statute of limitations in Missouri is three years from the date of the death. While exceptions exist, courts are likely to dismiss a claim after this three-year mark. 

Medical malpractice claims often confuse the requirements for filing a claim. In Missouri, the wrongful death statute overrules the time limits placed on a medical malpractice claim. So if an individual suffers injuries due to medical malpractice, the party must file their claim within two years from the date of their injury. However, if a loved one dies as a result of the malpractice, the family of the deceased has three years to file a wrongful death claim. 

Contact Us  

After losing a loved one, it’s understandable you may wish to wait before taking legal action. However, the Missouri wrongful death statute of limitations requires you to act promptly. Failure to file your wrongful death claim within the three-year window may result in the court refusing your claim.

Contact a qualified wrongful death attorney to discuss your potential wrongful death claim. It’s important to understand how the statute of limitations in Missouri impacts you and your chance for recovery. 

With over 32 years of experience, Attorney Wesley A. Cottrell understands the complexities of wrongful death cases and provides effective legal representation to all clients.

The Cottrell Law Firm guides clients through the wrongful death process and keeps you informed through every phase. We know the financial hardship and emotional grief you must be experiencing. Let us put our knowledge and determination to work on your behalf.

Contact The Cottrell Law Firm today to discuss your wrongful death claim.  

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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