Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a loved one is a tragedy. The death of a loved one due to someone else’s misconduct crosses the line from tragedy into outrage. Justice simply demands a response. Seek justice and compensation with the compassionate support of the Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyers at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at (405) 497-0480 for a free initial case evaluation today.

Nobody can turn back time and undo the fatal accident, however, the Oklahoma legal system can offer financial compensation to mitigate the consequences to the best extent possible. Navigating the system and preparing difficult-to-refute arguments is what we do every day. 

Our law firm has a big reputation for recovering millions of dollars for injury victims of workplace injuries, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slips and falls in Oklahoma City, uber accidents, and more. Speak today with an experienced attorney.

How Our Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help If Your Loved One Died in an Accident

How Our Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help If Your Loved One Died in an Accident

As your lawyers, our job will be not only to win your claim but to maximize the amount of compensation you receive. An Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer enjoys the benefit of decades of combined experience doing exactly that. 

Some of the ways we can help you with a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma include:

  • Shielding you from unscrupulous insurance company tactics
  • Putting together a demand package to submit to the insurance company
  • Calculating the true value of your claim–using expert witnesses if necessary
  • Conducting the pretrial discovery process, if necessary
  • Arranging for mediation or arbitration of your claim, if appropriate
  • Drafting legal documents for you, including lawsuit complaints and settlement agreements
  • Represent you in court in the unlikely event that you end up at trial

There are numerous other ways we can help you. Always remember that in personal injury law, what you can prove matters more than what actually happened–-and evidence grows stale over time. That is why it is important to act quickly to establish your claim.

Contact our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys today for a free initial consultation.

What is an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death is what a personal injury claim becomes when a personal injury victim dies from their injuries. A wrongful death claim arises when someone dies due to another person’s wrongful act or omission. 

For example, a wrongful death case might arise if an intoxicated driver causes a fatal DUI accident. A claim can also arise from behavior that doesn’t amount to a criminal offense. 

Every state has its own wrongful death statute, and Oklahoma is no exception. Jurisdictions apply their own rules in terms of who can file a lawsuit and what types of compensation are available.

What Should I Do If I Suspect I Might Have a Wrongful Death Claim in Oklahoma City, OK?

If you think you might have a valid wrongful death claim, gather anything that looks like it might be evidence, and call a lawyer to schedule a free initial consultation. 

Don’t speak to any insurance representatives outside the presence of your lawyer, and suspend your social media accounts while your claim is pending. Tell your friends not to post about the death because it could be used as evidence against you.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the personal representative (executor) or a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased person’s probate estate are the parties who can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased did not leave a will (in the case of a child victim, for example), the probate court will select the personal representative. Typically, it will be a close relative of the deceased victim.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Oklahoma?

The statute of limitations is the deadline by which you must have either filed a lawsuit or finalized a settlement. If you do neither before the deadline, your claim will end. Every state applies its own statute of limitations deadline. In Oklahoma, you generally have two years after the deceased’s date of death to take legal action.

What is a Survival Action?

A survival action is a lawsuit, similar to a wrongful death lawsuit, that the deceased’s estate executor files on behalf of the deceased’s survivors. The estate is entitled to any damages that the deceased could have won in a personal injury lawsuit had they lived. This could mean medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, and suffering.

What Types of Damages Are Available in an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Case?

Oklahoma law authorizes you to collect the following three types of compensation (in a best-case scenario):

  • Economic damages: Tangible losses such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Non-economic damages: Intangible losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Punitive damages: An additional amount designed to punish the defendant for bad behavior

Compensation for the typical wrongful death case includes:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The surviving spouse’s grief and loss of consortium
  • The loss of companionship suffered by the deceased victim’s survivors
  • The financial benefits that the deceased victim would likely have provided if they had not died

Special rules apply if the deceased was an unmarried child under 18 who had not been emancipated. 

In this case, the personal representative can demand compensation for:

  • Medical bills for the deceased
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The survivor’s loss of the child’s services and support
  • Parents’ loss of the parent-child relationship
  • Reimbursement of any expenses that the child’s parents or guardians paid for the child’s financial support and education

Remember—damages in a wrongful death action go to survivors directly, not to the deceased victim’s probate estate. An exception is reimbursement to the estate after it pays for funeral expenses, etc.

What Are Punitive Damages?

As stated above, punitive damages are a third category of damages designed to punish the defendant rather than to compensate you. You still get to keep the money, however. To win them, you must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant acted “intentionally and with malice” or with “reckless disregard” for the rights of others.

What’s the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Homicide?

Wrongful death is a civil claim for monetary damages, while homicide is a criminal offense that can result in years of prison time. You can win a wrongful death claim using the relatively easy-to-prove “preponderance of the evidence” standard. 

To win a homicide conviction, the prosecutor must use the much more difficult-to-prove “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Can You Win an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Claim Even If the Victim Was Partly at Fault?

Maybe. The same rules of modified comparative fault apply to wrongful death claims that apply to personal injury cases. If the deceased was 50% or less at fault for their own injuries, a court will subtract their exact percentage of fault from your damages. 

For example, if the deceased was 25% at fault, the court will deny you 25% of your damages, but you can keep the other 75%. If the accident was over 50% of the deceased victim’s fault, your damages will drop to zero.

Keep in mind that you will probably have to share damages with other survivors.

How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Wrongful Death Claim?

That depends on many factors. If you settle your claim out of court, it should take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If you have to go to trial, it could take years to resolve your claim.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim Against an Oklahoma State Government Entity?

Yes, you can. You can file a claim over an accident with a government vehicle, for example. The main difference from suing a private entity is that there is more procedural red tape.

There are shortened statute requirements for governmental entities and you should contact an experienced lawyer quickly.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Workplace Accident?

Yes, you can, but you might end up with workers’ compensation death benefits, which are meager. You can seek full personal injury compensation, including non-economic damages, if you can find a third party who you can prove is liable for the death. You might also escape the workers’ compensation trap if your employer’s behavior was intentional.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With an Experienced Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Attorney

The sooner you get started pursuing your claim, the greater your chances of victory will be. Call Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. You can contact us online or telephone us at (405) 497-0480. Our offices are located in downtown Oklahoma City, OK. 

And remember—you only pay our Oklahoma City wrongful death attorneys if we win your claim. Otherwise, our services are free of charge.

Highly Rated Hospitals in Oklahoma City, OK

  • Community Hospital – 3100 SW 89th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73159
  • SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – 1000 N Lee Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
  • Oklahoma Heart Hospital South – 5200 E Interstate 240 Service Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73135

*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.

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