Practice Areas

Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Premises Liability
  • Defective Products
Criminal Cases
  • Serious Felonies
  • Trials and Appeals
  • Post Conviction Relief
Employment Discrimination
  • Sex and Race Harassment
  • Disability and Age Discrimination
  • Wrongful Termination

Personal injury cases fit into one or more of many categories, but at the root of them all is negligence.  “Negligence” means the failure to use reasonable care, and acting or failing to act in a reasonably prudent way to prevent injuries that are foreseeable. 

When a person or corporation (through the acts of its employees) is negligent, and that negligence causes a personal injury (whether a physicasl personal injury or an emotional personal injury) or a wrongful death to a family member, then you may have a right to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover damages for economic losses (past and future lost wages, benefits, and medical expenses) and non-economic damages (emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship of a loved one, and loss of household services).

The Negligence of a Person
The negligence of a person can manifest itself in many ways.  Someone may be negligent in their operation of a motor vehicle, resulting in legal claim against them that is usually defended by their insurance company.  Someone may be negligent in their maintenance or care of property, such a public building or walkway, resulting in personal injuries on their premises.  Again, these claims for personal injury are usually defended by the insurance company that covers negligent acts of property owners.  Personal injuries may also be caused by someone’s intentional acts, as is the case with assault, battery, stalking, workplace discrimination based on race or gender or religion, workplace sexual harassment or racial harassment, intentional property damage, or violations of civil rights by people who work for the city, state of federal government.

The Negligence of a Corporation
As a general rule, a corporation is liable for the negligence of its employees who are acting within the course and scope of their employment.  This is called “respondeat superior” liability.  Corporations are liable for the negligent manufacture, design, or failure to alter a defective product that is unreasonably dangerous to consumers.  In some of these cases, the company may be found liable even if they were not negligent.  This is called “strict liability.”  Corporations are also liable for workplace discrimination, such as racial harassment, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, or religious discrimination.  And, corporations are liable for defective public premises that result in slips, falls, or other serious injury or death.

Wrongful Death
Until wrongful death statutes were enacted, negligence that caused the death of someone did not allow for any lawsuit to be brought by certain surviving family members.  State laws were enacted to remedy this injustice.  Under Missouri’s wrongful death statute, RSMo § 537.080, “[w]henever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages  … the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, which damages may be sued for: by the spouse or children or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased, natural or adoptive[; …] or [if the deceased has no spouse or children or surviving lineal descendants] then by the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages.”   This means that if a person was personally injured by the negligence or intentional act of a person or corporation, and that act causes personal injury resulting in death, then certain family members may stand in the place of the person who dies to recover certain damages.