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What is wrongful death?

A wrongful death is a term used when a loved one is killed in an accident due to the negligence of another party. The death may have occurred due to outright negligence, such as in an auto accident involving a drunk driver, animal or dog attack, or a deliberate act of wrongdoing, such as in a fight that goes bad and turns into a stabbing, resulting in a death.

Families and dependents can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit when an individual knowingly or negligently causes another individual's death. Despite not being found guilty of the criminal charge, the defendant may still be found liable in a wrongful death action because the burden of proof is lower. Suffering the loss of a loved one is an extremely traumatic occurrence, leaving behind the pain and suffering of the surviving family members.

Call our Kansas City wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one due to another party's negligence, contact a Kansas City wrongful death lawyer at Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott today. Licensed in Missouri and Kansas, our firm can provide the powerful and compassionate legal help your family needs to push forward during this time.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Dial (816) 867-8611 today to get in touch with our team and discuss your wrongful death case.

Missouri Wrongful Death Cases - Who Can Sue?

Immediate family members, such as children, parents, siblings or spouses are entitled to file a wrongful death claim against a negligent party.

In Missouri wrongful death cases, the people who can sue and share in any proceeds of such cases depend on the familial relationship with the decedent. Missouri statutes spell out the types of relations who are entitled to sue in these cases.

The relations are divided into 3 classes, the closer the relation, the lower the number. If there are any members of the lowest numbered class, only those people can sue and share in the proceeds of a wrongful death case.

  • Class One: members consist of the spouse of the decedent, any natural or adoptive parents and any natural or adopted children. If there are any class one members, then only they can sue and share in the proceeds. For example, if the decedent had a child and a spouse but no parents, then only the child and spouse can sue and share in the proceeds.
  • Class Two: members consist of the brothers or sisters of the decedent, or the brothers' or sisters' descendants. If the decedent had no spouse, children or surviving parents, then the decedent's siblings would be entitled to sue and share in the proceeds.
  • Plaintiff Ad Litem: If there are no class one or two members, then a plaintiff ad litem can sue. A plaintiff ad litem is someone the court appoints to represent the interests of the decedent.

Kansas Wrongful Death Cases - Who Can Sue?

Wrongful death claims in Kansas, on the other hand, may be brought by "any one of the heirs at law of the deceased." This means that any of the following individuals may file a claim:

  • The surviving spouse
  • Any surviving children
  • The surviving parents or grandparents
  • The surviving siblings

Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim

Under Missouri wrongful death laws, a family can recover a variety of damages such as:

  • Loss of income
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Service, guidance, and support
  • Medical expenses from the last illness or injury

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims in Kansas City are subject to a legal deadline known as a "statute of limitations" which places a hard time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit in court. For this reason, it is imperative you reach out toa knowledgeable attorney early on after the loss of a loved one to guard your family's rights and avoid potentially disastrous pitfalls.

The statutes of limitations for wrongful death in Kansas City will vary depending on which state you file in:

  • In Missouri, you have three years from the date of the deceased person's death to file a claim.
  • In Kansas, you have two years from the date of the deceased person's death to file a claim.

How Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help You

Although you cannot bring back your loved one, obtaining compensation you may need for future financial needs goes far in helping to put your life back together and move on. At Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott, our Kansas City wrongful death attorney can compassionately assist you during this trying time with capable legal and court room skills to obtain the maximum compensation possible for your circumstances.

Your loved one may have had medical expenses incurred prior to their death. Our firm will pursue all possible compensation for you and your family, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost future income and recovery for your pain and suffering. When facing this sad situation, turn to Attorney Meyerkord for a caring and dedicated attorney who will work hard on your behalf.

Find out what your legal options are when you are faced with the loss of a loved one. Contact Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott or call us today at (816) 867-8611!

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