Kansas Auto Accidents: Wrongful Death
Topeka Personal Injury Lawyer: Wrongful Death
Few things can be as devastating as the loss of life, particularly when you realized that life was lost because of someone’s carelessness. It’s important that you have a lawyer who understands. There are two parts to handling the wrongful death claim. First and foremost, you want to contact an individual you know shares your compassion. We know, understand, and walk with you in this difficult time. You also need an aggressive attorney handling the legal details while you grieve. Because of the potentially high jury verdicts insurance companies defend these cases in a very aggressive manner. While you need someone who is sensitive to your grieving, you also need a strong advocate at this critical time for you and your family.
The Kansas wrongful death statute provides that if the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, an action may be maintained for the damages resulting there from if the former might have maintained the action had he or she lived, against the wrongdoer, or his or her personal representative if he or she is deceased. The action may be commenced by any one of the heirs at law of the deceased who has sustained a loss by reason of the death. Any heir who does not join as a party plaintiff in the original action but who claims to have been damaged by reason of the death shall be permitted to intervene therein. The action shall be for the exclusive benefit of all of the heirs who have sustained a loss regardless or whether they all join or intervene. In any wrongful death action, the court or jury may award such damages as are found to be fair and just under all the facts and circumstances, but the damages, other than pecuniary loss sustained by an heir at law, cannot exceed in aggregate, the sum of $250,000 and costs. Pecuniary means economic loss. In any wrongful death action, the verdict shall be itemized by the trier of fact to reflect the amounts, if any, awarded for:
(1) Nonpecuniary damages;
(2) expenses for the care of the deceased caused by the injury; and
(3) pecuniary damages other than those itemized under subsection (c)(2).
Where applicable, the amounts shall be further itemized by the trier of fact to reflect those amounts awarded for injuries and losses sustained to date and those awarded for injuries and losses reasonably expected to be sustained in the future.
In any wrongful death action, the trial court shall instruct the jury only on those items of damage upon which there is some evidence to base an award. Damages may be recovered for, but are not limited to:
(1) Mental anguish, suffering or bereavement;
(2) loss of society, companionship, comfort or protection;
(3) loss of marital care, attention, advice or counsel;
(4) loss of filial care or attention;
(5) loss of parental care, training, guidance or education; and
(6) reasonable funeral expenses for the deceased.
If no probate administration for the estate of the deceased has been commenced, expenses for the care of the deceased which resulted from the wrongful act may also be recovered by any one of the heirs who paid or became liable for them.
The net amount recovered in any such action, after the allowance by the judge of costs and reasonable attorneys fees to the attorneys for the plaintiffs, in accordance with the services performed by each if there be more than one, shall be apportioned by the judge upon a hearing, with reasonable notice to all of the known heirs having an interest therein, such notice to be given in such manner as the judge shall direct. The apportionment shall be in proportion to the loss sustained by each of the heirs, and all heirs known to have sustained a loss shall share in such apportionment regardless of whether they joined or intervened in the action; but in the absence of fraud, no person who failed to join or intervene in the action may claim any error in such apportionment after the order shall have been entered and the funds distributed pursuant thereto.
In Kansas limits are placed on intangible damages in wrongful death cases. This makes it even more important for you to have an advocate contacting proper experts to firmly establish the nature and extent of all the losses connected with such claim including economic loss. With strong representation you can be sure that you and your family will be fully compensated for this horrible wrongdoing.
You can expect our friendly team members to provide you sensitive but strong support with sure guidance in this difficult time. When you call our team, they will connect you with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who will schedule a free conference. We be glad to talk to you and your family members about the process and how we can help.