Thousands of commercial truck accidents occur each year in Kansas and Missouri.
In 2019, commercial motor vehicles were involved in 15,764 crashes statewide in Missouri. The crashes resulted in 145 deaths and at least 4,366 injuries. That same year, Kansas reported 3,745 traffic crashes involving heavy or large trucks. The accidents resulted in 87 deaths and at least 961 injuries.
If your family member was killed in a truck accident in Kansas or Missouri, we want to help. Our Kansas City wrongful death lawyers guide your family through the process of seeking compensation for damages. We work with you to hold the parties who caused your loved one’s death accountable for their wrongdoing.
Contact the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus by calling 816-203-0143 or using our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death lawyer in Kansas City.
Wrongful Death Claims for Truck Accidents in Kansas and Missouri
Individuals involved in truck accidents have a high risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries. Data from large truck accidents consistently shows that occupants of other vehicles have a higher risk of death from injuries sustained in a truck accident compared to truck drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,005 people died in large truck accidents. Seventy-one percent of the deaths in truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles. Eleven percent of the deaths were pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-occupants.
How Is a Wrongful Death Claim Defined Under Missouri and Kansas Law?
A wrongful death claim may arise when a person is killed because of another party’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional acts. The wrongful death statutes in Missouri and Kansas provide families with one or more causes of action to sue the parties who caused the death of their family member.
The justice system cannot undo the circumstances that led to the death of an individual. However, courts can impose financial damages.
What Compensation Can a Family Recover for a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Compensation that families could recover for wrongful death claims from truck accidents in Kanas and Missouri include, but might not be limited to:
- Reasonable costs for the cremation, burial, and funeral
- Medical expenses between the date of injury and the person’s death
- Loss of future income
- Mental anguish and emotional pain
- Loss of care, companionship, love, support, and guidance
In some cases, a defendant may be ordered to pay punitive damages. This type of damage is intended to punish the defendant for gross negligence or intentional harm. For instance, punitive damage could be granted if the truck driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Money cannot ease your grief nor replace your loved one. However, holding parties accountable for their actions through a civil lawsuit can provide family members some measure of justice and closure. Furthermore, families may need financial resources to pay for living expenses and needs after losing a primary wage earner for the family.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Truck Accident?
Only specific individuals have the standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. “Standing” is the legal right to pursue a legal claim in court. Even though you may be related to the truck accident victim by blood, you might not have legal standing to file the lawsuit.
According to the Kansas wrongful death statutes, the person’s estate files a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the “heirs at law” for the deceased. An heir at law is someone who would inherit property from the estate under Kansas intestate laws. Intestate means that the person died without a valid will.
Missouri wrongful death statutes give the surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Siblings may pursue a wrongful death claim when the deceased person does not have a surviving spouse or children. If a child dies in a truck accident, the parents have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Our Kansas City wrongful death lawyer reviews your case to identify each party who has an interest in the wrongful death lawsuit. Our law firm represents family members and personal representatives for probate estates as they seek fair compensation for damages caused by the wrongful death.
Deadlines for Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuits After a Truck Accident in MO and KS
There are deadlines called Statutes of Limitations for filing a truck accident wrongful death lawsuit. After losing a loved one, family members may not want to deal with a lawsuit. However, waiting too long to begin the legal process for a wrongful death claim could result in losing your right to seek justice for your family.
The Kansas statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years for most cases. (K.S.A §60.513) The Missouri statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years for most cases. (R.S. Mo. §537.100)
However, there could be exceptions to the general statute of limitations. Therefore, it is best to speak with our wrongful death attorney in Kansas City as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. Our legal team calculates and monitors deadlines for filing insurance claims, wrongful death lawsuits, and other matters.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim in MO and KS?
Truck accidents lawsuits generally have multiple defendants. The same is true for wrongful death claims from truck accidents in Kansas and Missouri. The truck driver may be liable if the driver’s conduct directly led to the cause of the truck crash.
Additionally, the trucking company could be a defendant. Trucking companies may be held liable for negligence and wrongdoing that contributed to the conditions that led to the fatal truck accident.
Other parties that could be named in a truck accident wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Tire and truck manufacturers (defective products)
- Government entities (defective roads)
- Road maintenance crews (inadequate road maintenance)
- Road construction companies (negligent narrowing of lanes, road debris, failure to post adequate signs, etc.)
- Shippers (overloading trucks and inadequately securing loads)
Our legal team thoroughly investigates the circumstances that led to the truck accident. We identify each factor that contributed to the crash and connect each factor to the responsible party. We diligently work to ensure each party who contributed to the death of your loved one is held accountable in court.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorney After a Fatal Accident in MO and KS
Losing a family member is never easy. However, when the loss was avoidable, it can add to your grief. Our legal team at the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus understands your family has been through an emotional and difficult period. We want to help you seek justice and right the wrong that was done to your family.
If your family has lost a loved one due to a fatal truck accident, we are here for support and guidance. Call our law office to schedule your free consultation with a Kansas City wrongful death lawyer by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.