Wrongful Death

Wrongful deathA wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or organization. A legal action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent’s immediate family members, usually a surviving spouse and children, and sometimes parents. Under certain circumstances, unrelated minor children living with and supported by the decedent may also bring a claim for wrongful death. In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:

  • The death of a human being caused by another’s negligence or intentional conduct.
  • The survival of family members who are suffering the loss of financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, household assistance and general society previously provided by the deceased.

The general rule in wrongful death cases is that one is entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages which are suffered as a result of the loss of a loved one. Economic damages in a wrongful death case include an award for the financial contributions which the decedent would have made to his or her spouse, children and/or parents had he or she survived. It also includes the recovery for funeral service expenses in memory of the decedent and for burial cost. Non-economic damages include the loss of love, society, companionship, comfort, affection, solace or moral support.

Vehicle and Other Accidents

What I should do at the scene if I am involved in an accident.

  • Write down the name and address of the party at fault
  • Write down the name of the insurance company of the party at fault
  • Write down the name, license plate and contact information of any witnesses
  • Write down the license plate of the other vehicle
  • Take photos of damage to your person or property
  • Get the police report number, if applicable
What I shouldn't do at the scene if I am involved in an accident.
  • Do not say anything that could be interpreted as accepting blame for the accident, because it may be used as evidence against you later.
  • Do not discuss the facts of the incident with anyone other than the police or sign a document you do not understand.

Legal claims that arise from vehicle accidents are typically governed by the law of negligence. Any individual who negligently operates a motor vehicle may be required to pay damages to an injured victim. A personal injury case involving a vehicle accident may become formalized through civil court proceedings or may be resolved through an informal settlement before a lawsuit is filed.

In addition to vehicle accidents our law firm also handles the following types of cases:

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Slip & Fall/Premises Liability
  • Burn Injuries
  • Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Most people simply want what is “fair compensation” for their injuries from an accident. However, there are two problems in attempting to get what is “fair”.
First, the objective of the insurance company representing the party at fault is not to pay you what is “fair”. Rather, it is to pay the least amount they possibly can. There’s really nothing surprising about that. To borrow a line from a movie: “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” When you are not represented by an attorney, you face insurance company personnel and attorneys who are trained to pour over every scrap of evidence, every statement, every line on every medical record and every medical test (past and present) to drive down the value of your claim. You level that playing field by having an experienced personal injury attorney represent and advise you.

The second problem in attempting to get what is “fair” is this:
how do you what amount is “fair”? Is it your medical bills plus a certain amount? If so, what is that amount? Is it a formula? If so, what is that formula? Actually, it is neither of those things. The value of your case can be stated in one sentence: it is worth what a jury of 12 people says it is worth. Under our system of laws, a jury has the final say in what is “fair”. Auto Accident What juries award depends on many factors. Even the county where the case could be tried can be an important factor. Insurance company lawyers generally know the range of values a jury could award in a given case. So do personal injury attorneys like my firm. Knowing those ranges allows personal injury attorneys to negotiate and settle a case for what is known to be “fair”. Most of the time this is accomplished without having to file a lawsuit or try a case.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or if a loved one has died due to the negligence or intentional act of another, we will provide the legal counseling and skillful representation you need. You are not required to pay a lawyer’s fee up front. A consultation to evaluate your case and for you to see if you are comfortable with us is free. Our attorney fees are on a contingency basis, meaning that if you win, our fee will be paid from a percentage of your winnings, which we will agree on before we formally take your case. If we lose, we get nothing other than reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.

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On the Job Injuries

Workers' compensation benefits are available for an employee who is injured on the job or becomes ill, temporarily or permanently disabled, or fatally injured due to circumstances surrounding his or her job. On the Job Injuries There is no requirement that an injured employee must prove a work related injury was the employer’s fault or some else’s fault in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

The employer has an obligation to pay for the employee’s medical treatment, but also has the right to select the medical provider(s) to treat the employee’s on the job injuries. An employee is not required to use their own medical insurance and is not required to pay any deductible or co-pay.

While the employee is unable to work he or she is entitled to weekly benefits called temporary total disability benefits. After an employee has progressed to a point of maximum recovery, if there is permanent impairment the employee is entitled to an additional award to compensate for any permanent disability. In addition to that benefit, if the employee had a previous injury or disability, he or she may be entitled to benefits from the Second Injury Fund, a fund maintained by the State of Missouri.

The potential award for permanent disability is often based on the opinion of a physician selected by the insurance company representing the employer. We have the experience and resources to review that opinion, and, if necessary, help you get a second medical opinion as to your disability.

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