Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Oklahoma?
A family member or neutral third party.
According to Chapter 12, Section 1053 of the Oklahoma Statutes, wrongful death is a situation in which the death of one person is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another person. In this situation, a representative is chosen who will best represent the interests of the estate of the person who was killed.
In Oklahoma, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the “personal representative” of the decedent. This representative may have been named in the deceased person’s estate plan. If there is no estate plan, or if the person named in the estate plan is unable or unwilling to serve, then the court may appoint a representative.
Often, the representative will be the spouse of the deceased person, but it may also be a parent, sibling, or child. The reason for this is due to the family member often having the best connection to the interests of the person who was killed as well as their estate, due to them most likely having an interest in the estate through a will. However, it is also possible to appoint a neutral third party if several family members are unable to decide who would represent the interests of everyone involved and the estate.
Whatever the choice may be, this representative of the deceased family member’s estate essentially stands in the place of that person, filling a wrongful death claim on their behalf for their estate, becoming a lawsuit brought on behalf of their loved ones seeking the compensation for damages the person would have been entitled to.
A wrongful death lawsuit may pursue monetary compensation for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering between the final illness or injury and their death
- Lost wages and benefits that the deceased person would have earned if he or she had lived
- Loss of companionship, support, and guidance
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages, if applicable, to punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious conduct
Is there a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit?
Oklahoma has a statute of limitations when it comes to wrongful death cases. In order for a family to pursue damages for the loss of their loved one, they must bring a claim within two years of the date of the death. If a claim is not brought forth within this time frame, the claim will almost certainly be barred from the court and they will forfeit their right to legal action.
Do you have a family member who was killed? Call (405) 276-4603 now to speak to an attorney at no cost, we’re here to help.
If you have lost a loved one in a preventable accident in Oklahoma, we advise you to get in touch with an Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Dan Davis pursue maximum compensation for families who have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another. When you get in touch with our firm, we can offer you a free review of your case to establish liability and talk about your rights. With more than 30 years of experience and a track record of excellent results, you can trust in our compassionate Oklahoma City injury lawyers to fight hard for the justice you deserve.