St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful Death Attorneys in St. Louis and Missouri
The Wrongful Death Lawyer of Dixon Law provide the greatest level of care and legal guidance for St. Louis and Missouri residents. When someone you love has passed because of a wrongful death accident, and you and your family have suffered needlessly because of the loss of your loved one, you need a wrongful death lawyer to protect your interests. The St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawyers at Dixon Law can guide you and your family through your wrongful death case and see to it that you and your family are provided for during this trying time. Whether you need financial assistance because of loss of wages, medical bills, or to pay for any of the costs associated with the passing of your loved one, Christopher R. Dixon and the Dixon Injury Firm can and will provide you with expert wrongful death legal guidance.
Dixon offers a broad range of legal services. This includes personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other claims. Our St. Louis wrongful death lawyers bring quality legal counsel to clients and their families. Please contact us for additional info and a free consultation from our wrongful death attorneys in St. Louis.
When someone you love has passed because of a wrongful death accident and your family needs a St. Louis wrongful death attorney, you need an experienced attorney. Christopher R. Dixon and the St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorneys of Dixon Law strive to provide the best results possible. Christopher R. Dixon is recognized as a Top 100 Trial lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association and a Life-Time Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and when you choose Chris for your legal guidance and counseling for a wrongful death case you will be taken care of.
A deadly accident alters a family forever. Losing a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. Losing a loved one as a result of the carelessness, recklessness or intentional act of another compounds the suffering. In addition to the loss of companionship, the untimely death of a loved one may also mean the loss of support for a family that may be reeling from significant medical debts.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death action may arise from a variety of injury-producing events. Car accidents and tractor-trailer accidents are responsible for thousands of wrongful deaths ever year. The reckless, careless and negligent conduct of physicians are also responsible for unnecessary deaths every year. Defective and unsafe products injury and kill countless others as well. Any death that resulted from the negligent, careless, or intentional conduct of another person may result in a wrongful death case.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Missouri?
Under Missouri law, only certain people are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and only one action may be filed for a person’s death. Section 537.080 of the Missouri Revised Statutes sets forth three classes of people who may file a wrongful death claim.
The first class of people given legal preference to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the person who died are the decedent’s:
- Lineal descendants such as grandchildren and great granchildren
If the decedent did not have a spouse, parents or lineal descendants, Missouri law allows people who fall into one of these classes to file a wrongful death suit:
- Nieces and nephews
Missouri’s wrongful death law gives preference to the first class of people. If no one qualifies for the first class, then the second category of potential claimants is given preference. As a last resort, the court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to prosecute the action.
It is also important to know that only one wrongful death action may be brought for the death of any one person.
Can An Absent Parent Cash In On A Wrongful Death Settlement?
A common concern in wrongful death cases is whether a parent, who has been absent from their child’s life, is able to participate in a wrongful death lawsuit brought on the child’s behalf. The Missouri wrongful death case of Glasco v. Fire & Casualty Ins. Co., 709 S.W.2d 550, 554 (Mo. Ct. App. 1986), states that Missouri’s Wrongful Death Act, as codified in Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.080(1), demands “the claim for wrongful death is vested in both parents and creates an indivisible right”. While both parents are able to participate in their child’s wrongful death lawsuit, circumstances may demand an unequal distribution of the wrongful death settlement.
Courts of Missouri are often faced with the difficult decision of dividing wrongful death settlements between two parents. According to Missouri case law, “Section 537.095.3, RSMo. 1979, clearly authorizes the court to “enter a judgment as to . . . damages, apportioning them among those persons entitled thereto in proportion to the losses suffered by each as determined by the court. (Emphasis added)” Id. at 555. Courts of Missouri will take into account multiple factors in determining the extent of loss suffered by each surviving parent prior to dividing settlement proceeds.
