Wrongful Death

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Posted by Christopher Combs on January 30, 2024

Wrongful Death Lawyer in [wdac-city], [wdac-state]. The sudden loss of a family member is possibly the most tragic life event that someone can experience. Between the sudden need to deal with affairs like funerals and executing wills and the unimaginable grief you experience, a loved one’s unexpected death can overwhelm anyone.

Going through the loss of a loved one is even more difficult if their death was due to no fault of their own. If you are dealing with the death of someone you love, and their passing was due to the negligence of another party, Combs Waterkotte is ready to listen and help you through the delicate process of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. We invite you to call us at (314) 900-HELP to speak with a wrongful death attorney in [wdac-city], [wdac-state] and learn more about your legal options.

What Makes Combs Waterkotte in [wdac-city], [wdac-state-long] Different

Choosing a lawyer for a wrongful death lawsuit is an incredibly personal and difficult decision. There are a lot of law firms out there who are ready to take your case, but you want someone who will listen to you and be more than just your wrongful death attorney. You want someone who will be there to speak with you, who listens to your needs, and who is willing to go above and beyond to get you the settlement or verdict you and your family deserve.

Combs Waterkotte is a wrongful death law firm in [wdac-city], [wdac-state] that provides you with both the legal muscle you expect from a wrongful death lawyer and the personal touch you want. Other wrongful death law firms in [wdac-city], [wdac-state] may take your case and say you are getting their undivided attention, but you may find out that is not the case. You may only speak with support staff as opposed to the lawyer working on the case when you call to ask about your case’s progress. You may also have your case put on the back burner if they don’t think you will net them a substantial fee, meaning that you will not get your settlement when you want it but rather when your law firm decides they want to start focusing on your case.

Combs Waterkotte is not like other [wdac-city], [wdac-state] wrongful death lawyers, however. Our firm is available to talk with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will always speak with an attorney when you call the firm to talk about your case. We do not take cases on a high volume basis, meaning that our firm can give all our clients the individual attention they deserve. Combs Waterkotte cares about the mental well-being of all its clients, which is why we keep a directory of mental health professionals and can provide free counseling sessions for those who cannot afford them. But more than anything, Combs Waterkotte listens to their clients and is always there for them from the moment a client first contacts us to schedule a no-obligation case review, and that’s what sets Combs Waterkotte apart from other lawyers in [wdac-city], [wdac-state].

Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in [wdac-city], [wdac-state-long]

In Missouri, wrongful death lawsuits are governed by Missouri Revised Statute 537.080. It seperates who can file a wrongful death suit into three classes:

  • Class 1 is the spouse, children, parents, or grandchildren of the deceased.
  • Class 2 consists of the siblings of the deceased, or their descendants (i.e. the deceased’s nieces and/or nephews). They can only file suit if the person who died did not have any members of Class 1 either still living or able to bring a wrongful death suit.
  • If no members of Classes 1 or 2 are able to bring a suit, Class 3 then applies, which allows the creation of what is called a plaintiff ad litem. This is a person appointed by the court who represents someone who is entitled to share some proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Unlike other personal injury cases in Missouri, where there is a five-year statute of limitations, a wrongful death case must be filed within three years from the death date of the person on behalf of whom the suit is being filed.

Missouri RS 537.090 covers what damages a person can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. These include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical bills incurred by the deceased
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of future income and/or benefits
  • Loss of emotional support, guidance, or instruction
  • Loss of familial companionship

Juries consider multiple factors when deciding the amount of damages to award in a wrongful death lawsuit. The deceased person’s age, occupation, life expectancy, health and physical condition are all taken into account, amongst other things.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in [wdac-city], [wdac-state-long]

Wrongful death cases can be filed due to a number of reasons, but they all share something in common: the plaintiff’s representatives showed that the deceased was owed a duty of care by the defendant. This means that the defendant was obligated, by law, to keep the plaintiff safe. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that the death of the person they are representing was caused by the negligence of the defendant. This is determined by a jury.

There are a large number of circumstances that cause a wrongful death. While Combs Waterkotte has taken a number of different wrongful death lawsuits, here are some of the most common types of suits we see:

  • Car accidents: these include aggressive driving, driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired, and distracted driving, which all can lead to deadly accidents.
  • Truck accidents: accidents involving large trucks account for one out of every ten fatal accidents on American highways. Tire blowouts, trucks rolling over, and truckers not seeing cars due to the large blind spots that come with driving big rigs are all major causes of truck crashes.
  • Medical malpractice: while we expect the doctors and nurses we see to take the utmost care when treating us, occasionally even the best doctors make errors or grave mistakes and violate the applicable standard of care. This can consist of neglecting proper treatment or medication, a misdiagnosis that led to the death of a patient, or injuries caused during surgery or while delivering a baby which proved fatal.
  • Defective products: when you purchase something at your local store, you expect it to be a safe and useful item to use. However, we have seen examples of poisonous food, appliances that cause deadly electrical shocks or faults, defective car parts or components like tires, and children’s toys that turned into choking hazards. Since the duty of care is established when the product is sold and marketed to you as safe and appropriate, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in [wdac-state-long] if it proved fatally hazardous.

Contact A Wrongful Death Lawyer in [wdac-city], [wdac-state-long] Who Listens

Combs Waterkotte is ready to talk with you about your wrongful death case. We provide the highest amount of care and compassion for you, as we know you are dealing with indescribable grief. We offer mental health counseling through our network of trusted professionals, and if you cannot afford it Combs Waterkotte will provide you with the necessary resources free of charge.

When you choose Combs Waterkotte, you can be confident that you will always speak with an attorney about your case–never a paralegal or legal assistant like other firms–and that they will be available to talk whenever you need them. We have helped many people with their wrongful death lawsuits and are ready to talk with you about your unique situation. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, no-obligation case review.

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