A loved one’s untimely passing does more than disrupt your day-to-day life. When you can trace a loved one’s death to avoidable negligence, it’s natural to find yourself contending with an onslaught of grief and anger. Kansas City wrongful death lawyers want to give you the space to contend with that grief while advocating for your right to damages in the wake of a loved one’s unwarranted passing.
The compensation you can receive from a civil case pursued on a loved one’s behalf won’t bring that person back to you. Your lawsuit, however, will allow you to hold the party responsible for your loved one’s passing accountable for their misconduct. The Brown & Crouppen team can help you maximize your financial award by teasing out the narrative of negligence that prematurely ended your loved one’s life.
Brown & Crouppen’s Kansas City trial attorneys have won over $1 billion on behalf of clients and grieving families like you. We understand the weight of your grief and want to give you the tools to address it in court. With that in mind, your first consultation with our team is free. Contact our law office in Kansas City to learn how we can help.
When should you contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Brown & Crouppen?
You should have the time, opportunity, and space to process your emotions and grieve such an unimaginable loss. That can be tough to do if you’re also fighting an insurance company, hospital, or corporation for compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Fortunately, you are not alone. Our Kansas City personal injury lawyers are ready to take on your case and give you the edge you need for a meaningful financial victory.
When you turn to our compassionate legal team for help after a fatal accident in Kansas City, you can focus on moving forward while knowing that your case is in good hands.
- Answer your questions, explain your legal options, and keep you updated on the status of your claim throughout the process
- Coordinate an in-depth investigation into the accident or incident that led to your family member’s death
- Gather evidence that can be used to build and support a strong claim for compensation
- Analyze your case with the input of experts and specialists
- Defend your family member against claims that they caused or share responsibility for their fatal accident
- Aggressively negotiate with the insurance company and at-fault parties so that you’re awarded a settlement that accurately reflects what your wrongful death case is worth
- Prepare and file a lawsuit with a court in Jackson County, Missouri
When we take your case, we’re invested in your recovery, your future, and your family. Our wrongful death attorneys will do everything in our power to make a difference.
Our award-winning wrongful death lawyers work on contingency, so there’s no cost to hire our law firm unless we win your wrongful death case. Contact our understanding and compassionate legal team to learn more. We’re always standing by to take your call, listen to your story, and schedule a free consultation.
What is wrongful death in Kansas City, Missouri?
In Missouri, wrongful death is defined as when “the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance” that would have given the victim the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim if they survived.
Put more simply, wrongful death is an avoidable death caused by another person’s negligence, intentional actions, or criminal act.
Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death can arise after any traumatic accident or incident, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Bus accidents
- Accidents involving defective products
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Catastrophic injuries that result in death, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and severe burns
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Sexual assault
In wrongful death cases, the right to assert a legal claim shifts to surviving family members or beneficiaries of the decedent.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri?
Not everyone can pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim in Missouri.
Under state law, the following family members are given priority:
- Surviving spouse
A sibling may initiate a legal claim if the victim doesn’t have a surviving spouse, child, or grandchild. If there’s no sibling, then the personal representative of the victim’s estate can step in and seek damages, which will ultimately be distributed to surviving beneficiaries.
The personal representative will be the individual named in the victim’s will or appointed by the court if there is no will. You can discuss whether you qualify for wrongful death action and how to initiate that action with an experienced wrongful death attorney.
How do you prove wrongful death in Missouri?
To prove wrongful death in Missouri, your legal counsel must demonstrate four elements.
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty (negligence)
- Losses (damages)
In other words, your attorney must prove that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care and violated that duty through their negligent actions (or inactions). In addition, your lawyer must show that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the death of your loved one and that you have suffered financial losses as a result of their death.
What damages can be awarded in a Missouri wrongful death case?
In a wrongful death action, there are limits to the compensatory damages that can be sought and awarded to surviving family members and the victim’s estate. You may have the right to economic and non-economic damages. Your attorney will estimate your damages and pursue the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled.
