Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be a devastating experience. While no amount of compensation can ever replace your loved one, seeking justice and holding the responsible party accountable can help provide a sense of closure and financial stability for your family. But how can you navigate the complexities of wrongful death laws in Kansas City and ensure a favorable outcome for your case?

A couple grieving at a funeral.

That’s where a wrongful death lawyer will come into play. At the law office of Holman Schiavone, LLC, our attorneys have assisted many families and loved ones through the trauma and aftermath of wrongful death accidents in Missouri. We have the experience to fully investigate accidents, identify those who are responsible, and help our clients pursue claims to recover compensation.

Contact us to get the personal attention and skilled representation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights by calling 816-399-5149.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Kansas City

Wrongful death claims can be complex and emotionally challenging for surviving family members. Each state has its own set of laws and regulations governing these cases, which can make navigating the legal process even more daunting. In Kansas City, wrongful death laws differ between Missouri and Kansas, adding another layer of complexity to the process.

A successful wrongful death claim hinges on understanding the intricacies of these laws and their application to your case. This will enable you to build a strong case and improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Definition of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a death caused by another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. In Missouri, wrongful death is when a person has died due to an act or circumstance that would have allowed them to take legal action if they hadn’t passed. This could have resulted in financial compensation to the victim had they not lost their life. In Kansas, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or omission of another party, resulting in a legal claim for damages and potentially leading to a wrongful death action.

Some examples of negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions that can lead to wrongful death include:

Car Accidents: Wrongful deaths often result from motor vehicle accidents, with reckless driving, drunk driving, distracted driving, and other negligent behaviors contributing to fatal crashes.

Workplace Accidents: Inadequate safety measures, lack of proper training, and workplace negligence can lead to fatal accidents, encompassing incidents on construction sites, industrial settings, and more.

Product Liability: Defective products, such as faulty medical devices or unsafe consumer goods, can cause fatal injuries, holding manufacturers, distributors, and retailers accountable for wrongful deaths.

Premises Liability: Property owners may be held liable for deaths stemming from unsafe premises conditions, including slip and fall accidents, inadequate security, or violations of building codes.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Negligence and abuse within nursing homes or long-term care facilities can result in the wrongful death of residents.

Criminal Acts: Homicide or other criminal acts can lead to wrongful death claims, with responsible individuals facing criminal charges, and the victim’s family pursuing civil action for compensation.

Recreational Accidents: Wrongful deaths can occur during recreational activities, including boating accidents, amusement park incidents, and sports-related injuries, especially when negligence is a factor.

Dangerous Drugs and Pharmaceuticals: Unforeseen side effects or inadequate testing of prescription or over-the-counter medications can lead to wrongful deaths, with manufacturers potentially held responsible.

Occupational Hazards: Certain occupations, like those in construction, mining, or the oil and gas industries, pose inherent risks, and inadequate safety measures can lead to fatal accidents.

Environmental Factors: Exposure to hazardous substances, pollution, or unsafe environmental conditions can result in wrongful deaths, particularly in cases of toxic exposure or environmental disasters.

Grasping the definition of wrongful death and its causes is fundamental for building a compelling case and securing justice and compensation due to your family.

Legal Differences Between Missouri and Kansas

Significant legal differences exist between Missouri and Kansas in terms of wrongful death claims. These differences can markedly influence your case’s outcome, making it paramount to comprehend them before moving forward.

One key difference is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. In Missouri, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the decedent’s death. In contrast, Kansas has a two-year statute of limitations.

Understanding these legal differences is key to filing your claim within the correct timeframe and optimizing your potential compensation.

The Role of a Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyer

A Kansas City wrongful death lawyer at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC plays a crucial role in helping families seek justice and compensation for the loss of their loved one. We will handle all aspects of the claim on the family’s behalf, from evaluating and investigating the case to negotiating with insurance companies and filing a wrongful death claim.

Delegating your case to a seasoned wrongful death attorney allows you to concentrate on healing and progression, while we safeguard your legal rights and work to secure your deserved compensation.

Case Evaluation and Investigation

A comprehensive case evaluation and investigation are paramount in a wrongful death lawsuit, as they help collect evidence, determine liability, and assess the value of the claim. An experienced wrongful death attorney at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC in Kansas City will take several steps to evaluate and investigate your case, including collecting pertinent information, assessing potential liability, establishing the extent of damages, investigating any negligence, consulting with professionals, and negotiating or litigating on your behalf.

A comprehensive evaluation and investigation can enable your attorney to identify crucial witnesses, obtain relevant documents, and evaluate the circumstances leading to the death. This approach enables a more potent legal strategy, increases the likelihood of a favorable result, and ensures that your family receives the justice and compensation they are entitled to.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often deploy various strategies in wrongful death claim negotiations, such as:

  • Offering low initial settlements
  • Prolonging the negotiation process
  • Disputing liability
  • Questioning the value of the claim
  • Utilizing aggressive negotiation tactics

Holman Schiavone Law, LLC can counter these strategies by engaging in aggressive negotiations with the insurance company and at-fault parties, ensuring a just settlement that reflects the damages suffered.

Additionally, we can:

  • Identify bad faith practices
  • Advocate for your rights
  • Advise against engaging in conversations with insurance adjusters
  • Apply our extensive legal knowledge to effectively manage insurance disputes

With proficient legal representation, you can concentrate on recuperation while they strive for the compensation your family is entitled to.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim: Who is Eligible?

