It is never easy to cope with a loved one’s death. When a sudden loss is the result of someone else’s wrongful or negligent actions, it can be especially painful for the family members left behind. In addition to the emotional damage resulting from an unexpected death, families must now also face financial hardships, which may include funeral expenses and living without their deceased loved one’s income.
Wrongful death lawsuits can provide grieving families with essential financial compensation. Filing a lawsuit is an option for the family of the decedent to receive the necessary justice and the financial support that may offset their loss. It is important for a family to know its options after the tragic death of a loved one, including complications that can be easily avoided when pursuing a lawsuit.
What is a Wrongful Death Action?
If you have lost a loved one as a result of the behavior of someone else, it is important to understand whether a wrongful death lawsuit is available in your case. In Kansas, a wrongful death occurs when a wrongful act or omission of one person results in the death of another person. It is not required that the act or omission be intentional. Typically, wrongful deaths are accidental.
A wrongful death can occur as a result of a number of different situations, such as:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Negligent care or misconduct in a nursing home
- Carelessness or inattention by others
When such events occur, a lawsuit may be filed against:
- The person who committed the wrongful act
- The company the offending person is working for during the wrongful act
- The personal representative of the estate of the wrongful actor if they are deceased
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Action?
Kansas law allows any heirs of the deceased person to file a wrongful death claim. An “heir” is a person legally entitled to someone else’s property after their death, which is specified by state law. An heir can file a lawsuit either for themselves—for damages suffered as a result of the loved one’s death—or on behalf of the person who has died.
In most wrongful death cases, the heirs able to file suit include the decedent’s:
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Action?
A common mistake by someone who has a right to file a wrongful death claim is waiting too long to file their claim. Although it may seem easily avoidable, time passes quickly during the grieving process and planning a memorial, which often may delay a family from seeking compensation for their loss. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the time restraints on legal proceedings as you consider filing a lawsuit.
In Kansas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits. A “statute of limitations” simply refers to the time limit someone has to bring a legal action against another person or entity. This means that an heir must file a wrongful death action within two years after the date of a loved one’s death. If the suit is filed even one day after the two-year deadline, the action may be dismissed without an opportunity to bring another action before the court.
To make sure you file your wrongful death claim on time, you should hire an experienced wrongful death attorney who knows the law and will be responsible for filing your claim on time. Even the best attorney will need time to gather evidence that supports your case. Keeping this in mind, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible to review your case, gather evidence, pursue your claim, and recover the maximum amount available for your suffering.
What Damages Can Be Collected in a Wrongful Death Case?
The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to help make an injured family financially whole again. A decedent’s heirs may collect damages caused by the actions of the wrongdoer. Once an heir proves specific losses relating to a death, damages that can be recovered include:
- Financial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional suffering
Specific damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of insurance benefits
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Conscious pain and suffering of the decedent prior to death
To recover these damages in Kansas, you must file your claim in court within two years of the death of your loved one.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Action? Contact our Kansas City Attorneys Today!
If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful or negligent act, you may have a claim to receive substantial compensation. Do not delay in holding accountable the person responsible for your loved one’s death. Contact the attorneys at Foster Wallace, LLC, to discuss your case. We will review the facts of your case and assess whether and when you can file a wrongful death claim for your injuries.
The wrongful death laws in Kansas will determine the possible damages you may recover for your claim. Most importantly, the two-year time limit for an heir to file an action is critical to a successful claim in Kansas. The attorneys at Foster Wallace, LLC, are experienced wrongful death attorneys in Kansas and are prepared to argue your claim to get you the best resolution with maximum compensation. Don’t risk losing your chance to file your wrongful death claim because of delay. Call Foster Wallace, LLC, today for a free initial consultation to make sure you receive the compensation your family deserves.