If your loved one’s death resulted from an intentionally harmful act or the defendant displayed a deliberate and flagrant disregard for their safety, a jury might decide that punitive damages are also appropriate. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and are not included in case valuation.
Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The economic damages you can request in the wake of a loved one’s wrongful passing include the following:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Funeral expenses
- Lost income and work-related benefits your family member would have earned if they had survived
- Reasonable cost of household services and support to replace those that your loved one provided
Your attorney will need access to related invoices, bills, and other expense reports, so be diligent about keeping track of these.If the deceased was not employed full-time and at least 50 percent responsible for caring for a child or disabled family member, the value of their caretaking services is calculated at 110 percent of the average weekly wage.
Non-Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Non-economic damages are the subjective, non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering. The untimely loss of a loved one due to negligence may entitle you to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering your loved one experienced
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of comfort
- Loss of instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support
- PTSD and related mental health conditions
- Mental anguish
The methods used to calculate non-economic damages are imperfect at best, so the knowledge and experience of a discerning legal professional become even more valuable. One of our Kansas City wrongful death attorneys will discuss the value of your case with you during your free consultation.
Is there a limit on compensation in Missouri wrongful death cases?
There is no limit on compensation in wrongful death cases in Missouri, except in cases involving medical malpractice. If an act of medical negligence caused your family member’s death, the non-economic damages in your case would be subject to a statutory cap.
When the statutory cause of action was created in 2015, Missouri law stated that “no plaintiff shall recover more than seven hundred thousand dollars for noneconomic damages irrespective of the number of defendants.” This cap provided for a 1.7 percent increase every year, with the limit to be published each January in the Missouri Register. The 2023 cap is $801,061.
What if my family member is blamed for their fatal accident in Kansas City, Missouri?
Sharing fault for an accident directly impacts related personal injury claims. Missouri has a pure comparative fault system, which provides that damages are reduced in direct proportion to the degree of fault.
Let’s say your family member is assigned 15 percent responsibility for a fatal motor vehicle accident. If the wrongful death action is valued at $100,000 — and once their shared fault is considered — your maximum financial award will equal $85,000.
Our award-winning wrongful death lawyers will be there to fight for your loved one at every turn. We’ll work hard to discount allegations of fault and minimize the liability — if any — assigned to them.
How much is my Kansas City wrongful death case worth?
Missouri has no standard value or settlement amount for wrongful death cases. Instead, the specific circumstances of your case will dictate how much money you might be able to recover.
Important considerations include:
- Whether your family member survived their fatal injuries for any period after their accident
- Out-of-pocket costs related to their accident and resulting trauma
- Their age and earning capacity prior to death
- The services and support they provided in the household
- Whether they were primarily responsible for taking care of the family
- Whether they were killed because of an act of medical negligence
It will be important to work with a personal injury attorney in Kansas City who has extensive experience overseeing wrongful death cases like yours.
At Brown & Crouppen, we’ve won millions on behalf of devastated families, including million-dollar and six-figure settlements. We can enlist the help of experts and specialists who can help us account for all financial losses and fully appreciate how your non-economic damages should be calculated. This will allow our best wrongful death lawyers to secure a more meaningful financial award for you and your family during this incredibly challenging time.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal accident in Kansas City, Missouri?
In Missouri, a three-year time limit applies to most wrongful death cases. This will give you until the third anniversary of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Note that time begins to run on the date of death, which might not necessarily be the same as the date of the accident that ultimately took their life.
You lose the right to pursue compensation once the statute of limitations expires, so it is important to reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys in Kansas City as soon as possible after your devastating loss.
Discuss Your Case With Our Compassionate Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, or child in a fatal accident in Kansas City, call Brown & Crouppen. Our Kansas City wrongful death attorneys can offer the guidance and legal support you need during this trying time.
You can receive help from our decades of award-winning experience while you take the much-needed opportunity to focus on grieving your unimaginable loss.
Contact our Kansas City, Missouri, law office to speak with a legal team member and schedule your free case evaluation today.