Hyland Law Firm LLC
Common Questions Regarding Wrongful Death Actions in Kansas City
Losing your child, spouse or parent in a tragic accident can be devastating. Although the damages secured through the legal process cannot replace the person you lost, litigation may help you discover what happened and hold the wrongdoer accountable. If you have recently lost a loved one, you most likely have many questions. The most common questions people have regarding wrongful death lawsuits are as follows:
What constitutes a wrongful death action?
Wrongful death is a valid cause of action in every state. However, each state has its own version of the law. In Kansas, the law allows recovery if the wrongdoer negligently caused the victim's death either through action or a failure to act. Frequently wrongful death actions arise from motor vehicle accidents. But any type of fatal accident resulting from medical malpractice to murder can form the basis for a wrongful death action.
Who can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Exactly who is allowed to be part of the class of survivors and thus recover damages is a key component that varies from state to state. All states allow members of the victim's immediate family including a spouse and children to recover damages. InKansas, unlike in neighboringMissouri, if a victim has a spouse and/or child(ren), then his or her parents and/or siblings cannot be part of the class.
Who can be sued for wrongful death?
Virtually any person or entity can be sued for wrongful death with the exception of those who are granted immunity. For example, in a motor vehicle accident involving an impaired driver, the wrongdoers could include the driver who hit the victim's car, the manufacturer of the brakes in victim's car, the engineer who designed faulty guardrails, and the bartender who severed the impaired driver, but the city who maintains the road maybe immune.
What types of damages are available?
The wrongful death laws in both Kansas and Missouri allow for class members to recover the following: medical and funeral expenses, loss of consortium/companionship, lost wages and future earning, loss of parental guidance, etc. Unlike Missouri, Kansas law also allows the class to recover for mental anguish and bereavement or what is also known as pain and suffering.
Is there a deadline to file suit?
The deadline to file a wrongful death action varies by state. In Kansas, the law provides that a wrongful death suit must be brought within two years from the date the victim was killed. However, in Missouri, plaintiffs have three years to file suit.
If you or someone you love was injured as a result of the negligence of others, the Hyland Law Firm can help. I invite you to contact my office at 913-498-1911 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For more than two decades, I have been helping families obtain the compensation and justice they deserve. I look forward to providing you with exceptional legal representation.