Paper with wrongful death written on it and judge's gavel.

Eligibility for filing a wrongful death claim varies by state.

In Missouri, the following individuals are given priority to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Child
  • Grandchild
  • Personal representative of the victim’s estate

In Kansas, the specific individuals eligible to file a wrongful death claim are outlined by statute. The eligible individuals typically include:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parent
  • Other Dependents:
  • Depending on the situation, other individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased person may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

Consulting with a seasoned wrongful death attorney from Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is crucial in the following situations:

  • To confirm your eligibility to initiate a wrongful death claim
  • To obtain guidance on the process
  • To help you navigate the complexities of wrongful death laws
  • To ensure that your legal rights are protected

Types of Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

Compensation for surviving family members in wrongful death cases can include:

  • Economic damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and funeral expenses
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress
  • In some cases, compensatory and punitive damages may also be recovered.

Economic Damages

Economic damages in wrongful death cases may include:

  • Medical bills for the deceased before their passing and funeral expenses.
  • Loss of future income and inheritance. These damages are intended to compensate the family for the financial losses they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death.

Holman Schiavone Law, LLC can help you gather the necessary documentation and evidence to support your claim for economic damages, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for your financial losses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to subjective, non-monetary losses such as:

  • pain and suffering
  • emotional distress
  • mental anguish
  • loss of support, love, guidance, and care

These damages can be difficult to quantify, but an experienced wrongful death attorney at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC in Kansas City can help demonstrate these damages to the court.

Presenting evidence of the following, we can assist in obtaining the compensation due for your non-economic losses:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of guidance
  • Loss of counsel

Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Case

To be successful in a wrongful death case, you must prove liability by establishing the following elements through evidence and testimony:

  1. Negligence: demonstrating that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased and breached that duty.
  2. Causation: showing that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the death.
  3. Damages: proving the resulting damages caused by the death.

Supported by Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, you can compile the required evidence, testimony, and documentation to establish liability and hold the culpable party accountable.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Missouri and Kansas

The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is subject to strict deadlines for filing a claim. 

In Missouri, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the loved one’s death. 

In Kansas, the law requires that a claim must be filed within two years from the date of death. 

Failing to do so can result in revocation of any legal action. These deadlines are crucial to adhere to, as failing to file a claim within the appropriate timeframe can result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation.

Consulting with a seasoned wrongful death attorney from Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is crucial to guarantee your personal injury claim, specifically in cases of wrongful death, is filed within the necessary deadlines and your legal rights are upheld.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Kansas City

An attorney putting his hand over his client's hand.

Common causes of wrongful death in Kansas City may include:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents
  • Animal attacks

These tragic incidents can result from negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions, leading to the untimely death of a loved one.

In such cases, having Holman Schiavone Law, LLC by your side proves invaluable, as we can guide you through the legal complexities, compile the required evidence, and hold the offender accountable. It’s essential to choose the right wrongful death attorney to represent your case and ensure justice is served.

Comparative Fault in Wrongful Death Cases

Comparative fault is a legal argument presented by a defendant that alleges that the deceased individual is partially responsible for the fatal accident. The courts may reduce the financial award to the family of the deceased if the defense is successful. The amount of reduction will be based on the percentage of fault attributed to the decedent.

Comparative fault laws in Missouri and Kansas can influence the amount of compensation awarded in wrongful death cases. Hence, having Holman Schiavone Law, LLC on your team is important to effectively refute such allegations and guarantee that you receive your rightful compensation.

Tips for Choosing a Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyer

Choosing the right Kansas City wrongful death lawyer involves considering their experience, track record, and personalized approach to handling cases. Look for an attorney with significant experience in dealing with wrongful death cases specifically, as they will have an in-depth understanding of the legal complexities and subtleties involved.

Evaluate the attorney’s reputation and track record by looking for reviews, testimonials, and case results to gain insight into their success rate and how they have handled similar cases in the past. Additionally, assess their communication and client care to ensure that they will keep you informed throughout the process and provide customized attention to your case.

At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we have handled wrongful death claims that have come out of a variety of serious accidents, including:

Our firm will work hard to prove your claim and achieve the benefits you deserve.

Contact Holman Schiavone Law, LLC for Compassionate Support

Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is committed to helping families who have lost a loved one due to wrongful death. Our experienced attorneys provide personalized counsel, and representation, and fight for a favorable outcome in your case. 

If you have lost a loved one and believe you have a wrongful death claim, we encourage you to speak with an attorney at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC. Contact us today online or by telephone at 816-399-5149 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who gets the compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit in Kansas?

In a wrongful death lawsuit in Kansas, the money is apportioned to the heirs at law according to the loss sustained by each.

What are the damages for wrongful death in Missouri?

Under Missouri wrongful death laws, families are entitled to recover damages such as loss of income, funeral expenses, medical expenses, and loss of companionship, service, guidance, and support.

How are wrongful death settlements paid out in Missouri?

In Missouri, wrongful death settlements are paid out by first reimbursing the decedent’s estate for any costs associated with bringing a wrongful death claim. The remaining proceeds are then distributed to the heirs at law based on their loss sustained.

What are the damages for wrongful death in Kansas?

In Kansas, families of wrongful death victims are eligible to receive up to $250,000 in compensation for the non-economic losses such as pain and suffering caused by their loss.

What is the definition of wrongful death?

Wrongful death is the legal term used to describe a death caused by another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional action.