Fatal Car Accidents in Kansas City
Providing Compassionate Counsel for Car Accident Deaths
According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people died due to automotive fatalities in 2017 alone, and that number represents an alarmingly steady increase since 2015. With the rise of distracted driving due to texting, drivers face a higher risk of fatality on the roads today. If your loved one was one of the many victims killed in a tragic car accident this year, you may be entitled to recovery for your losses, which can be significant. Our Kansas City car accident lawyers at DiPasquale Moore are intimately acquainted with the civil process and have 50 years of combined experience standing up to negligent drivers.
Call DiPasquale Moore at (888) 743-1030 for a free consultation on your fatal car accident case. You can also learn more about our past case results here.
The Differences Between Wrongful Death and Personal Injury in Car Accidents
Wrongful death lawsuits are grounded in nearly identical principles to their better-known relatives
– personal injury cases. As with personal injury, the liability
for a wrongful death depends greatly on the statutes of your state’s
civil code, and it varies from state to state. There are also specific
rules about who can file these cases, and when they are legally acceptable.
In order to prove someone is liable for wrongful death damages in Missouri, the following must be true about your loved one’s fatal car accident:
- The person who died could have pursued a personal injury case. To meet this requirement, you must demonstrate that the other driver owed a “standard of care” to your loved one, but the standard was violated and ultimately led to your loved one’s death.
- The death was caused by another’s wrongful act, or the omission to act. For car accidents, this provision could apply to any number of negligent actions. Some of these include driving under the influence of alcohol and/or failing to observe speeding laws. Missouri is known as a “pure comparative negligence” state, which means negligence can be assigned to multiple parties in a car accident. For example, if it’s decided that the other driver was 80% responsible for the crash, but your loved one was about 20% responsible too, the other driver must pay damages at an 80% rate of the total.
- You are legally allowed to submit a claim on your loved one’s behalf. This portion of Missouri law is exceptionally complicated. Spouses, children, and parents are considered class 1 persons, and these are considered to have the strongest claims in a wrongful death case. If there are no class 1 individuals, a sibling or sibling’s child can bring an action. A plaintiff ad litem (which is appointed by the court) can only bring a case if no one in the previous categories can sue.
If you pursue a wrongful death case for the deceased’s car accident, make sure the circumstances comply with the requirements above, and that the accident happened within 3 years of filing your wrongful death petition in Missouri (Missouri Stat. 537-100). Reviewing relevant records and documents with a skilled attorney is the best way to confirm you have a solid case.
What Damages Can I Seek in a Fatal Car Accident Suit?
The death of a loved one is always traumatizing, but in the event of a sudden accident, the loss is felt exceptionally deeply. The monetary compensation awarded by a court can vary greatly for direct damages like repair costs, as these are not limited or “capped.” More intangible or “non-economic” damages like mental anguish are capped at $700,000 in Missouri.
The most common damages pursued in a fatal car accident lawsuit include:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income, in the form of future wages
- Repair and replacement costs for damaged cars and parts
- Severe emotional trauma
- Loss of parental, filial, or marital care
Ready to speak with a fatal car accident attorney in Kansas City? Contact DiPasquale Moore to schedule your free consultation.