Kansas City wrongful death attorney

If your loved one was killed in an incident that wasn’t their fault, you have the right to pursue justice and closure for you and your family. A Kansas City personal injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your loved one’s death.

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At Langdon & Emison, we offer legal help in personal injury cases and many others. Our Kansas City wrongful death attorneys can review your case and legal options. To get started, please contact us at (866) 931-2115 or send us a message through our contact form.

kansas city wrongful death attorney

What’s considered wrongful death?

Wrongful death occurs when a person’s negligent actions cause the untimely and unexpected death of someone else. To have a successful case, your attorney must prove that your loved one’s death was preventable (they would not have died at that time if not for the negligent actions of the other person).

To secure compensation in a wrongful death case, you must be able to provide evidence to support your argument. Your attorney must be able to clearly explain how the defendant’s actions caused your family member’s death, which has caused you to incur damages.

The team with Langdon & Emison understands the challenges that can come up in a lawsuit. With help from our Kansas City wrongful death lawyer, you can pursue a fair amount of compensation following the loss of your loved one. For more information, please get in touch with us.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Kansas City?

After a family member dies, only certain people are allowed to submit a wrongful death claim. These individuals may be blood relatives of the deceased person (decedent). Here are the people who can file a claim in Missouri on a decedent’s behalf:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Sibling

Your attorney can answer frequently asked questions about who’s eligible to submit wrongful death claims and related legal topics. They can walk you through the process of filing your claim. If you decide to move forward with a claim, they’ll make sure that it is submitted in accordance with Missouri’s statute of limitations to do so.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Kansas City?

You have up to three years from the death of a family member to pursue damages from anyone responsible. It is best to submit your claim within Missouri’s statute of limitations. This statute can’t be extended — and if you choose not to submit your lawsuit before it lapses, you lose the right to do so later.

If you are unsure about whether to sue a hospital or another at-fault party for a wrongful death, consult with an attorney. At this point, you can share details about your loved one’s death with your lawyer. Next, your lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit and help you figure out what to do.

When you submit a claim, don’t expect an immediate resolution. It may take months or years to settle your case. In the meantime, your lawyer will work diligently to help you get compensation.

What damages can I claim in a wrongful death suit?

Damages refer to the compensation that can be awarded in personal injury lawsuits. In a wrongful death lawsuit, your damages may total tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. A judge or jury may award you any of the following damages.

Economic damages

These can account for the value of a family member’s financial contributions if they haven’t passed away. You can request economic compensation for your family member’s medical expenses, expected earnings or benefits loss, and other quantifiable losses. There’s no cap on the amount of economic damages you can ask for in Missouri wrongful death lawsuits.

Non-economic damages

While you can quantify economic damages, non-economic ones are subjective. You can pursue non-economic damages based on pain and suffering that relates to the loss of your loved one. In Missouri, you can pursue any amount of non-economic damages in most cases, but you may be limited in the non-economic compensation that you can ask for in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Punitive damages

You can get punitive damages if a judge or jury wants to deter the party responsible for your family member’s death from future acts of negligence. There are limitations on punitive damages in certain cases in Missouri. You can receive the lesser of either $500,000 or five times the amount awarded in total damages.

kansas city wrongful death lawyer

What’s the difference between an estate claim and a “full value of life” claim?

An estate claim and a full value of life claim aren’t interchangeable. With an estate claim, you request compensation that relates to your family member’s death. Comparatively, with a full value of life claim, you consider the lifetime earnings, loss of companionship, and other long-term factors when you ask for compensation.

Your lawyer can help you decide between an estate and the full value of a life claim. They can discuss each one in detail. Plus, they can help you choose a claim option that helps you get the maximum amount of compensation.

Who may be liable in my wrongful death case?

There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all with liability in wrongful death cases. Identifying the at-fault party in your case can be difficult, but your attorney can help you figure out who’s responsible. Your attorney can explain some of the most common parties at fault in these cases, which include the following.

