A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies because of another person's negligence or wrongdoing.  Automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other personal injury accidents can result in a wrongful death claim.  The laws regarding wrongful death claims in Missouri and Kansas are similar, but there are a few key differences. One difference is how wrongful death settlements are divided in the two states.

If a loved one has passed away and you have a question about a wrongful death claim, call our office today at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation.  Our experienced wrongful death attorneys handle these types of cases throughout Missouri and Kansas. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kansas and Missouri?

wrongful death claim in kansas and missouriIn Missouri, the surviving spouse, children, parents and grandchildren can file a wrongful death claim. They are considered in the first class of people who can file a claim.  The deceased person's parents are also considered to be in the first class of people who can file a claim.  When a minor child dies, the parents file the claim.

The second category of individuals who can file a wrongful death claim is the deceased person's siblings. They can file a claim if there are no surviving relatives in the first category.  If there are no surviving siblings, any siblings' descendants have the right to file the claim.  If there are no individuals in the second class, the person's personal representative may file the wrongful death claim, or the court may appoint someone to file the claim.

In Kansas, the rules are slightly different.  Any heir at law who sustained a loss because of their family member's death can file a wrongful death claim.  An heir at law is someone who can inherit from the person's probate estate.

In both states, a person with a right to file a claim for wrongful death can share in the proceeds of a lawsuit, regardless of whether they joined in the lawsuit.

Proceeds Split Between Heirs in Wrongful Death Lawsuits in MO & KS

The rules are slightly different between Missouri and Kansas regarding the distribution of funds from a wrongful death claim.

In Missouri wrongful death claims, the proceeds are paid to the class that filed the claim. Regardless of whether they participated in the lawsuit, the individuals included in the class agree on how to divide the proceeds among the individuals in the class.  If the parties cannot agree among themselves how to divide the proceeds, the court decides after hearing evidence from the concerned parties.

The rules for distributing the proceeds of a wrongful death claim in Kansas are different.  First, the decedent's estate is reimbursed for any costs that it incurred in bringing a wrongful death claim.  The remaining proceeds are distributed to the heirs at law.  The amount of the proceeds each heir receives is based on the loss sustained by that heir.

If an heir did not participate in the wrongful death claim, the heir could still receive compensation based on the heir's loss. The heir may also sign a waiver of their portion of the recovery.

The court generally holds a hearing to determine how the proceeds of the wrongful death claim are divided.  Generally, a surviving spouse or child is assumed to have suffered a more significant loss than a distant relative, so they receive more compensation than the distant relative.

When to Hire Our Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death claims are complicated personal injury cases. The rules for filing claims and distributing proceeds can be difficult to understand. Family members may argue about their rights to file a claim or their position of the proceeds.  Hiring our experienced Kansas City wrongful death lawyer to handle the matter is beneficial.  Our attorney will act as a calm, impartial person to mediate a disagreement between the parties by explaining the wrongful death laws in their state.

Our attorney understands the legal requirements for proving a wrongful death claim.  Our attorney gathers evidence to support each legal requirement to build a case for fault and liability.  When the proceeds are received, our attorney will assist family members in ensuring the proceeds are divided according to the law.

Contact Our Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Wrongful death cases can be stressful for family members.  Death of a loved one is difficult in any situation.  When the death was preventable, it can cause additional grief for family members.  Hiring our attorney to take care of the case allows family members to focus on moving forward and taking care of their needs.

If you have questions about wrongful death claims in Missouri or Kansas, call our office today at 816-203-0143 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.  We're here for you, and on your side.



Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury and disability lawyer in Kansas City, MO, and Overland Park, KS
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