Legal Question in Insurance Law in Kansas

Insurance payout due to death of my daughter

My daughter died in an auto accident in July 2004;her Mother my ex-wife called me tonight to tell me that the insurance (and I'm not sure if it is just life or auto or both)offered her $100,000.00 of a $300,000.00 policy (she believes about, but isn't sure 50,000 was paid in damages, etc. to the the truck my daughter hit before burning to death, though no one was hurt in that vehicle, which was a city utility truck)

I knew nothing about this policy, and thought everything had been settled. My ex-wife informed me that we (she and I)are the beneficiaries(?) of this money. Her question to me was, how do we attain the entire amount, as opposed to the one offered. I guess I'm asking (and maybe needing to know more from her, my ex) why wouldn't the entire amount simply be paid?

Asked on 11/30/05, 2:22 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Richard McLeod McLeod & Heinrichs

Re: Insurance payout due to death of my daughter

Your questions are good ones. What kind of insurance is it? Why should the entire amount not be paid? The answer is usually that the insurance company is trying to minimize its exposure by settling directly, without representation.

Kansas has some very tough laws: 2 year statute of limitations (the time within which a case must be filed) and a cap of $250,000 on damages in a death case. There are ways around the cap so that the entire $300,000 of insurance coverage, or even more, can be recovered in some cases. Finally, any settlement - whether you have a lawyer - must be approved by a court, and properly divided among the "heirs at law." That's probably just you and your ex-wife, but not for sure.

If you'd like more advice, call me or my partner, Jeff Heinrichs, at (800) 9McLeod. There is no charge for consultations.

Best wishes, and my condolences for the loss of your daughter.

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Answered on 11/30/05, 8:34 am

Jim Wisler James L. Wisler Law Offices

Re: Insurance payout due to death of my daughter

It is hard for me to say without further information, but it sounds like she has been offered the $100,000 policy limits from the car insurance policy of the driver who was at fault. Kansas policies often pay a maximum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. If that is the case, then $100,000 may be the most coverage that is available. However, I could not determine that with certainty without knowing all the facts of the accident (what happened, how many vehicles were involved, etc). There may be other coverage available. I suggest you consult an experienced Kansas personal injury lawyer (I assume the wreck occurred in Kansas). I would be glad to discuss the case with you with no consultation fee. A tragic case. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

Jim Wisler

Wisler Law Offices

Personal Injury Lawyers

1311 Wakarusa Drive, Suite 2200

Lawrence, KS 66049

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Answered on 11/30/05, 9:04 am

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