Auto Accidents: Wrongful Death Claims
Few things can be as devastating as the loss of life, particularly when you realized that life was lost because of someone’s carelessness. We get it. We will help. We will help you sort this out. We understand. We are in your corner.
Let’s start with some background on Wrongful Death Claims generally.
There are two parts to handling the wrongful death claim, liability and damages.
The Kansas wrongful death statute provides that if the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, you can sue for the damages . The claim may be made 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 recovery for emotional damages, cannot exceed in aggregate, the sum of $250,000 and costs. In any wrongful death action, the verdict shall be itemized by the trier of fact to reflect the amounts, if any, awarded for:
(1) Non-economic damages;
(2) expenses for the care of the deceased caused by the injury; and
(3) economic damages.
In a wrongful damage claim the jury can award money for:
(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 judge decides how to split the recovery amount the heirs if there is no agreement. 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. 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.
Wrongful Death: Here’s your next step
In Kansas limits on intangible damages in wrongful death cases 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.
We will 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.
You will probably find answers to most of your questions on this web site but if not call us, the call is free. In Topeka call 785-370-0001 or in the Kansas City area call 913-228-1440.
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Going Deeper: Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
When death is caused by another’s negligence a lawsuit can be filed by the heirs. The persons bringing the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs, are the individuals that may inherit under the law. The lawsuit is a file for the benefit of all the heirs.
If you are reading this then you have just experienced a great loss. We have had such a loss ourselves and understand the suffering involved. We are sorry and wish to help. Here’s an essay with some basic information about the law. The Kansas Wrongful Death statute can be found here. The Missouri Statute can be found here. Other states have similar wrongful death statutes although the time limit to file is different from state to state.
The money damages available in a wrongful death claim include compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, income loss, and other damages including the emotional loss due to the death. Each state has its limit limits or “caps” on the amount of money the jury can award, although some of the “caps” have been successfully challenged under the constitution right to a jury.
The lawsuit begins with the filing of what is called a Petition with the Clerk of the District Court. The Petition is a document prepared and filed by your attorney. The Petition includes a basic statement of facts showing the court that the case involves a wrongful death and identifies both the victim and the heirs authorized by law to assert the claim for wrongful death. The petition will state the date, time and place of the accident as well as information about how the accident occurred. The defendant usually represented by an insurance company will file an Answer which will generally deny any and all liability for the wrongful death. The case will proceed to discovery and usually results in a mediation session before trial. If the parties reach an agreement that all parties agree is reasonable and appropriate considering all the facts and circumstances they asked the court for approval of the settlement, attorneys fees, and distribution of the proceeds. You can find additional details by clicking on this link: here.
The system is complex but is an important part of our justice system. If you don’t find your answers here, call us, the call is free. In the Topeka area call 785-370-0001 in the Kansas City area call 913-228-1440.
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