Kansas City Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyer
The untimely death of a loved one can be traumatic for family members and surviving spouses, particularly if their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. Often, surviving family members are left at a loss after a fatal accident and are unsure whether they can recover compensation.
If your spouse or a family member has been a victim of a wrongful death accident, you are entitled to seek compensation to coverpain and suffering, loss of income, medical bills, and funeral expenses. In addition to financial compensation, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help surviving family members seek justice for their loved one’s death.
Here at Wendt Law, we can help you file a wrongful death claim to ensure that you get justice for your loved one’s death. Wrongful death claims can be quite complex and they are different from a personal injury claim in many ways. For this reason, we recommend that you obtain legal representation from an experienced, wrongful death attorney.
Our Kansas City law firm, led by Samuel Wendt, has a team of experienced wrongful death attorneys, ready to fight to ensure that you and your family get justice for your loved one’s death.
We offer a free consultation for you to seek honest legal advice from a firm spearheaded by one of the top 50 lawyers in Kansas City, MO.
Call us today at (816) 542-6734to schedule a free consultation. We will assess whether you have a valid wrongful death case and if so, will fight tooth and nail to win your case if you choose us as your legal representatives.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a victim’s death is caused by another person’s wrongful conduct, it is considered a wrongful death. There are two main types of wrongful death cases. The first is where a victim suffers a fatal injury due to thenegligent parties’ behavior and dies instantly.
The second type of wrongful death occurs when a victim suffers serious injuries due to a defendant’s actions and dies sometime later as a direct result of the wrongful behavior. In these wrongful death cases, the economic damages recovered by surviving relatives may be much higher, due to inflated medical bills and a longer stay in hospital.
Some examples of wrongful death cases can include medical malpractice, car accidents, drowning, workplace accidents, and criminal conduct.
Contact our team of wrongful death lawyers today if you believe that your loved one’s death was caused by another person’s misconduct.
Examples of Wrongful Death Claims in Kansas City, MO
Wrongful death can occur for a multitude of reasons, and no two wrongful death claims are ever the same. Common situations where a wrongful death claim can arise include:
Road accidents – Unfortunately, many people are killed on the roads of Kansas City each year, either due to an accident or due to another driver’s negligence. A victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit where it can be shown that the other party’s negligence directly caused their loved one’s death. A criminal conviction can be helpful in proving a wrongful death claim.
Medical malpractice – If a doctor, surgeon, or medical professional acts negligently when treating a victim or makes an avoidable mistake resulting in their death, the malpractice may amount to a wrongful death case.
Faulty or defective products – If your loved one died because of a faulty or defective product, it must be shown that the manufacturing company was aware of the defect and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent customers from being harmed.
Workplace accidents – Our Kansas City wrongful death lawyers have helped families receive justice for their loved ones who were killed in a workplace accident. In these cases, it must be proven that the employer or a third party was responsible for the accident that resulted in death.
Premises Liability – All property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of guests and visitors to the property. If a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to ensure safety, and a person suffers a fatal accident, such as a slip and fall accident, the property owner can be liable for a wrongful death claim.
There are many other situations that can give rise to a wrongful death case in Kansas City. If your loved one was killed in an accident that could have been prevented, we encourage you to seek justice and schedule a free consultation with a Kansas City wrongful death lawyer from our law office today.
Proving Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Similar to personal injury lawsuits, a wrongful death lawsuit is based on principles of negligence. Thus, a wrongful death attorney must prove in a civil court that the victim’s death was caused by the actions of the alleged at-fault party. To do so, they must prove the following elements:
Duty of care – The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim to take all reasonable measures to ensure their safety and wellbeing. In cases such as car accidents, this can be easy to prove. However, in cases involving public authorities, it can be more difficult to establish a duty of care.
Breach of duty – It is necessary to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care to the victim, i.e. that they acted negligently or recklessly. If a car crash was caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, proving a breached duty of care is straightforward. Cases involving medical misconduct can be more difficult and will likely require expert testimony.
