After a wrongful death in Kansas or Missouri, it’s challenging to understand if you’re able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one. Depending on your relationship with the deceased and the state you reside in, there are only certain people who have the legal authority to sue on behalf of the decedent and to recover damages.
Seeking the counsel of an experienced Kansas City wrongful death lawyer helps clarify if you’re eligible to file a claim on behalf of your loved one, and ensures all your rights are protected during the legal process.
The Importance of Standing to Sue
Standing to sue refers to the legal right of an individual or organization to file a lawsuit in response to a wrongful death accident. Having standing is important because it assures that people affected by such accidents have access to justice and can recover any damages they may be entitled to under the law.
In wrongful death cases, the party with standing to bring the lawsuit isn’t necessarily the same as who can recover damages. Depending on the state, only certain people may have standing or legal authority to sue on behalf of the deceased, while certain family members may be eligible to receive damages.
Wrongful Death Standing to Sue in Kansas
Under Kansas law, wrongful death claims can be brought by a personal representative of the deceased person's estate who has experienced loss due to their passing. Often referred to as heirs at law, the following individuals may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Children of the deceased
- Parents or grandparents
- Siblings of the deceased
In order to bring such a claim, the heirs at law, with the help of a wrongful death lawyer, must establish that their loved one died as the result of another person’s negligence or intentional actions. They also need to prove damages—such as medical costs and lost wages—that resulted from the wrongful death. Under Kansas law, any heirs of the deceased’s estate may be able to receive compensation, even if they’re not part of the lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Standing to Sue in Missouri
In Missouri, wrongful death claims can be brought by a surviving family member of the deceased person, which may include:
- Surviving spouse
- Children of the deceased person
If the decedent’s children are no longer alive, their children may file the claim. If there aren’t any individuals in any category, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a lawsuit. If that’s not an option, the court will appoint an individual known as the plaintiff ad litem to proceed with the claim.
In order for a Missouri wrongful death claim to succeed, the party filing the lawsuit must prove that death was caused by another person or entity’s negligence or intentional actions, such as a car accident, medical malpractice, or product liability. They also must show that the deceased suffered damages—such as medical costs and lost wages—resulting from the wrongful death.
When to Contact a Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you were affected by the wrongful death of a loved one in Kansas City, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A knowledgeable Kansas City wrongful death lawyer can help determine who has standing to bring a claim and what damages are available under the law. They can also provide invaluable guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring your rights and interests are protected.
The skilled Kansas City wrongful death lawyer at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet is dedicated to helping families seek justice after a wrongful death accident. We can assist with:
- Investigating the circumstances of the incident
- Identifying potential defendants
- Calculating the total value of all damages that are recoverable
- Filing necessary paperwork and documents
- Handling settlement negotiations or taking your case to court
- Obtaining a judgment or settlement that reflects the actual value of your claim
- Appealing an unfavorable ruling, if needed
We understand the emotional and financial strain a wrongful death accident can cause, and we’re here to help you through this difficult time.
Has Your Loved One Died Due to the Negligence of Others in Kansas City, Missouri?
If your loved one died due to the negligence of others you should speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.