Fatal Car Accidents

Columbia Lawyers Compassionately Helping Grieving Families

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. More than 700 people have been killed in Missouri wrecks in each of the past few years. The car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig have helped many families through difficult times after losing a loved one near Columbia or elsewhere in Missouri. Let us help you seek the compensation that you deserve.

File a Wrongful Death Claim Against a Negligent Driver

Under R.S. Mo. § 537.080, the family of a person lost in a car accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of claim seeks damages from the person or entity responsible for the deceased person’s untimely death. Because of the circumstances that give rise to wrongful death lawsuits, prevailing plaintiffs may be entitled to different damages than people suing on their own behalf after non-fatal injuries.

If the victim’s family is successful in the claim, they can potentially collect economic compensation, including lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral or burial costs. These damages are designed to reimburse the plaintiffs for financial harm caused by the defendant. Plaintiffs may also seek two types of non-economic damages. The first is pain and suffering that the decedent experienced before his or her life ended. Additionally, the plaintiffs can seek damages for their own non-economic damages. These may extend to loss of companionship, consortium, support, and other services listed in R.S. Mo. § 537.090.

A wrongful death claim alleges some kind of underlying wrongdoing on the part of the defendant. A successful claim based on negligence must establish four things.

First, the defendant must have owed the decedent a duty of care. In many cases, this means acting as the ordinary person would act in a similar situation and avoiding behavior that exposes others to an unreasonable risk of harm. After this element is shown, the plaintiff must show that the defendant did something that failed to meet this standard, which is called a breach of duty. Driving drunk, failing to yield at an intersection, or texting while driving are some examples of how a negligent motorist can breach this duty.

The defendant also must have been both the factual cause and legal cause of the decedent’s death. This means that the family’s loved one would not have died if the defendant had not acted carelessly, and the accident in which he or she died must have been a foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct. Finally, the family must be able to identify actual and quantifiable damages that arose from the crash.

A statute of limitations sets a strict time window within which the families of Missouri accident victims can file a lawsuit. It is essential to seek legal guidance to make sure that your rights and those of your loved one are fully vindicated.

Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Car Crash Attorney in Jefferson City

Families who lose a relative in a fatal car accident have legal options. The car crash lawyers at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig have significant experience pursuing compensation for grieving families in Jefferson City and other Missouri communities. If your parent, child, or other family member was killed by a negligent driver, we can guide you through settlement negotiations or aggressively litigate on your behalf at trial. Call (573) 657-2050, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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