Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
At the Tawwater Law Firm in Oklahoma City, we always fight diligently for our clients. We understand that people often feel raw and in great distress following the death of a loved one, which is why we always fight diligently for the family members and loved ones of the deceased.
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed after an accident costs someone his or her life. Let's look at what these cases entail and who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Defining Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim that is filed against a person or party whose negligence has resulted in the death of another person.
For example, if a property owner neglected to include warning signs or safety rails along a dangerous ledge and this caused someone to suffer a fatal fall, a wrongful death suit may be charged against the property owner. In another case, a reckless driver may cause an accident with another vehicle, resulting in fatal injuries. That reckless motorist may be charged with wrongful death.
Oklahoma Laws Regarding Wrongful Death Cases
In Oklahoma Statutes Chapter 12, Section 1053, a wrongful death is defined as any instance in which "the death of one is caused by the wrongful act of another." The definition covers a wide range of cases, including those noted above. For people who lost loved ones and are considering legal action, an attorney can help determine what sort of legal action to pursue.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Oklahoma?
The following people can file wrongful death lawsuits:
- Immediate family members of the deceased
- The spouse of the deceased
- A life partner of the deceased
- Financial dependents of the deceased (i.e., children, both biological and adopted)
In some cases, the siblings, grandparents, aunts, or uncles may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This sometimes needs to be considered on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the death in question. (In much rarer instances, non-relatives of the deceased may attempt to bring a wrongful death lawsuit about.)
Ultimately, it's important for there to be a personal representative of the deceased person's estate in the wrongful death claim. Damages will be sought for funerary costs, loss of the loved one's wages and benefits, emotional pain and suffering, and other matters related to the nature of the death.
Remember: There's a Statute of Limitations in Place
While various kinds of relations are able to file wrongful death claims, it's of the utmost importance that these legal cases are filed within the statute of limitations. This means that a wrongful death claim must be sought within two years of the loved one's passing. If two years has passed, a wrongful death suit cannot be pursued.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You
The legal system can be challenging and intimidating, and far too much for a person to tackle on their own. Because of the challenges that are posed by wrongful death lawsuits, it's important that you partner with a skilled attorney. The attorney will provide you with guidance throughout the legal process, perform various legal matters while keeping you abreast of all happenings in the process, and allow you the ability to mourn and move forward.
Learn More About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you have lost a loved one due to an act of negligence, it's important that you contact our team of wrongful death lawyers today. The legal team at the Tawwater Law Firm will fight diligently for you every step of the way.