Oklahoma Wrongful Death Lawyers
Our Oklahoma wrongful death attorneys understand that no amount of money can bring back a loved one. However, the person who died may have been a provider who was supporting you and your family, who you counted on for emotional and financial support.
The loss of a loved one can be devastating in many ways, which is why the law protects the rights of victims who suffer a loss due to another’s negligence. Remember, your case is about more than just money. It is about justice and accountability. It is about sending the message that the behavior which took the life of your loved one will not be tolerated.
Who is Allowed to Sue for the Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death cases can be confusing because the person who was injured and killed cannot hire a lawyer and sue the responsible party anymore. Because of this, Oklahoma Law makes a special exception that allows a “personal representative” of the deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court on their behalf. This personal representative is someone appointed by a judge who will have the best interests of the estate in mind such as an estate executor or administrator, especially if this person is approved by the surviving family. Additionally, surviving family members are also a typical choice in acting as a personal representative in a wrongful death claim. Preference is usually given to the spouse of the person who was killed, followed by their next of kin if no surviving spouse exists.
Choosing the right person to be responsible for the wrongful death claim of someone who was killed is a very important decision to make. While it may seem like common sense to select a family member, that may not always be the case. This person who is selected will act on behalf of all people entitled to the estate and must be trusted to act and make decisions that are in the best interests of everyone involved. Such choices included interacting with the wrongful death attorney, discussing potential settlement offers and making decisions on whether a case should be settled or to go ahead and take the risk of going to trial.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the state of Oklahoma, a wrongful death suit is plainly defined by Oklahoma Statute 12 § 1053. It is when a death is caused by the “wrongful act or omission of another.” This “wrongful act” that has killed a family member can be caused by negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct by the defendant, the more severe the action the more severe the punitive damages may possibly be. Essentially, a wrongful death lawsuit is identical to that of a personal injury lawsuit except for that it resulted in the death of the person, allowing for other damages to be considered.
A wrongful death claim requires the demonstration that negligence contributed, in whole or in part, to the deceased’s death and that the family suffered financial loss as a result of the death. Successful wrongful death lawsuits typically cover damages for:
- Medical Expenses
- Funeral Expenses
- Loss of Income / Loss of Future Income
- Punitive Damages to Punish the Negligent Party (In Rare Cases of Extreme Disregard for Human Life or Safety)
The laws governing who can file a wrongful death claim vary from state to state. In Oklahoma, people who can legally file a wrongful death claim include wives who have wrongfully lost a husband, children who have wrongfully lost a parent, and parents who have wrongfully lost a child.
Fatal Accidents in Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reported there were 678 fatal traffic accidents in 2013. That’s an average of nearly 2 deaths per day. The state provides the number of fatal car accidents in Oklahoma County, and surrounding counties, for 2013. We have listed some of these statistics below to illustrate how common fatal accidents are in the Sooner State.
Fatal Accidents in Oklahoma Counties (2013):
- Oklahoma County: 75
- Logan County: 5
- Kingfisher County: 3
- Canadian County: 12
- Cleveland County: 21
- Pottawatomie County: 6
- Lincoln County: 14
When a family member is killed in a fatal car accident or motorcycle accident, you may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue fair compensation for your losses. A wrongful death lawsuit can also be used to hold the responsible individual or company accountable. Some wrongful death cases may be tied to other accidents or negligence. If a fatal workplace accident, medical malpractice, or other accident rooted in negligence claimed the life of someone you love, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyer at our office.
If you have a family member who was killed, call us any time at (405) 276-4603. You don’t have to face this alone, we’re here to help.
It’s difficult enough dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, it’s another thing entirely trying to figure out how to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit and continue supporting a family without them. It’s completely free to speak with one of our attorneys, and they’ll be ready to help you and your family at a moment’s notice. At the Law Offices of Dan Davis, you’ll never be treated like a number, our Oklahoma City injury attorneys are here for you when you need us most.