When someone acts negligently and injures another, the injured party can file a personal injury claim. However, if the person passes away due to their injuries, their family may file a wrongful death claim on their behalf instead. Find out how this process works and if you have the grounds to take this legal action below.

What Constitutes Wrongful Death?

To legally constitute a wrongful death, you must prove that the deceased's passing was caused by the defendant's negligence, or by their reckless or deliberate act. Additionally, you must prove that you’ve experienced damages due to your loved one's death.

personal injuryFor example, if your loved one passed in a car accident where the other driver was operating while impaired, they were acting recklessly. You can take action if you prove that you've experienced damages as a result, whether you lost the income your loved one provided for the family or even if you've experienced pain and suffering.

What Do You Need to File a Claim?

First, you must be a family member, such as a surviving spouse or child of the deceased, to be eligible. Before filing, you must open a probate estate, which allows you to sue on behalf of your loved one. If your case is successful, any damages will be awarded to their estate.

You may receive damages for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and lost wages. You can also collect on non-economic losses, such as the pain and suffering you've endured.


If you’re thinking about filing a wrongful death claim, The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh, LLC in Ava, MO, can help. This attorney brings over 20 years of experience to the table, and has handled a wide range of personal injury and wrongful death claims. He and his team offer compassionate legal counsel and will provide you with attentive and honest care. Visit their website to find out more about their personal injury and wrongful death work, or call (417) 683-2987 to schedule an appointment.