Losing a loved one unexpectedly will have a ripple effect on many areas of your life. Your grief and the need to plan a funeral will disrupt your daily existence, at least for the first few weeks. You will have numerous expenses to cover, ranging from the medical care your loved one received before they died to the cost of their burial.
Everything from how you handle household chores to who pays for medical insurance can change after a family member dies. Those losses often mean both emotional pain and financial losses for the surviving family members.
Kansas law gives surviving individuals the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they lose someone because of the misconduct or negligence of another party. Who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The law opens the door for any heir to file a claim
Kansas state law allows any heir of the deceased party to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. Although many other states specifically name certain family relationships or designate the personal representative of the estate as the person to file, Kansas extends an opportunity to any heir who would benefit from the estate of the deceased or who has demonstrable losses.
Typically, spouses, children and parents will be the ones to bring these kinds of claims, although other individuals with inheritance rights may also initiate a civil lawsuit after an untimely death.
Why do people choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The first and most obvious reason that people file wrongful death lawsuits is to recoup the financial losses they have recently suffered. Losing a loved one means going a lifetime without their wages and many other financial losses. Just replacing their services around the house could cost you thousands of dollars a year.
However, many families don’t find motivation in financial need but rather a desire for justice. Even if the state didn’t pursue criminal charges related to your loss, the civil courts could still hold the other party responsible for their actions or negligence. Having the courts affirm that someone else is responsible for your loss can help give you closure.
Learning about wrongful death lawsuits might inspire you to seek justice after a tragic loss.