Archive for February, 2016

Kansas City Attorneys Explains the “Ws” of Wrongful Death Actions

Monday, February 29th, 2016

If you ask the average adult if they are familiar with lawsuits pertaining to a divorce or car accident, the answer is almost a universal “yes.” Litigation involving these two areas are so prevalent they have become part of our culture. Everyone knows someone who is in the process of or has recently been divorced. The same is true of car accident claims. However, if you ask that same adult about wrongful death claims, it is very likely that he or she will not be quite as familiar. Thankfully, this is mostly because wrongful death actions are much less common place. If you are one of the many people who are not quite sure what is meant by a wrongful death action, the following is a basic overview:

What is a wrongful death action? A wrongful death action refers to a civil lawsuit brought against a wrongdoer (aka defendant) on behalf of the victim, to recover damages that the victim would have been able to collect, had he or she not died as a result of the wrongdoer’s negligent or intentional acts. In other words, a wrongful death action is akin to any other personal injury case, albeit the plaintiff is not the actual victim.

Who can file a wrongful death action on behalf of a victim? The whole crux of a wrongful death case is that the true victim is not alive to pursue the lawsuit him or herself. This leads to the question, who can stand in his or her place? The answer to this question varies from state to state. In Missouri for example, the first line of people who can bring a lawsuit include the victim’s surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents. If the victim has no living relatives in this category, then a sibling or niece or nephew may step in.

Who can be named as a defendant in a wrongful death action? A wrongful death lawsuit is brought against the person or entity that negligently or intentionally caused the harm to the victim which led to his or her death. Possible defendants can include:

  • Individual acting in his or her professional or personal capacity,
  • Government entity,
  • Corporation (such as a manufacturer, designer or installer of a product)

What type of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death action? Damages a plaintiff may be entitled to recover include:

  • Economic damages (such as medical bills, burial expenses, lost wages)
  • Non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering victim incurred before death)

When do wrongful death actions need to be filed by? In Missouri, most wrongful death actions must be brought within three years. However, there are exceptions to this rule that can reduce the time to just two years. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney as early as possible to determine which statute of limitations is applicable to your case.

While every state has a wrongful death law on its books, the laws are not the same. If you believe your family member death is the result of the wrongdoing of another, it is important to seek out a qualified Kansas City Injury Attorney. Wrongful death cases are often very complex. Only an experienced Kansas City Wrongful Death Attorney has the ability to thoroughly review the facts surrounding your loved one’s death and make the determination if the liable party can be held accountable. The seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped countless injury victims, in both Kansas and Missouri, fight to obtain just compensation. You can trust our team of attorneys to help you make sure that justice is served. Contact Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.

Kansas City Injury Attorneys Caution Motorists about the Dangers of Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Road rage is more than one driver becoming irritated with another driver. It is an extremely dangerous and potentially deadly reaction to another driver’s perceived “bad driving.” According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation that examined more than 10,000 road rage cases over a period of seven years, road rage resulted in more than 200 murders and at least 12,600 injury cases. To prevent yourself from being involved in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, obey these basic driving rules:

Do not “play the game”: Just because another driver seems to be egging you on, does not mean you have to take the bait. As the old saying goes “it takes two to tango.” So if a driver begins to engage in aggressive driving behaviors, it is important not to reciprocate or engage in any behavior that looks like you are becoming angry or upset. The best defense against an aggressive driver is to simply refuse to play his or her game. Instead, give the driver space by increasing the distance between you and her. Also avoid making eye contact with the other driver. If at any time you become frightened for your safety, use your phone to contact police or drive to a public and well-lit place. Never get out of your vehicle.

Do not offend: While you cannot make every driver happy, you can avoid making them angry. In fact there are certain driving behaviors that are likely to offend and irritate 99.99 percent of drivers. This list includes:

  • Tailgating: No one likes to look in their rearview mirror only to see another vehicle inches away from his or her rear bumper. Tailgating is not only a pet peeve of most drivers, it is also quite dangerous. Be smart and allow a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Driving slow in the left lane. Regardless if you are driving the speed limit, if you are in the left lane and another driver approaches quickly, as a courtesy you should move over and let the other vehicle pass.
  • Cutting another driver off: If you need to merge, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. The incorrect way is to fail to signal and not leave enough space between your vehicle’s rear end and the front end of the car that you are merging in front of. Cutting off another driver is a sure fire way to offend. By the same token, if another driver cuts you off be courteous. Rather than get upset and honk your horn, simply give the other driver some space.
  • Rude gestures: While it may seem like a great idea to tell another driver that he or she is “number one” because he or she committed a driving sin, think again. Rude gestures are a quick way to anger another driver. Even seemingly harmless gestures like shaking your head or throwing your hands up in frustration can be taken as aggressive behavior by another driver.

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries after being involved in an auto accident the experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help. Our team of seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys will work hard to make sure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries. Trust the Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. to help you, just as they have helped countless injured victims around the area, both in Kansas and Missouri. To find out how the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can work for you, contact our office today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule a consultation. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. we look forward to providing injury victims with exceptional legal services.