If you watched the news or turned on your phone/computer yesterday, you know all about the Southwest airlines tragic accident. If not, CBS News reported the engine failure of a Southwest airplane and the death of one passenger (report is HERE). All those on the flight experienced extreme circumstances and some were injured. Today we will discuss what you would be entitled to had you lost your loved one on this, or any other, flight.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
If you are a Kansas resident it doesn't matter what state you were in when the accident occurred. Your claim could be brought against the airline in a Kansas court. Airplane deaths are unique because the passengers (including the deceased's estate) may have a claim for NIED (negligent infliction of emotional distress). NIED is where you suffer mental or emotional harm (ex. shock, trauma, etc...) because of the negligence of another. Like this airline accident, most NIED claims stem from the traumatic experience of witnessing a relative or loved one's injury or death. In Kansas the NIED must be accompanied by physical injury to the plaintiff and, this injury must manifest a short time after the emotional disturbance. This claim can be brought alone or along with a personal injury claim (ex. wrongful death).
A wrongful death suit is brought against the at-fault party for causing someone's death intentionally or negligently. The estate of the deceased (usually a spouse or child) brings this suit. You could receive the following from this claim:
Actual damages seek to reimburse you for prior financial losses. There is no cap on the amount you can receive for actual (a.k.a economic) damages. Some of the damages Caleb's family likely asked for were:
The family likely sought general damages too. Kansas law, depending on the date of injury, caps the amount you receive for non-economic damages (ex. disfigurement, pain and suffering, etc...) between $250,000 - $350,000. This cap may not apply where a wrongful death occurred or for economic loss (ex. loss of future earning). General damages include the things that can’t be precisely documented in dollars spent, including:
Our condolences go out to the family who lost their loved one. No amount of money will make up for the loss of a loved one. If you, or your loved one, has experienced injury or death, because of the negligence of another, contact us today at 913.602.7288 or complete this FORM. These cases are complex, can be put in front of a panel (where experts must testify for/against your claim) before it advances to hearing and, are usually handled by the at fault party's lawyer. It's best to have a lawyer fighting for what you deserve. We have recovered tens-of-thousands of dollars for clients just like you.
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