There are so many actions that can cause someone to lose their life. A reckless driver may have hit and killed one of your parents, or your grandmother’s physician may have prescribed the wrong medication to her. Your spouse may have been exposed to toxic chemicals, which may have caused them to develop cancer.
If another person’s recklessness caused your loved one’s death, you could file a wrongful death claim with the assistance of BDIW Law in Oklahoma.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim. It is a claim that the victim’s survivors can file. A wrongful death claim allows you to hold certain parties liable for your loved one’s death. These types of claims are the only personal injury claims where third parties can seek compensation on behalf of someone else.
Let’s say your loved one was hurt in a car accident. Depending on the circumstances of their accident, they could sue the other driver for their injuries, but because your loved one died from their accident, they couldn’t seek compensation. A wrongful death claim allows you, as the survivor, to fight on behalf of your loved one.
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Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Car accidents are not the only accidents that allow you to file wrongful death claims. Any negligent accident that has caused your loved one’s death qualifies for a wrongful death claim. Some of the common types of wrongful death claims involve the following:
- Nursing home incidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Medical malpractice accidents
- Truck accidents
- Product liability accidents
How Do I Know if I Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Not every fatal accident qualifies for a wrongful death claim. Two important factors allow you to file this type of claim:
- You must be a survivor of the loved one who lost their life from their accident.
- Your loved one’s death must have resulted from negligence.
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Survivors of a Deceased Victim
To file a wrongful death claim, you must be the survivor of the deceased victim or the representative of their estate. Some examples of survivors include:
- The victim’s immediate family members, such as the children and spouses of the victim if the victim was married. If the victim was not married, this includes their parents or siblings.
- Extended family members. These are the deceased victim’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins.
- Financial dependents. In some states, life partners or people financially dependent on the victim can file wrongful death claims.
In addition to the survivors, the representative of the victim’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim. The representative is usually the person who is assigned as the executor of the victim’s estate.
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Acts of Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim
Another equally important factor is whether your loved one’s accident resulted from another person’s negligence. Negligence is a very important standard in personal injury law. It is the factor that determines whether someone will be held responsible for a person’s injuries.
You must prove that another party’s actions contributed to your loved one’s death. To establish the other party’s negligence, their actions must meet the following factors:
- Responsible for providing a sense of duty. The other party must be responsible for providing a certain sense of duty to your loved one.
- Violating that sense of duty. The other party’s actions must have violated that sense of duty.
- Direct connection between recklessness and injury. The other party’s actions must have directly contributed to your loved one’s injuries and death.
- Damages. There must be evidence of any damages your loved one endured from their accident. In this case, it would be your loved one’s death.
Damages from Wrongful Death Claims
As the survivor, you are entitled to seek compensation that your loved one would have received for their personal injury claim. That is why you can sue for the same type of damages. Some of these damages include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost inheritance, burial expenses, and more.
Before your loved one passed, they may have received medical services that you would still be responsible for paying. You can seek compensation for whatever medical debts your loved one must pay.
You may be able to seek compensation for the income that your loved one brought to the household before their death. You may also be able to seek compensation for their future earnings as well.
Pain and Suffering
You can also sue for any physical and mental anguish your loved one endured leading up to their death. In addition to these damages, you are also entitled to damages like lost inheritance, burial expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life.
This accounts for any inheritance that your loved one would have left to you and other immediate family members.
These are the expenses for your loved one’s burial, from funeral to cremation.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
These are the intangible costs of losing your loved one’s presence. It may be missing quality time with your loved one or losing the emotional support that they provided.
Why You Should Work with an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Attorney
Because wrongful death claims are relatively new in personal injury law, you don’t want to try to handle them yourself. You also don’t want to endure additional stress during the grieving process.
You need to work with someone who knows Oklahoma’s wrongful death laws and is compassionate enough to handle your case carefully. At BDIW Law, our attorneys understand that your wrongful death claim is about more than just money. You want to hold the appropriate parties liable for your loved one’s death, and we ensure the right people will be brought to justice for their bad acts.
Contact BDIW Law for a Free Consultation
If you want to determine whether you can file a wrongful death claim, contact the wrongful death attorneys at BDIW Law today. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
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