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Wrongful Death

For more than 40 years, Brill & Wagoner, P.C. has represented the families of wrongful death victims.  We have done so in both state and federal courts throughout Missouri, and in some cases out of state.  We have tried wrongful death cases to juries and judges, and are also experienced in settling these cases.

A civil trial lawyer is best qualified to represent the victims of a wrongful death.  Kenneth Wagoner of our firm is Board Certified in Civil Trial Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  He has earned an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® listing, the highest recognition possible in the legal industry, for his professionalism and ethics.

Wagoner has also been recognized by the Missouri Bar as an outstanding trial lawyer. The Missouri Bar Foundation awarded him the Lon Hocker Trial Lawyer Award in recognition of “outstanding professional competence, industry and integrity.”

What is wrongful death?
Stated simply, “wrongful death” means a death which has occurred due to the fault of another.  Although intentional wrongdoing, such as assault and battery, gives rise to a wrongful death claim when death results, most cases of wrongful death involve accidents.  If a person is killed by the negligence of another, for example by a negligent motorist, then a wrongful death claim arises. All types of negligent acts may cause a death and give rise to a wrongful death claim.  Other examples include deaths caused by blasting accidents, fires, electrical accidents, airplane crashes and boating accidents.

Who can sue or make a claim?
In Missouri, the right to sue or make claim for wrongful death goes first to the surviving parents, spouse and children.  These persons share in any settlement or court award. If there are no surviving parents, spouse or children, then the right to pursue the claim passes to other relatives.

In Arkansas and many other states, the right to sue or make claim for wrongful death belongs to the personal representative (executor) of the deceased person’s estate.  Often an estate will be opened for the deceased in order to pursue the claim.

What damages are recoverable?
In Missouri, the damages that can be recovered include such amounts as the jury deems fair and reasonable.  Factors the jury is to consider include the loss of earnings and support, and also the loss of the companionship, guidance, counsel and training the deceased person would have provided. Funeral costs and medical and hospital bills the deceased incurred on account of the fatal injury may also be recovered.

Contact Brill & Wagoner, P.C.
If you have lost a family member due to the negligence or fault of another, you need the advice and counsel of a lawyer experienced in handling wrongful death claims. Contact our firm for a free consultation, in complete confidence and without obligation.