Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating event that can shake your family to its core. Whether a wrongful death results from a motor vehicle accident, trip and fall, medical mistake, or a workplace incident, you might need help holding the party or parties responsible for the negligent actions that led to the death of your loved one.
A Tulsa wrongful death lawyer could work to pursue compensation on your behalf while you focus on putting your life back together. There may be various legal options available to you in this situation that a compassionate personal injury attorney may be able to explain to you and help you take advantage of.
A wrongful death claim usually arises from an allegation that the negligent or reckless actions of another individual or company directly caused the death of a family member. If the deceased individual could have filed a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties had they survived the accident, surviving family members can typically file a wrongful death claim against those same parties.
It should be noted that only certain family members have the right to bring wrongful death claims. Under Oklahoma Statutes §12-1053, the personal representative of the deceased has the authority to bring a wrongful death claim. This representative could be either named in a will or appointed by the probate court.
Through this representative, spouses, children, parents, and siblings all may be eligible to seek damages from responsible parties in wrongful death claims. A Tulsa wrongful death attorney might be able to evaluate the merit of a potential claim and determine whether a prospective plaintiff has grounds to file suit.
As stated by Okla. Stat. §12-1053, there are limitations on the types of damages that surviving family members can seek in wrongful death claims. Some of the damages that individuals may be able to recover for include:
Oklahoma state law states that all these damages must be distributed in a particular manner. As an example, medical, funeral, and burial expenses are paid to the person or government agency who paid them, or to the estate of the deceased.
Damages for loss of consortium also go to the surviving spouse. The children, surviving spouse, or other next of kin of the decedent receive any damages for mental pain and suffering. The order of which individuals receive damages depends on the rules of distributing personal property. Damages for grief and loss of companionship are payable to children and parents of the decedent.
Any pecuniary damages resulting from a wrongful death are also payable to the decedent’s spouses and children. The value of these monetary damages depends on the decedent’s age, life expectancy, health, career, earning capacity of the decedent, and various other factors. A wrongful death lawyer in Tulsa might be able to present evidence in support of fair compensation for surviving family members.
Depending on the circumstances, exemplary or punitive damages may be available in some wrongful death cases. Under Okla. Stat. §23-9.1, punitive damages are based on several considerations, including the danger that the misconduct posed to the public, whether the individuals profited from their wrongdoing, how long the conduct lasted and any steps taken to conceal it, and the degree of the awareness that the individuals had of their misconduct.
While there is no replacement for a lost spouse, parent, or child, seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim may be the best way to fight for justice on behalf of the decedent and your family’s future. Wrongful death claims could help hold individuals accountable for their wrongful behavior, and a Tulsa wrongful death lawyer might be instrumental in building a comprehensive case against all responsible parties.
Compensation for your losses may assist you in being able to keep your family secure while you work toward a new life in the absence of your loved one. When you are ready, call to schedule a confidential consultation.
Call us as soon as possible at (918) 721-0998 to speak with an attorney who can begin work on your case right away.