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Columbia, MO Wrongful Death Lawyer

Dealing with the death of a loved one is often one of the worst experiences an individual could endure. This is especially true when the death of that family member could be attributed to the negligence of another person. Fortunately, Missouri law allows the decedent’s family to pursue justice and compensation for a wrongful death.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, speak with a compassionate Columbia, MO wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys at the A.W. Smith Law Firm will fight to get justice for you and your loved one. Our skilled team recovered over $1 million for a client due to a faulty airbag in a fatal accident. We are dedicated to helping you, and your family get the compensation you deserve.

It could be challenging to handle funeral preparations, coordination of necessary actions, disbursement of the loved one’s property, and other important needs. You should not have to deal with the stress of a complex wrongful death case as well. Instead, let a seasoned personal injury attorney help you through this tragedy. We work with many clients on a pro-bono or contingency basis. This means we do not charge you unless we successfully recover compensation from the at-fault party. We are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day for our clients.

Eligibility to File a Claim

When a loved one passes away, there is an order in which certain family members are eligible for bringing a lawsuit to court. As per Missouri Revised Statutes § 537.080, there is a hierarchy of filing a claim.

The First Tier

The decedent’s close family members including the parents, spouse, and children are eligible to file a wrongful death suit. This includes adopted children as well. The deceased’s grandchildren may also file a claim, in the case that any children are no longer living.

The Second Tier

If there are no family members in the first tier, the claim could be brought by a member of the second tier including brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews of the deceased individual.

The Plaintiff Ad Litem

In cases in which no family members are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim, the court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem, or legal representative, on behalf of the deceased person and their family. This person could be appointed when the remaining is ineligible to file the claim by themselves.

Understanding legal restrictions and procedures could be tiresome and difficult for lay people unfamiliar with the law. A skilled Columbia wrongful death lawyer may be able to handle these matters for the decedent’s estate.

Damages Eligible for Compensation

Like personal injury claims, the family of the deceased could sue for economic damages such as the expected earnings of the deceased person. Other damages include:

  • The deceased individual’s prior pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of consortium, guidance, comfort
  • Loss of benefits

It is best to discuss matters with a qualified attorney from A.W. Smith Law Firm, to calculate the amount of damages applicable in a specific case.

Contact a Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

If your family experienced a sudden loss of a loved one, get in touch with a committed Columbia wrongful death lawyer. Though it is never possible to replace someone we love, justice should be served. The party responsible for their death should compensate you and your family members for your loss.

Individuals should speak to a skilled attorney before speaking with insurance companies since they will try to offer a low settlement. Our attorneys at A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C. have the experience of negotiating with insurance companies as well as arguing your case in court.

We will fight to help you get the justice you deserve. We will work towards helping you recover the best possible settlement for your situation. Whenever you are ready, we are available to help you and your family.