A wrongful death can occur after a car accident, collision with a motorcycle, or on a construction site. Often sudden, a wrongful death is never easy to deal with – especially if the individual died due to negligence or an issue that could have been prevented. If your loved one died due to someone else’s wrongful act, you deserve to seek justice. Doing so can provide you with some closure and peace of mind as you move forward with your life. Today, we go over the 5 factors that could influence wrongful death damages to determine if you can recover compensation for your loss.
Wrongful Death Defined
Oklahoma statutes define a wrongful death as a situation when the death of one individual is caused by the wrongful act of another. This wrongful act that results in the deceased person's death may be caused by intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct.
A wrongful death claim may be filed if the action that caused the person’s death would have allowed the deceased individual to file a personal injury lawsuit if he/she had lived.
What Are Wrongful Death Damages?
Wrongful death damages may be economic or non-economic in nature and can be sought out for the damages that arose due to the wrongful death. Wrongful death damages might be for the pain the decedent felt before dying or the suffering the family felt after processing this death. It could also be for the expenses the family had to take care of after the wrongful death, including funeral and burial expenses. Here are some additional examples of wrongful death damages:
- Emotional distress
- Missed companionship
- Lost income/wages
- Pain, suffering, and loss
Who Can File an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Claim?
Oklahoma law allows the personal representative of the deceased person's estate to bring a wrongful death claim to court. This individual is often the deceased’s spouse, although parents, children, and other family members are also common. If there is no named personal representative, or the named personal representative is unable or unwilling to show up, the court may appoint a personal representative on behalf of the deceased.
How to Estimate Wrongful Death Damages
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. There are two types of damages: damages to the deceased and damages to the deceased’s surviving family members and/or spouse.
Damages can be pursued for the pain and suffering the deceased went through before dying as well as the lost wages and benefits the deceased would have earned if he/she had lived. Damages can also be sought by the deceased’s surviving family members and/or spouse for reasons such as grief, loss of companionship, and funeral expenses. Oklahoma also allows punitive damages to be awarded in certain wrongful death claims.
To determine what wrongful death damages, you may be compensated for after losing a loved one, here are some considerations the court will reference:
- Pain and suffering the victim felt before death
- Economic losses suffered because of the death
- Costs associated with the accident or incident (hospital fees, medical bills, and funeral expenses)
- Non-economic harm sustained because of the death
- How wrongful the act was that led to the individual’s death
Schedule a consultation with our firm online or by calling (405) 294-1511 to discuss your wrongful death case.