Thousands of lives are affected each year by accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians.  Severe injuries typically result when a car hits a person while walking near a street, highway, or other roadway. Injuries from pedestrian crashes can be fatal. 

If your family member died due to a pedestrian accident in Missouri or Kansas, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim and seek compensation for your loss. However, the legal process in Missouri and Kansas for making a wrongful death claim is complicated. Both Missouri and Kansas law require a court to approve any settlement, and there are special rules that apply. 

To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need wrongful death attorney who is experienced in pedestrian crashes.  Our attorneys are ready to listen and guide you and your family through the legal process.  We offer free consultations and a strategy to move forward.  Call us today at 816-203-0143.  We’re on your side.

What to Do After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Kansas & Missouri

It a pedestrian dies due to the negligence of another, both Kansas and Missouri law allow certain members the victim’s family to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.  Recovering financial compensation for the damages suffered cannot undo the loss, but it can provide closure and help a family move forward. 

Certain surviving family members may initiate the claim. This is often the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, or individual handling their estate.  Filing a wrongful death claim in both Kansas and Missouri involves the same first steps.

  1. Collect all relevant evidence.  This includes police reports of the accident, testimonies from eyewitnesses, medical records detailing the cause of death, and any proof of the driver's negligent behavior, such as dashcam footage or mobile phone records. 
  2. Identify all potential negligent parties and insurance. The next step is to identify with all parties who contributed to the fatality and their insurance companies. This is a critical step because if you fail to identify all parties and insurance, you will miss out on potential sources for recovery. 
  3. Submit a demand with all supporting evidence. Once all parties and insurance have been identified, you should present them with a demand for compensation. This should reference all applicable coverages and include evidence both about how their insured was negligent and what damages were sustained.
  4. File a lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached, you should consider initiating a lawsuit. Wrongful death cases are complicated, and having good legal representation is important. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in handling the pedestrian wrongful death cases. 
  5. Get court approval.  Any settlement involving a wrongful death claim in Missouri and Kansas must be approved by a court. This requires the filing of a lawsuit, and at a minimum, the court will require an evidentiary hearing to approve the settlement before distributing funds.

Deadline to File Wrongful Death Claims After Pedestrian Accidents in MO & KS

clipboard wrongful death book stethoscopeA wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is an important deadline to follow.  After this deadline passes, you lose the right to recover compensation and will not be able to successfully present a claim in court.   

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is generally three years from the date of death, rather than the date of the accident.  There are certain circumstances and exceptions may affect this time limit, which our attorney will advise you of.

For Kansas families, the law is slightly different. In the state of Kansas, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years from the date of the death. Again, there may be exceptions or unique circumstances that could potentially influence this time frame. 

Our attorneys are well-versed with Kansas and Missouri laws, and will help determine if your case falls under any of the exceptions.

Who’s At Fault for the Pedestrian Death?

Determining who is at-fault for a pedestrian fatality depends on how the collision happened.  Some of the main causes include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Defective auto parts
  • Poorly maintained roads
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield

The at-fault party in a pedestrian accident is often the driver of the vehicle that hit the pedestrian.  However, in some cases, it may be another party, such as the municipality responsible for maintaining the roads or ensuring that stop signals are functioning properly.

Damages in a Fatal Pedestrian Accident Case in KS or MO

The types of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death case typically come in two forms: economic and non-economic damages. 

  • Economic damages cover the quantifiable financial contributions the deceased would have provided if they hadn't been fatally injured.  These can include lost wages, loss of potential future earnings, funeral, and burial costs.
  • Non-economic damages are less tangible but are significant nonetheless.  They address the mental anguish, pain, and suffering that family members experience due to the unexpected loss.

Calculating these damages requires a methodical approach and professional expertise.  We meticulously calculate economic damages by considering factors such as the deceased's age, health, life expectancy, earning capacity, and more.  Likewise, non-economic damages are assessed based on the psychological impact on loved ones, often requiring expert testimonies. 

Punitive Damages 

In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.  These damages aren't meant to compensate for any loss, rather, their sole purpose is to punish the responsible party for their recklessness or grossly negligent actions.  Bear in mind these types of damages are the exception rather than the norm, and are generally only awarded in cases of extreme negligence or malicious intent. 

Our experienced pedestrian wrongful death attorneys will assist in accurately calculating potential compensation, taking into account all relevant factors.  They will protect your rights and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to under Kansas and Missouri laws.

Calculating Compensation in Pedestrian Fatality Cases

Human life is invaluable, and no amount of money can bring back a loved one.  However, financial compensation through a wrongful death claim can help ease the burden on the victim's family and provide some stability during this difficult time.

Some of the damages that may be available in a pedestrian accident wrongful death claim include:

  • Lost income and benefits the deceased person would have earned
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills related to the accident, including ambulance fees and hospital bills
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Lost inheritance

Calculating compensation that may be recovered after a fatal pedestrian accident can be complex.  It’s important to understand that each case is unique and the amount that might be awarded will vary. 

What’s the Average Compensation in a Wrongful Death Suit?

Each wrongful death case is different, and there’s no simple formula to calculate case value.  Damages can range from thousands of dollars to millions.  The amount of damages depends on factors that include:

  • The amount of insurance available
  • The strength of the evidence showing negligence
  • The amount of comparative fault on behalf of the pedestrian
  • The age of the deceased
  • The deceased’s health
  • The deceased person’s earning ability, income, education and training
  • The amount of medical and funeral expenses involved
  • How much the deceased suffered
  • Benefits the survivors have lost, such as health insurance and retirement

Our Pedestrian Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

We’ve made it our mission to fight for victim’s families in pedestrian wrongful death cases.  Our experienced injury attorneys in Missouri and Kansas have navigated all aspects of these cases.  They have decades of experience and are ready to support and guide you during this time. 

We want to help you just like we’ve helped other families. 

Reach out to us today by calling 816-203-0143 for a free consultation.  We’re 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