Kansas Wrongful Death Attorney
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
The death of a loved one is always a tragic and traumatic experience. This is especially true when your loved one dies due to the careless, reckless, or wrongful conduct of another. You and your family deserve justice, but how can you make sure the liable party is held accountable?
At Bretz Injury Law, we understand the challenges you are facing. We know that nothing can undo the devastating loss you have endured, but we have also seen firsthand how a successful wrongful death lawsuit can bring peace to surviving loved ones and family members. By seeking financial recovery, you can obtain the resources you need to cover unexpected expenses, allowing you to heal.
Our dedicated lawyers can help you every step of the way. With offices located in Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal and Hays, we have extensive experience handling complex personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the state. We understand the laws governing wrongful death in Kansas, we know what evidence matters in your case, and we are prepared to do the work that needs to be done to obtain justice for you and your family.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe a death caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior. When this occurs, the person or party responsible for the wrongful death can be held legally responsible.
These cases are separate from criminal proceedings that may or may not occur after someone is killed. Regardless of whether the death was intentional or accidental, the surviving family members of someone wrongfully killed can seek financial recovery for their economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses associated with the deceased’s final treatment and care, lost income, funeral or burial expenses, and loss of support, services, companionship, and love.
Wrongful death cases can be very difficult to win. Often, the at-fault party (known as the defendant) denies doing anything wrong. Instead, they often claim they did everything they could to prevent someone else’s death—or that they had nothing at all to do with the fatal accident. Because of this, it is important to consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible if a family member has died and you believe someone was responsible for their death. Otherwise, you might not be aware of all the legal options available to you.
How Does Wrongful Death Occur?
Wrongful death cases can arise from any accidental or intentional situation in which one person dies due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person or party.
Some of the most common wrongful death cases we handle at our law firm involve:
- Car and Other Motor Vehicle Accidents: Fatal car accidents caused by another driver can be very complex legal cases. Our highly skilled attorneys have years of experience handling such claims and can work with your family to build the strongest possible wrongful death car accident claim. If necessary, we can even file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf in response to your fatal car accident.
- Workplace Accidents: Fatal workplace accidents can be the result of negligence or other factors at work. In some cases, surviving family members may be entitled to death benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system; in other instances, they may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a liable employer or another party.
- Defective Products: Product designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are reasonably safe. When defective products make it into the hands of ordinary consumers, it can lead to devastating accidents and fatal injuries. Our attorneys can represent you and your family if your loved one was killed by a defective or faulty product.
- Property-Related Accidents: Kansas property owners are required to conduct regular maintenance and promptly remove, repair, or warn others of dangerous conditions and hazards that exist on their properties. When they fail to do this, it can lead to serious accidents, such as slip and falls, falls from heights, structure collapses, animal attacks, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and more. Sadly, these incidents are often fatal.
- Medical Malpractice and Negligence: Doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals are held to very high standards. This is because any mistake they make could result in the death of a patient. If this occurs, the victim’s surviving family members could be entitled to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the liable medical professional or facility.
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Nursing home wrongful death cases often occur due to negligence by caregivers and nursing home staff. Nursing homes need to make sure the conditions are sanitary and healthy. Otherwise, long-term nursing home residents can die. If you believe your elderly loved one’s death was the result of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact our office right away to speak to an experienced attorney about your legal rights and options.
- Infant Death: Hospitals, daycare facilities, and other facilities responsible for caring for infants or young children have a responsibility to provide proper care. This is especially true when it comes to newborn children. Birth injuries can often be fatal and are often due to mistakes made by medical professionals before, during, or after a child’s birth.
If you believe your loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s careless, reckless, negligent, wrongful, or intentional conduct, contact Bretz Injury Law right away. Our attorneys are ready to help you and your family seek the justice you are owed, all while providing the caring and supportive legal counsel you deserve.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kansas?
Kansas law permits certain surviving individuals to bring wrongful death claims after the loss of a loved one. Specifically, any “heir at law” may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
Most often, this involves the deceased’s surviving:
Notably, damages are awarded to the benefit of all eligible heirs of the deceased in Kansas, regardless of whether they participated in the claim or lawsuit.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
If someone else caused your loved one’s death, your family should be financially compensated for the various expenses and loss of income you have suffered due to their death. This includes all future losses as well.
In Kansas, eligible surviving family members and dependents may be able to recover for the following damages:
- Medical bills associated with the deceased’s final treatment
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Lost income, wages, and other employment benefits
- The value of services and support provided by the deceased
- Mental anguish, suffering, and bereavement
- Loss of companionship, counsel, guidance, love, and support
Each wrongful death case is different; it is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. We can discuss your case with you and provide an estimate on what we think your wrongful death claim could potentially be worth.
Should I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The decision of whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit after your loved one’s death can be a very difficult one. At Bretz Injury Law, our attorneys can help you determine if you have a valid case and, if so, what the best course of action may be in your unique situation.
One thing to consider is the timing of your lawsuit. In Kansas, you only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, the deadline (known as the statute of limitations) is two years from the date of the death. Although there are some exceptions—some of which actually reduce the amount of time you have to file—in most cases, if you fail to bring a lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death, you will lose your opportunity to take legal action.
Two years might seem like a long time, but the reality is that the sooner you take legal action, the better. As time goes by, evidence can be harder to obtain, memories can fade, and witnesses could move away. Without such evidence, your case might not be as strong.
Contact Bretz Injury Law Today for the Compassionate Representation You Need
If your loved one died in an accident or passed away after suffering a serious injury or medical condition caused by another person, company, or entity, we at Bretz Injury Law extend our deepest and most sincere condolences. We understand that you are going through one of the most challenging times in your life, and we want to help you seek justice.
Our lawyers are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide the guidance you need to heal. We are aggressive when it comes to representing our clients’ rights and are ready to do everything possible to achieve the best possible outcome, even if that means going to trial.