The loss of a loved one is devastating. This tragedy can be even more difficult to face when the death is sudden and could have easily been avoided. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation.
While money is unlikely going to be your primary concern after this type of loss, recovering compensation can be essential as you attempt to rebuild your life. Dickman Law has been helping the loved ones of wrongful death victims recover the compensation they need for years. Reach out through the online contact form on this page or by phone for a free consultation.
An experienced Columbia wrongful death attorney will review your case and answer all of your questions.
What a Wrongful Death Lawyer Will Do for You
After losing a loved one, your focus should be on your family, as well as your mental and emotional health. Dealing with a lawsuit against the party responsible for the death of your family member should be the last thing you have to worry about. When you hire a Columbia wrongful death attorney, they will take over every aspect of your legal case.
The knowledge that your financial well-being is in the hands of an experienced legal professional can allow you to focus on what really matters. Steps your attorney is likely to take when pursuing a wrongful death claim on your behalf include:
- Investigating the incident that caused your loved one’s death to establish fault and gather evidence in support of your claim
- Determining which damages apply to your case and calculating their value
- Filing the necessary paperwork with the liable party’s insurance provider or the court
- Completing all the steps of the pretrial process
- Negotiating with opposing counsel in an attempt to reach a fair settlement agreement
- Representing you at trial
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Columbia, call 573-744-4878
Damages You Can Collect After a Wrongful Death
After the loss of a loved one caused by the negligence of another party, you will likely qualify for a wide variety of damages. The compensatory damages that apply to your case are divided between economic and non-economic damages. Meanwhile, a small percentage of wrongful death claims also qualify for punitive damages.
Economic damages encompass all the financial losses you suffer after losing a loved one. Common economic damages in a wrongful death case include:
- The cost of medical treatment of your loved one before they passed
- Projected lost income your loved one would have earned over the rest of their lifetime
- Lost wages because of work you missed after the death
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses
All your losses that are not of a financial nature are categorized as non-economic damages. Calculating the value of non-economic damages can be challenging since there is no direct monetary loss.
Because the death of a loved one is a profound and irreversible loss, the money awarded for non-economic damages tends to be significant. In fact, non-economic damages often make up the bulk of a wrongful death settlement or court-ordered payout. Common non-economic damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Decreased quality of life
A judge will only award punitive damages in extreme cases where the loss of your loved one was the result of criminal negligence or an intentional act. Punitive damages are used as a means of punishing the liable party for their actions rather than repaying the victim for a specific loss they suffered.
Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 573-744-4878
Wrongful Death Attorneys Get Paid for Results
Wrongful death lawyers and other personal injury attorneys use a different fee system from most other types of lawyers. Rather than charging an expensive fee to retain their services along with a high hourly rate, these attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that their pay is based entirely upon the outcome of your case.
At the conclusion of your case, your lawyer will collect a fee directly tied to the compensation you receive. This fee will be the only payment your attorney will receive for their services. Your attorney will be paid a fixed percentage of the money you recover from the liable party.
Under this fee system, you can feel secure that your wrongful death lawyer in Columbia will work hard to ensure you recover as much money for your case as possible. After all, a big payout for you means a big payday for them. Alternatively, a failure to get you compensation means your attorney won’t get paid for their services.
Don’t Delay When Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Missouri, the family of a wrongful death victim has three years to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Filing your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires is critical, as you could lose your right to recover compensation if you don’t meet the deadline. Hiring an attorney early will also make it easier for them to gather evidence and build a solid foundation for your case.
You also must realize that exceptions to the statute of limitations could further limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. The best way to ensure that your lawsuit gets filed on time is by hiring a Columbia wrongful death attorney soon after the death of your loved one.
It is also important to note that exceptions work both ways. Even if the three-year deadline has already passed, you should still hire an attorney. You could find that you remain eligible to pursue compensation depending on the particulars of your case.
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Don’t Accept a Settlement Deal without Consulting an Attorney
Insurance companies have a whole book of tricks they will use in an attempt to deny or devalue your claim. One tactic they often employ is to approach a potential claimant with a settlement offer before they get a chance to file. The insurance company will present their offer as a helpful gesture during a difficult period.
However, in reality, they are simply trying to trick you into accepting an offer that is far below the actual value of your claim. If you agree to this lowball offer, you will end up forfeiting your right to pursue further compensation when the true value of your claim becomes evident.
The best way to protect yourself and your right to fair compensation is by hiring a wrongful death attorney in Columbia shortly after the death of your loved one. An experienced lawyer can help level the playing field and neutralize the tactics used by the insurance adjuster.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
After the loss of a loved one, securing compensation from the liable party can be essential. The need for financial support is especially prevalent when the deceased was the primary earner for your household. Dickman Law has assisted countless families after the death of a loved one.
Reach out by filling out the online contact form on this site or by phone to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Columbia, MO.