Courts in Missouri often find that the parents are not entitled to an equal division of the settlement proceeds in a wrongful death case. In Glasco, the court awarded the mother of the deceased child 90% of the settlement and the father only 10%. The court found from the evidence that the father had failed to support his child and maintained only minimal contacts with his child from 1972 until her death in 1984. Id. at 555. This case clearly demonstrates that courts will take into account numerous factors of the parental relationship when determining how to divide a Missouri wrongful death settlement between parents.
What Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Missouri’s wrongful death statute is clear with regard to the type of compensation that may be recovered. Survival damages are available under section 537.090. Survival damages allow family members to make a claim for the pain and suffering the decedent experienced before death. These damages also include compensation for expenses related to the last illness, such as lost earnings and medical expenses.
Missouri law also allows the plaintiff in a wrongful death case to recover damages for pecuniary loss, funeral expenses and the reasonable value of the loss of services and consortium of the decedent.
In short, a wrongful death action may seek compensation for:
- Hospital, doctor and medical bills incurred before the death
- The decedent’s pain and suffering before death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The reasonable value of services, support and consortium that the decedent provided.
How do I File a St. Louis Wrongful Death Claim?
Missouri law limits the time in which a wrongful death claim may be filed to three years from the date of the death.
However, it is best to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loss. An experienced fatal accident lawyer can help ensure that key evidence is preserved. As time passes, it may be difficult for witnesses to accurately recall events, and landscapes may change. A wrongful death attorney can coordinate witness interviews and make sure that an accident scene is accurately photographed. In addition, all wrongful death settlements require court approval under Missouri Law.
To determine whether you may file a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri, contact St. Louis wrongful death lawyer Christopher R. Dixon for a FREE case consultation by calling (314) 409-7060. Case intake specialists at The Dixon Injury Firm are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help provide answers to your questions.
How can the St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawyers of Dixon Law help your family with your wrongful death claim?
The Dixon Injury Law Firm is the industry leader when it comes to protecting the interests of wrongful death victims. During a wrongful death case, the responsible party, their lawyers, and the insurance agencies are going to try to get you to settle for as little as possible and attempt to place as much blame as possible on your loved one for the wrongful death accident. This will allow them to settle quickly and against your family’s best interests. That’s why it is so vitally important to let Christopher R. Dixon and the St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorneys of Dixon Law defend your best interests against the responsible party, their lawyers and the insurance corporations.
The Missouri Wrongful Death Lawyers of the Dixon Injury Firm have a complete understanding of the most recent Missouri and St. Louis traffic law and statutes and can use this knowledge to defend you and your loved ones during this trying time. No family should have to suffer from a wrongful death, but when it does happen, choosing an experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer can ensure that you and your family are adequately compensated for your lost loved one and ensure that your financial future and health are protected.
Why Should I choose the Missouri Wrongful Death Attorneys at Dixon Law to represent me?
Christopher R. Dixon is more than just a wrongful death lawyer he is a local Missouri and St. Louis resident who understands what it means to provide effective and comprehensive legal counseling to his fellow citizens and their families who have suffered because of wrongful death claims.
Chris Dixon – “I pride myself on tirelessly fighting for the injury victims who continuously trust me with their cases. It is an honor to serve and a passion which drives my existence.”
More About Wrongful Death Attorneys in St. Louis
Christopher R. Dixon and the Dixon Injury Firm specialize in wrongful death and car accident cases. Recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer, Chris knows how difficult these cases are for families. To help lower financial stress, Dixon’s trial lawyers make it easier by providing a contingency payment system. This allows you to pay fees only if the case is won. Our legal counsel is free until then.
When you choose Christopher R. Dixon and the Dixon Injury Firm, you are choosing a wrongful death law firm that cares about you and wants to ensure that you and your family are provided for during this trying time. If you need wrongful death legal guidance, or want to know what a wrongful death attorney can do for you, call or contact the St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawyers of the Dixon Injury Firm at 314-409-7060, or toll-free at 855-40-CRASH to get justice and compensation for your wrongful death case today.