Wrongful Death Injury Lawyers in Topeka
If you have lost a loved one in an accident in Topeka due to the negligent, reckless or intentional actions of another party, you may have a strong case for a wrongful death claim.
At this confronting time for you and the family, it may help to discuss your options for recompense with an experienced wrongful death lawyer, who can provide advice on your legal standing.
Wrongful death claims are often complex. There is generally a high burden of proof on the plaintiff and an adversarial approach from the at-fault party’s insurance companies to contend with. Most families understandably would not attempt this on their own.
At Irigonegaray, Turney, & Revenaugh LLP, our lawyers have a strong track record in such cases and can assist you in seeking compensation for your losses.
What is a wrongful death claim?
Kansas Statutes section 60-1901 states that wrongful death is a legal action that can be brought if a fatal accident occurred as a result of “the wrongful act or omission of another”.
There are actually two separate types of claims that can be filed together in the same lawsuit: survival claims and wrongful death claims.
Survival claims belong to the estate of the deceased person. They cover damages for the person’s conscious pain and suffering, medical bills, and other expenses.
Wrongful death claims
Wrongful death claims are usually for the “heirs at law” of the deceased person (generally the surviving family members).
Under these claims, eligible family members can make a claim for damages for the losses they have incurred due to their loved one’s death, based on their relationship with the deceased.
These may include the loss of:
- Financial support
- Parental care, guidance or education
- Marital care
- Society, comfort or protection
- Filial affection
- Out-of-pocket medical and funeral expenses
- Mental anguish
- Household services
- Funeral and final expenses
When can you file a wrongful death injury claim?
A wrongful death claim is usually made by the family or personal representative of someone who has passed in a preventable accident due to the negligent, reckless or intentional actions of another individual (or individuals).
After consultation with a lawyer, the immediate surviving family members may believe they have enough evidence to prove fault and decide to file a claim.
Examples of accidents that can cause wrongful death:
Many types of accidents can cause wrongful death. In Topeka, the most common examples are:
- Truck, car, motorcycle, or bus accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
Eligibility for a wrongful death claim in Kansas
There are legal guidelines that detail which surviving family members of a deceased person are entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Kansas.
In general, this is limited to the legal heirs, including:
- A surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving siblings
- Surviving grandparents
In Kansas, if there are multiple heirs who gain from a court judgment or a settlement through the insurance company of the at-fault party, these heirs will need to attend an apportionment meeting that determines the proportion of the damages assigned to each heir.
What is the discovery rule and time limitation period in Kansas?
In most wrongful death cases in Kansas, the “statute of limitations” states that you must make a claim within a certain period from the date of death.
This is two years according to Kansas law and it applies to car accidents.
In virtually all cases, your rights to file a suit are permanently waived once the time limitation has passed. That means you will not be able to recover damages.
However, there are some examples where a potential wrongful death claimant does not immediately discover a link between an at-fault party and a loved one’s death.
A good example of this is in the case of a particular substance that is found to be toxic or harmful well after the death of a loved one.
In these cases, Kansas law includes the “discovery rule”.
The discovery rule regarding wrongful death
The discovery rule is a provision whereby the time limitation on making a claim begins when the claimant first discovers, or should reasonably have discovered, the connection to a loved one’s death.
This is often applied in the case of a death from a harmful substance. This is sometimes found to be toxic only years after a person’s death from exposure to it.
If you suspect you may have a wrongful death case, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at ITR Law to discuss the details and to understand your legal options as soon as possible.
Your attorney will be familiar with the time limitations for your specific case and be able to advise you accordingly.
Remember – we only get paid if we win your case!
With a wrongful death claim, our attorneys will work with you to secure what is rightfully yours due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct of others.
We will build a strong argument aimed at settling out of court with the insurance company. Litigation is only used if absolutely necessary.
The lawyers at ITR Law work on a contingency basis: that means we only get paid if we win your case.
First, we listen.
Pedro Irigonegaray is one of the most experienced, knowledgeable, professional and compassionate attorneys I have ever known. When you need legal advice or someone to fight for you, get the best. Talk to Mr. Irgonegaray.
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I have known Pedro for many years. A true gentleman, capable and ethical attorney. Glad to see the firm expand with more talented and ethical attorneys. A real asset to the Topeka legal community.
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We only get paid if we win your case
With personal injury cases, we work entirely on a contingency basis. That means we only get paid if we win your case.
We will deduct a pre-agreed percentage from the compensation that you are awarded. This is always made clear and agreed upon before we take on your case.
Our goal is to make our services accessible and affordable for anyone involved in an accident, regardless of their financial situation.