Causation – The third element to prove in a wrongful death lawsuit is causation, meaning that it must be shown that the actions of the responsible party directly caused the victim to suffer harm, and in wrongful death claims, directly caused the death of the deceased person.
Damages – Lastly, a wrongful death lawyer must demonstrate that the victim or the victim’s family suffered damages as a result. Damages in wrongful death claims can include economic damages, such as lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses, pain and suffering of the victim, and non-economic damages.
It is important to note that a victim’s family may make a claim for punitive damages in a wrongful death action if it can be shown that there was a complete disregard for the safety of life, whether intentional or unintentional. However, it is difficult to recover punitive damages in a wrongful death claim, so you should seek legal representation if trying to recover these damages.
Who Can File a Missouri Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It is important to be aware that not everyone can file a wrongful death claim in Kansas City, MO. In fact, before 1855, surviving family members were unable to recover compensation or get any justice for their loved ones’ death in Missouri. Thankfully, a law was introduced which allows the following groups to file a wrongful death claim for their loved one:
A surviving spouse.
Children, including adoptive children.
Parents, including adoptive parents.
Surviving siblings also reserve the right to file a Kansas City wrongful death claim when the victim does not have a surviving spouse, parent, child, or grandchild. In the devastating case of a parent losing a child, the parent also reserves the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to File a Kansas City Wrongful Death Claim?
With all lawsuits, victims and victims’ families have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Each state has a statute of limitations in place for different types of crimes and lawsuits. For a Kansas City wrongful death case, the statute of limitations is three years. This means that a victim’s family has a period of three years following their loved one’s death to file a claim.
However, it is recommended that you act fast in these types of cases. It can take a long time for a wrongful death attorney to collect evidence, examine witnesses, and build up a strong case. At Wendt Law, we recommend that you contact an experienced, wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you get justice for your loved ones’ death. Any time wasted is time lost in these cases.
Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death in Missouri?
Generally, there is no cap on the amount of compensation you can receive in wrongful death cases in Kansas City, for both economic and non-economic damages. The compensation you receive will depend on the damages you are able to recover, which could include funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, mental anguish, and emotional pain, punitive damages, and pain and suffering damages for the family.
However, there is a cap on the amount of compensation you can receive for medical malpractice cases in Missouri. The State has different limits for catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries, roughly $700,000 and $400,000 respectively, and the cap amount increases by 1.7% each year.
Speak to a Kansas City wrongful death lawyer today to assess what type of damages may be available to you for the loss of a loved one.
Do I Need to Hire a Kansas City Wrongful Death Attorney?
Although it is not required to have a legal representative when filing a wrongful death claim, it is highly recommended. In these types of cases, proving that your loved one died due to another person’s negligence can be quite difficult. The stakes are high in these cases, and the liable party will most likely have an attorney fighting to prove that they are not responsible.
An experienced attorney can help ensure that your family member gets justice by speaking with witnesses, gathering evidence, carrying out a cross-examination, and doing everything in their power to win the case.
Here at Wendt Law, we have extensive experience in handling wrongful death lawsuits, and we promise to fight tooth and nail to ensure that you and your family get justice for your loved ones’ death. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we will never charge you up front for our services, and we will only deduct our fees from the settlement you receive if the case is successful.
Call Wendt Law Firm Today!
Losing a loved one is the worst thing that can happen to a family, particularly if it was caused by another person’s negligence. We know that no amount of compensation can remedy the pain you feel after losing a family member, but we want to ensure that you do not suffer any extra stress due to financial losses or a lack of justice being served.
Here at Wendt Law, we are highly experienced in dealing with wrongful death cases, and we have a team of lawyers who are ready to help you win your case. Throughout our years of practice, we have built up a strong attorney-client relationship which stems from always getting our clients the results they deserve.
Our firm offers a free case evaluation for you to receive honest legal advice at no cost, and you can decide from there if you want to hire us as your legal representatives. Don’t waste any time contacting us. The sooner you do, the more time we have to build a strong case on your behalf.