We, at Render Kamas, L.C., hope that none of you are ever in a situation where a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, but sadly, we see many of these cases in our practice. They are different in many ways from an injury case, although they may seem to be very similar. In some instances there is both a personal injury case for the suffering of the deceased prior to his death, as well as a wrongful death action for the heirs.
Wrongful death actions exist only because of statutes that have been passed by the legislature. Therefore, some of the remedies that exist in common law, such as punitive damages, are not available. Kansas law recognizes that any one of the heirs may bring a wrongful death action, but it is brought for the benefit of all the heirs.
There are two types of damages recognized in wrongful death cases – pecuniary and non-pecuniary. Non-pecuniary losses are arbitrarily capped by statute at $250,000.00. These damages include mental anguish, suffering, grief, bereavement, and loss of society, comfort and companionship the heirs may have suffered as a result of the death of their loved one.
Pecuniary losses are the monetary losses that an heir may have sustained. These damages are not capped. They include the cost of care for the deceased and funeral bills. They also include the loss of financial support a surviving spouse and minor children would have. Our job is to present to the jury what the deceased would have provided if he or she had lived.
We at Render Kamas, L.C., sincerely hope that you are never touched by the tragedy of having a loved one killed. But if you should suffer such a loss, we urge you to immediately consult us here at Render Kamas, L.C. time factors can be critical. Kansas recognizes a two-year statute of limitations for such actions; the heirs can be much better served if prompt action is taken. For example, the sooner the witnesses can be contacted, the better their recollection of events. Also, the investigating officers will have a much better memory of working the accident. Some critical documentation may be lost if prompt action is no taken. For example the driver’s log that is required of truckers must only be maintained by him and his employer for six (6) months.
As always, we are more than happy to provide initial consultations at no cost to those families who have experienced the tragic loss of loved ones