Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer

Did you recently lose a loved one due to someone’s careless acts or misconduct in Columbia, MO? If someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death, Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers can help. An experienced Columbia wrongful death lawyer can evaluate your case for free and explain your legal options.

Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience. We’ve also helped families like yours recover over $100 million in settlements and verdicts since we started our personal injury law firm.

We can’t turn back time and undo a fatal accident. We can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost financial support, and the more personal losses your family has suffered. Contact our law offices in Columbia, Missouri, to schedule a free consultation today. You can call us at (314) 444-4444.

How Can Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Help My Family Recover Compensation for Wrongful Death in Columbia?

How Can Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Help My Family Recover Compensation for Wrongful Death in Columbia?

After the loss of a loved one, you have enough on your plate. Navigating the legal system and fighting with insurance companies should be the last things on your mind. Let our experienced Columbia personal injury lawyers handle the legal fight.

At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, our AV-rated lawyers have been recognized by Super Lawyers and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. You can trust our qualifications as well as our track record of success.

We can help with your case by:

  • Drafting all legal documents, including insurance claims and legal filings
  • Investigating and gathering our own evidence to build your case
  • Identifying all parties who are responsible for your loss
  • Calculating the fair value of your wrongful death claim
  • Using expert testimony to strengthen your case
  • Shielding you from insurance tactics, including victim-blaming strategies
  • Negotiating with defense attorneys, insurance companies, and other defendants
  • Representing you at trial if that becomes necessary to get what’s fair

You can count on our Columbia personal injury attorneys to do everything possible to win the maximum compensation possible. Contact us today to learn more about securing legal representation.

What Is Wrongful Death in Missouri?

Simply put, a wrongful death is a death caused by someone else’s actions or omissions. 

When people are injured due to a third party’s actions, they can file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. Unfortunately, some victims don’t survive their injuries. The at-fault party isn’t simply let off the hook. The victim’s surviving loved ones instead gain the right to sue for damages.

Under Missouri law, you may have a valid wrongful death case if your loved one died due to “any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance” that would have given them a valid personal injury case had they lived.

Wrongful death cases are completely different from homicide or manslaughter cases, which are handled in criminal court. Most wrongful deaths are accidental. Regardless of whether criminal charges are appropriate, survivors still have the right to pursue financial compensation in civil court.

Who Can File an Action for Wrongful Death in Missouri?

Only certain parties are entitled to formally file a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri.

Those parties include:

  • A surviving spouse or children
  • Grandchildren if the victim’s children are also deceased
  • The victim’s parents
  • If the victim isn’t survived by a spouse, child, parent, or grandchild, their siblings, nieces, or nephews can file the claim

If the victim did not leave any eligible family members, their personal representative can file the lawsuit. If there is no personal representative, someone who is entitled to share in the proceeds of a successful case can ask the court to appoint a “plaintiff ad litem” to file the lawsuit.

Multiple parties may ultimately have the right to recover compensation for the victim’s death. However, only one wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against any single defendant.

If you suspect you have a valid wrongful death case, call our law firm for a free case review. Your initial consultation is always free so you can learn about your legal rights without financial cost.

How Much Is My Columbia Wrongful Death Case Worth?

In every wrongful death case, the survivors have lost an important person in their lives. Plaintiffs are all experiencing similar types of losses. 

Still, when it comes to valuation, all wrongful death cases are slightly different. It’s important to have a lawyer evaluate the unique facts of your case before taking any insurance settlement deal.

Some critical factors to consider include:

  • The financial costs your family has incurred due to the injury and death
  • Your loved one’s age and life expectancy
  • How your loved one contributed to the family, considering financial support, child-rearing duties, household services, companionship, guidance, and more
  • Your loved one’s earning potential prior to death
  • The identity of surviving children and dependents
  • How the loss has impacted your family
  • The circumstances of the victim’s death

You can count on our wrongful death lawyers in Columbia to put in the time and effort to fully evaluate your case value. We’ll often bring in experts who can assist in the process. To discuss your case in detail, call our team today.

What Types of Damages Are Available in a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Missouri, you can seek compensation to account for your economic damages and non-economic damages.

Some examples of the types of compensation that may be available include:

  • Your loved one’s medical expenses that were incurred between the date of injury and death
  • The loss of your loved one’s financial support
  • Lost employment benefits, including retirement and health benefits gained through your loved one’s employer
  • The reasonable value of household services, child care, or elder care
  • Funeral expenses and burial costs
  • Loss of parental guidance and support
  • The pain and suffering your loved one endured prior to death
  • Loss of consortium, or loss of a spouse’s companionship and company

If your loved one’s death was caused by criminal acts or malicious and shocking behavior, punitive damages may also be awarded as punishment.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Missouri?

Our Columbia wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Our attorney’s fees are a set percentage of your settlement or verdict. 

You won’t be responsible for any upfront costs. Our fee is typically between 33% and 40% of the compensation we recover in your case. The amount generally depends on the complexity of your case and the time we expect to spend resolving various issues.

To learn more about our fee structure, call for a free case evaluation today.

Can I Recover Damages if My Family Member Is Being Blamed for Their Wrongful Death in Missouri?

If someone else shared at least some blame, you can recover damages if your loved one was also partly responsible for their own death.

Missouri follows a pure comparative negligence law. Liability for an accident is divided between all parties who share fault. The victim’s compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault.

What Causes Most Deadly Accidents in Columbia, Missouri?

Most wrongful death cases involve accidents. Fatal injuries are most often caused by human error. However, wrongful death cases can also involve assault, sexual assault, and other criminal acts.

At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle wrongful death cases involving:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Uber or Lyft accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Drownings and swimming pool accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dog bites 
  • Defective products
  • Poisonings and overdoses
  • Exposure to toxic substances 
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Criminal activity, including firearm violence
  • Negligent security and other premises liability matters

The sudden loss of a loved one is an unimaginable shock. Our lawyers are always here to discuss your legal options. 

What Do I Have To Prove To Recover Compensation for My Loved One’s Wrongful Death in Missouri?

The exact elements you must prove will depend on the circumstances of your loved one’s death.

Most wrongful death cases are based on negligence, which means:

  • The defendant had a legal duty of care
  • Through some action or omission, they breached their duty
  • The breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death
  • You suffered damages

Accident reports, medical records, video footage, and even witness statements may be used to support your claim. Our lawyers will locate any available evidence to determine who is ultimately responsible for your loss.

How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri?

In Missouri, you have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The three-year statute of limitations starts to run on the date of your loved one’s death.

Wrongful death cases are often complicated. It’s better to consult a lawyer as soon as you can. We know that you’re grieving, but the sooner you take legal action, the sooner we can start gathering valuable evidence to support your claim.

Contact a Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, contact a Columbia wrongful death lawyer to learn about your options for recovering compensation. At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, your consultation is always 100% free of charge.