At Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys, we know that losing a loved one can affect you financially and emotionally. For more than 20 years, we have advocated for families in Wichita whose loved ones have died due to someone’s negligent or intentional actions. Our lawyers understand that pursuing compensation is much more than making up for financial losses. It’s about getting justice and accountability for someone who can no longer do so themselves.

Let our wrongful death attorneys handle your case so you can focus on the important things in life. Contact our office for a free case evaluation with a Wichita wrongful death lawyer.

Common Accidents that Can Lead to a Wrongful Death Claim

Under Kansas law, wrongful death is caused by the “wrongful act or omission of another.” Various accidents and intentional acts of harm can provide grounds for a wrongful death case. Common accidents that may warrant a wrongful death claim include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Boat accidents
  • Workplace accidents

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Kansas?

In Kansas, any “heirs at law” of the victim who have suffered a loss because of their death may file a wrongful death lawsuit. An heir at law is someone who has a right of inheritance to the victim’s estate. Typically, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the victim’s surviving:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings

Any compensation awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit is for the benefit of all of the victim’s heirs who suffered a loss due to the death, regardless of whether they were plaintiffs in the lawsuit. In other words, if one party files a successful wrongful death lawsuit, all eligible parties must share any compensation they receive. However, compensation will be divided based on each heir’s losses. For example, a surviving spouse and children will typically receive more compensation than a sibling.

Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

While no money can make up for the loss of your loved one, compensation can help you cover the losses incurred due to their death. You may be entitled to compensation for economic and noneconomic losses through a successful wrongful death lawsuit.

Economic damages for a wrongful death claim cover specific financial losses such as:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses to treat your loved one’s final injury or illness
  • Lost wages that your loved one would have earned had they survived
  • The value of the household services your loved one performed

Noneconomic damages are for more subjective damages such as:

  • Mental anguish, suffering, or grief
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, or protection
  • Loss of spousal care and attention
  • Loss of parental care, training, guidance, or education

Under Kansas law, noneconomic damages are capped at $250,000. There is no cap on economic damages.

How to File a Wrongful Death Case in Kansas

To pursue a wrongful death case in Kansas, you must file a claim in civil court proving how the at-fault party’s actions directly led to your loved one’s death and what you are owed in compensation. Unfortunately, this begins a much longer process that can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you are mourning the death of a loved one and trying to wrap up their affairs. Fortunately, you don’t have to pursue your claim on your own.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer can lessen your burden by handling every aspect of your case, including:

  • Investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s death to determine who is at fault
  • Gathering evidence, including interviewing key witnesses and consulting with experts
  • Calculating the full extent of your losses due to your loved one’s death
  • Filing necessary paperwork and keeping track of important deadlines
  • Communicating with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf
  • Identifying all potential sources of compensation to help you pursue the full compensation that you deserve

A thorough investigation is essential to proving liability for wrongful death and demonstrating the losses you incurred. Once your attorney has prepared a compelling case, they can file a wrongful death claim on your behalf with the appropriate court.

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Statute of Limitations for Kansas Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In Kansas, the statute of limitations typically gives you two years from the date of wrongful death to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties. If you miss the two-year deadline, your case will likely be dismissed. You will miss your opportunity to seek compensation in civil court. This is why hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer right away is crucial to the success of your case.

Wrongful death cases may be complicated. It can take months or longer to investigate an incident, determine liability, and prepare a case for compensation. In other words, time can go by fast. You should take time to grieve. But reach out to a Wichita wrongful death attorney to begin the process of filing your case as soon as possible.