At-fault drivers

If a motorist is driving while distracted, speeding, or breaking the law in any other way, they are negligent. This driver can cause an accident in which your family member is killed. Even though the motorist may claim that they didn’t want the crash to happen, they can still be held accountable for any losses you incur due to your loved one’s death.

Medical providers

You expect a medical professional to provide a high standard of care. If a family member dies because a healthcare provider didn’t follow a proper standard of care, they should be held accountable. In this situation, you can sue the at-fault medical provider for damages.

Criminal offenders

Your family member can die as they try to defend themselves against someone who’s trying to rob them. Or, they can lose their life trying to protect others from a criminal. If a criminal offender kills your family member, you can seek compensation from this individual.

Defective or dangerous product manufacturers

Don’t let a product manufacturer off the hook for the death of your family member. If your family member is killed as a result of a defective product, seek damages. By hiring a wrongful death lawyer, you can put yourself in the best position to get compensation from a negligent product manufacturer.

Your lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for your loved one’s death. They will make sure that you sue anyone who contributed to the loss of your loved one. Your attorney can also ensure you get a settlement that matches your expectations.

kansas city wrongful death attorneys

How are wrongful death settlements paid out?

How your wrongful death settlement is paid out depends on your case. For some plaintiffs, they get a lump-sum payment. On the other hand, a plaintiff may receive a structured settlement in which they get payments at regular intervals.

A lump-sum payment is often a preferred option for those who are trying to pay off bills relating to their family member’s death. If you accept this option, you get all of the money awarded to you as soon as your case is closed. You can then use this money however you choose.

In instances where a defendant can’t cover the full amount owed to a plaintiff, a structured settlement may be put into place. This option lets you receive payments from the defendant until your settlement amount is paid in full. There are no restrictions on how you decide to use the money that you get through a structured settlement, either.

What are some common scenarios that result in wrongful death in Kansas City?

Every wrongful death case is different. Regardless, there are common scenarios that result in wrongful deaths. These scenarios include the following.

Car accidents

Thousands of traffic fatalities are reported annually across the United States. If a parent, spouse, domestic partner, or child dies in an auto crash caused by a negligent motorist, you can hold the at-fault driver accountable. To do so, you can partner with a Kansas City wrongful death lawyer to help you seek the most compensation you can get.

Truck accidents

A negligent trucker can improperly park their truck or make other mistakes that lead to a collision. It is a truck driver’s responsibility to follow the rules of the road and operate their vehicle in accordance with state and federal trucking requirements. If a trucker is negligent and gets into an accident that causes a wrongful death, this individual can be held responsible.

Medical malpractice

Most doctors go above and beyond the call of duty to provide their patients with exceptional care. Unfortunately, there can be times when a healthcare professional looks past the standard of care they must provide. If a healthcare provider fails to deliver the best possible care at a given time, their patient can die, and this individual’s surviving family members may be able to sue on the grounds of medical malpractice.

Workplace accidents

In 2021, there were 4,472 preventable work deaths reported in the United States, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). A family member may work hard for a company, but their employer may be negligent. If this individual suffers a fatal work injury, you may be able to sue their employer for damages.

Accidental poisoning and overdose

A person may intake harmful substances without even realizing that they’re doing so. This can cause a wrongful death that leads to a lawsuit. Pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and even property owners can be sued due to accidental poisoning and overdosing.

Your attorney will look at all of the facts surrounding your wrongful death lawsuit. If you have a legitimate case, your lawyer will ensure that you file your claim properly. They will then work with you to build an argument that compels a judge or jury to favor you.

Kansas City wrongful death lawyers

Don’t go it alone. A Kansas City wrongful death attorney can help you move forward.

Over the past 30 years, the team at Langdon & Emison has earned close to $1 billion in settlements and verdicts. We’re here to help you with your wrongful death case in any way that we can. To learn more or request a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at (866) 931-2115.

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