Kansas City Wrongful Death Attorneys
Have You Lost a Loved One Because of Someone's Negligence?
The grief of losing those closest to you is indescribable. When the loss is a result of the negligent actions of another, the already tragic event can be overwhelming. Understandably, families are often unable to deal with what is necessary to obtain compensation without help.
We understand this, and it forms our approach to advocacy. At the law firm of Norton & Norfleet, P.C., it is our goal to use our 60-plus years of experience in some of the most complex personal injury cases in Missouri to help you and your family obtain the compensation you need to face the future. While no amount of money can replace what you have lost, your financial security is our concern.
In its most basic definition, a wrongful death lawsuit allows you to sue someone for causing the death of another person. Wrongful death statutes allow you to sue for damages for grief and mental suffering, in addition to more explicit costs such as medical and burial services.
You may be wondering if your situation is a case for wrongful death. While each case is different, here are a few examples of when wrongful death lawsuits can be brought:
- A driver is at fault in an automobile accident that causes death.
- A faulty part in an automobile, created by a manufacturer, leads to a fatal accident.
- A person or business has over-served alcohol to a driver who then crashes and kills a pedestrian.
Helping You Understand Your Legal Options After a Fatal Accident
We know that nothing we do can bring back a loved one, but we are committed to doing everything we can legally to ensure that you are able to transition to the next phase of life, adequately deal with grief, and not have to worry about finances.
We are ready to take our approach to work toward compensation for:
- Medical services
- Memorial and burial expenses
- Injury to the deceased
- Injury to the deceased’s family
- Punitive damages
- Pecuniary damages
Pecuniary damages are those explicit costs mentioned before and can include lost wages, the value of household services the deceased person would have performed, and the cost of any damaged property due to the incident, in addition to medical and burial services. According to Kansas law, there is no limit on pecuniary damages that can be won.
Punitive damages are non-economic damages that "punish" the at-fault party. They usually cover mental and emotional harm caused by the death. In Kansas, there is a cap of $250,000 for these damages in a wrongful death case.
It’s important to consider a wrongful death claim for both of these reasons. The economic and emotional harm that the wrongful death of a loved one causes should be compensated for you and your family. When these costs are covered, you can focus on returning to a sense of normalcy.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In some states, a wrongful death claim can only be made by the deceased’s estate in order to compensate it for the losses caused by the death. This typically means that the person appointed to represent the deceased’s estate is the only person who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
In other states, including Kansas, a wrongful death claim can be made by a number of people considered by the law to be "designated beneficiaries." A designated beneficiary has a close relationship to the deceased and can be "any one of their heirs at law of the deceased." In most cases, this person will fall under one of these two categories:
- Immediate family members, including spouses, children, and parents.
- Distant family members, including siblings and grandparents.
These designated beneficiaries can file and receive compensation from a wrongful death.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state sets a different statute of limitations, but the most common (and the law in Kansas) is that the claim must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death. In almost every situation, a case filed after the two-year mark will be considered "untimely" and will be dismissed by the judge.
Kansas City Legal Help
Navigating the wrongful death lawsuit process, especially while grieving, can be confusing and difficult. It’s essential that you receive help from a Kansas City personal injury attorney who can ensure that you have an eligible case, that the right person is filing the claim, that you receive both economic and emotional damages, and that you are filing your claim within the correct window of time.
We are committed to doing whatever we can to help you in your time of grief.
You will work directly with our lawyers throughout your case so that you are constantly up to date on all developments. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Kansas City wrongful death attorneys. Send us an email, or call us at (816) 454-5800.
All cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means you pay no attorney fees unless you win.