Obtain Justice for Your Loved One’s Wrongful Death
It can be painful to come to terms with the unexpected death of a loved one, especially if they died due to the negligence of another person or entity.
Call us if you’ve lost a loved one to another party’s negligence. Our Kansas City, MO, wrongful death attorney can help you pursue compensation so you can grieve without suffering the consequences of not taking immediate action. Let us help you!
Why do I need a Wrongful Death Attorney in Kansas City, MO?
Ashley Ricket has years of experience with cases involving the negligence of corporations, hospitals, and nursing homes and other healthcare companies which results in the unexpected death of children, adults, and elderly persons.
Here are more reasons why you should hire our Kansas City, MO, wrongful death lawyers:
- Experience makes the difference: Familiarity with state and federal laws can speed up the progress of your case. Time is of utmost importance since the longer a case goes on, the later you will receive your financial compensation.
- Policy change is the goal: We want to prevent more wrongful death cases. To put the entities at fault to justice, they often implement long-term policies that prevent such tragedies from happening again.
- Multiple awards and recognitions: Ashley was chosen in 2012 to receive the Rising Star Award at the Women’s Justice Awards. She was selected for this award by Missouri judges and her peers. Ashley was on the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 40 Under 40 list from 2012 to 2020 and was honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as one of Missouri’s “Up & Coming” attorneys in 2012. Ashley was also recognized as one of Kansas City Business Journal’s Best of the Bar from 2013 to 2016. She has also been designated as a Super Lawyer from 2015 through 2023. In 2019, Ashley was awarded the Legal Champion award by Missouri Lawyers Media. Additionally, Ashley was selected to receive Missouri Lawyers Media’s Litigation Practitioner award in 2023.
Our law firm has helped many grieving families whose loved ones have suffered due to the negligence of others. We’ll ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and get justice for your loved one’s death. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.
What is Wrongful Death?
What are the Different types of Wrongful Death Cases?
Many different accidents can lead to death. Here is a list of common situations that lead to wrongful death:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Premises Liability Accidents
This is not an exhaustive list of the possible causes. If you want to know if you can file a wrongful death claim, don’t hesistate to ask our experienced Kansas City wrongful death attorney.
What's the Difference Between a Criminal Homicide Case and a Wrongful Death Claim?
The legal process for punishing these criminal actions is different from the process to get money for the harm caused. This means that even if the person accused of the crime is declared not guilty, you might still be able to get money to make up for the wrongful death.
A person can face criminal charges for homicide and be sued for wrongful death at the same time. However, these two are not the same. Wrongful death lawsuits fall under the area of personal injury. This means that the merits of the case and the basis of the defendant’s liability is financial compensation, often called “damages.” On the other hand, a conviction in a criminal homicide case involves penalties including a loss of liberty, such as probation, fines, imprisonment, or jail time, among others.
One other crucial difference is the legal standard to prove the case. It is more difficult to establish guilt in a criminal case than to claim compensation from a civil case. A civil lawsuit only requires that the defendant is proven liable “by a preponderance of the evidence.” In non-legalese terms, establishing a wrongful death case means you only have to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant caused the death. However, for a criminal case, the government must establish the guilt of the accused “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a high standard for the prosecution to meet, making it more difficult.
If you want to bring justice for the sake of your deceased loved one, call or message us. We can help you recover compensation and push for changes that prevent other unfortunate events. Contact Ricket Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with our skilled wrongful death attorney.
How Do I Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Kansas City, MO?
If you want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, consider these four elements you need to win your case. These four are:
Duty of Care
You need to prove that the other party should keep your loved one safe or not cause them harm.
Mr. X placed his mother, Mrs. Y, in a nursing home. The nursing home and the staff are required to care for Ms. Y properly.
Breach of Duty
Once you’ve established a duty of care, you must show that the defendant’s actions breached or violated the duty they owed your loved one.
The nursing home was severely understaffed, meaning there were nights when no one checked in on Mrs. Y, who was bedridden. In this case, the nursing home may have breached its duty.
The next thing you should prove is that the breach of duty caused harm to the decedent.
