Wrongful Death

Content for Wrongful Death:

We have the compassion and experience to guide you through the difficult process of navigating the death of a parent, child, brother or sister. From taking the first phone call a short time after your loved one has died to investigating the death to presenting a riveting closing argument at trial, we have been there and done it.

We investigate the facts and circumstances of the death with thoroughness and precision to guide your family. We use a broad network of expert engineers, physicians, and scientists who will help us analyze even the most complex scenarios. We have handled wrongful death cases involving automobiles, speedboats, dangerous roadways, and other scenarios. There are almost always multiple potential defendants to study. We think carefully about how we can leverage the law against each potential defendant, and we present your family with a number of strategies we can use to prosecute the case. Together with your family, we select the best option and we work quickly to get the case on file and moving forward.

We work hard to find out exactly why the death happened. We hold accountable those at fault, and we do not back down.

While the case is moving forward, we help guide your family through the maze of medical bills, debt collectors, insurance issues, and financial planning considerations. We work hard to position you for the best possible outcome.
We understand that you need an experienced, compassionate team to handle the most important legal matter you will likely ever have to deal with. For a thorough, completely confidential consultation call our office today. We will make every effort to meet you within hours of your phone call.

In Missouri, all cases for wrongful death are governed by Missouri Revised Statute 537.0080. The full text of the statute can be found HERE

The wrongful death statute is important because it gives certain family members the right to sue for the wrongful death. While many states have a system whereby the estate of the person who died must bring the action, Missouri is not such a state. Generally, it is only necessary to open an estate of the person who died if that person experienced conscious pain and suffering prior to death. The claim for conscious pain and suffering must be administered through the estate. We can help you decide if you should set up an estate.

Typically, it will be the responsibility of certain persons identified in the wrongful death statute to prosecute the wrongful death. If the deceased person has a living spouse, children, or parents, then those persons may prosecute the case. If the deceased person does not have a living spouse, children or parents, then the wrongful death statute specifies that the brother, sister, nieces or nephews of the deceased person may prosecute the case. If there are no such persons, then the wrongful death statute specifies that the Court may appoint someone to prosecute the case.

It is important to note that only a single wrongful death case can be prosecuted under the wrongful death statute. This means that your family needs to understand, and agree upon, the best strategy to prosecute the case. We can help you navigate this decision.

Explosion Cases

We have handled multiple explosion injury cases. Understanding the cause of the explosion and holding the proper party accountable for the blast are critical tasks that require an immediate and thorough investigation. Explosion cases are unique because of the severity of the injury that often results and because of the difficulty in figuring out exactly what happened.

Burn injuries are vastly different and often more severe that other injuries. Most people know there are three levels of burn injuries. First degree burns impact the first layer of the skin. There is irritation and redness. In second degree burns the first two layers of the skin are impacted. Healing time can extend up to three weeks. Unfortunately, many explosion cases result in third and fourth degree burn injuries. In a third degree burn injury, all the layers and tissues under the skin are burned. In a fourth degree burn injury, the burn extends through the skin and subcutaneous fat into the underlying muscle and bone. Serious burn injuries are life-changing. We have the experience to help a jury understand the true impact of these injuries.

While burn injuries might be readily apparent to the naked eye, it can be much harder to determine who to hold accountable for the explosion that led to the injury. An understanding of the National Fire Protection Association guidelines is critical to understanding your explosion case. The NFPA is a group of professionals and scientists who study ways to prevent explosions from injuring workers. The NFPA exhaustively researches real-life explosions to develop a series of guidelines for explosion prevention. There are many court decisions that refer to NFPA guidelines as authoritative. We have worked extensively with many NFPA sections and we leverage our knowledge of these guidelines to help you understand exactly why the explosion happened. We have a network of scientists, engineers, and metallurgists to help us navigate your explosion and determine who is at fault.

By way of example, NFPA 484 is the “Standard for Combustible Metals, Metal Powders, and Metal Dusts.” Section 484 has ten chapters and a number of appendices to study. If a workplace is processing combustible metals such as aluminum, magnesium, or titanium, then NFPA 484 sets forth the safety requirements for processing, storing, handling, and fire protection. For example, Section provides that materials used to handle aluminum powder must be electrically conductive, grounded when necessary, and made of spark-resistant materials. We utilize what we know about NFPA 484 and begin to map out the scene of the explosion. We analyze whether the machines involved in the explosion were designed with NFPA 484 in mind.

There are many other sections of the NFPA; the Association covers virtually every type of hazardous situation that could lead to an explosion. For example, NFPA 68 deals with certain ways to minimize the impact of an explosion once it begins, NFPA 472 sets forth the standards for those who are first responders to hazardous materials explosions, and NFPA 58 deal specifically with liquid propane gas. Navigating the NFPA is crucial to investigating and prosecuting your explosion case, and we have the experience needed to get the job done. Call us today and we can start investigating your case.