What is a Wrongful Death Action and Who Can Bring One in Kansas?

Wrongful death suits in Kansas are defined in K.S.A. 60­1901. The law provides that any of the heirs of the decedent may bring an action for wrongful death. Distribution of recoveries is specified in the article so that should one heir recover in this type of action, all heirs suffering damages will be entitled to recover in varying portions. Damages shall be awarded only to heirs or family members and no other parties. Recoveries outside of pecuniary loss are limited to $250,000.

Act Or Omission

Wrongful death is defined as death caused by the “wrongful act or omission” of another. An act might include simple negligence or even malicious intent to bring about death or bodily harm, negligence by disregarding a significant risk placing the decedent in danger, or recklessness.

Lack of action can bring about a wrongful death claim. The existence of special relationships between the decedent and defendant establish specific obligations, known in the law as duties. Drivers or trucks and cars have duties. People who undertake such professions such as accountants, lawyers and doctors have duties, Ambulance paramedics or school bus drivers take on clearly specified duties along with the job title, and enter into these relationships with any and all who fall under their professional care. The failure to execute a duty is recognized as an affirmative offense and brings about fault or liability. Failure to enact either duty can give rise to a wrongful death action.

It is important to understand that the act or omission to act causing death must be wrongful. Only with the existence of certain relationships recognized by law do actionable duties exist. Nursing homes, hospitals, truckers al have duties to do their jobs right. Similarly, intentional acts causing death must be wrongful. If a loved one has passed under circumstance you believe are linked to the wrongful act or failure to act by another, time is of the essence. Under most circumstances, the statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death action in Kansas is two years after the date of death, after which, a defendant can dismiss a claim. Children may have longer time periods to bring claim. Time of discovery is important as well.

Contact Our Office For Help

Contact the office of Neustrom & Associates for a free initial consultation and learn your rights and possibilities for recovery. If you believe your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, don’t hesitate to contact our firm immediately. You can contact our offices in Salina by calling 785-825-1505.