Mrs. Y was neglected for weeks while bedridden, causing painful sores and leading to an excruciating death. If you can show the relation between the two in court, that would be enough to prove causation.
Finally, you need to have enough evidence to show the events that unfolded caused damage.
In our hypothetical example, Mr. X showed that Mrs. Y’s pressure sores caused her death and resulted in pain and suffering and her death also resulted in damages to her family. Common examples of non-economic damages are mental anguish, bereavement, loss of companionship, care support and guidance, etc. Economic damages include ….. The allowable damages are different in each state. Please call our office and we can request all necessary records to evaluate your case and your potential damages. Wrongful death damages in Missouri include the pecuniary damages for any bills or other items that can be established through bills and with expert testimony. In addition, damages for wrongful death include the pain and suffering of the decedent, and the family’s loss of services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support due to the loss. In Kansas, wrongful death damages also include grief and bereavement of the family.
It’s essential to prove these elements to win your wrongful death lawsuit. Suppose the court is unconvinced that the defendant has an obligation to your loved one, that they did not fulfill their duty, that their actions caused harm to your relative, or that the incident harmed you. In that case, you may not be able to get compensation. This is why hiring our skilled Kansas City wrongful death attorneys from Ricket Law Firm is essential. Call today to discuss your case!
Who Can File Wrongful Death Action in KCMO?
Missouri law specifies three classes of people who can bring a wrongful death action to the court. The first class includes the decedent’s surviving spouse, their children, or the descendants of those children if the deceased’s children are dead.
If no one from the first class is alive, people categorized under the second class may file for wrongful death. People in this class include their surviving siblings or the descendants of those siblings. If there is no one from the second class who can file a wrongful death action, then the court appoints a plaintiff ad litem. The plaintiff ad litem is a court-appointed person who handles the case for an interested person who can benefit from such action.
If you’re unsure if you can file wrongful death, it’s best to ask our experienced Kansas City, MO, wrongful death attorney. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case!
Who May Be Sued for a Wrongful Death?
Lawsuits for wrongful death may be filed against various people, businesses, organizations, authorities, and employees. In the case of an automobile accident involving a drunk driver, a badly-built road, and a faulty vehicle, for instance, a wrongful death claim might name the following defendants:
- The driver
- The people who sold or gave alcohol to the driver
- The property owner of the place that served the alcohol
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or the parts that were used
- The builder of the road
- The government employee who did not provide a warning of the accident
Take note that you cannot sue all people for wrongful death. Some laws provide immunity to certain people and agencies. For instance, recent federal statutes grant defendants in train incidents and some product liability lawsuits involving medical devices protection from wrongful death claims.
It is possible to claim compensation from many people for a wrongful death case. It can be too complicated to handle at times. Hence, you need to hire our experienced wrongful death attorney from Kansas City, MO. Call our law office today to schedule a consultation.
What Compensation Can The Family of a Wrongful Death in KCMO Receive?
You can be awarded compensatory damages if you’ve successfully proven your wrongful death claim. Wrongful death damages are a combination of the calculable economic damages and the more subjective noneconomic damages.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in wrongful death situations.
Juries typically give punitive damages to penalize defendants for more severe types of wrongdoing, such as driving under the influence.
Some examples of economic damages include:
- Loss of future income and inheritance
- Medical bills before your loved one passed away
- Funeral expenses
Noneconomic damages may cover:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of guidance
- Pain and suffering
Most wrongful death claims do not have a limitation on damages under Missouri Law. One exception involves claims for medical malpractice, which have a cap of $350,000.
The loss of a loved one can be painful. While money certainly can’t replace a person, recovering compensation for their loss will make things easier for you. Contact our wrongful death attorney in Kansas City, MO, to discuss your case.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Missouri?
You must file a wrongful death case no more than two years from the date of death. However, there is an exception that involves the “discovery rule.”
According to the discovery rule, the statute of limitations starts when you learn the true cause of a person’s death. When the cause of death is not immediately apparent but becomes clear after further examination, the discovery rule is applicable.
The longer you wait, the less your window is to recover compensation. Reach out to our esteemed wrongful death attorney in our Kansas City law firm today.