Grieving and recovery can be extraordinarily difficult when a fatal accident takes someone we love. When someone else’s poor choices or irresponsible actions are the direct cause of this tragedy, the situation becomes much more challenging. Although you might not be thinking about bringing a lawsuit at a time like this, it is important to talk with a Ponca City wrongful death lawyer to see whether you might have a claim to be compensated for your losses.
At BDIW Law, we understand the challenges you are facing, and we are committed to handling your case with compassion and professionalism. Our personal injury firm has over 65 years of combined legal experience. We represent clients in Ponca City, Bartlesville, northern Oklahoma, and throughout the state.
Call us immediately if someone you love has been in a fatal accident.
A Wrongful Death Action Is About More than Just Money
Of course, financial compensation is the primary form that a wrongful death action takes. You deserve to be compensated for your losses. But there is also a component of justice involved when you hold the accountable party responsible for the poor choices that caused the accident.
Also, our successful litigation puts the rest of the world on notice that people will be brought to justice for bad acts that result in injuries or death to others. Because of our comprehensive approach to law practice, we consider ourselves more than just lawyers.
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Defining Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is the technical term for a legal claim. If a family member has died because of someone else’s negligence or irresponsible behavior, you can bring a lawsuit to get compensation for your losses. These losses can include the loss of the victim’s income, the loss of companionship, funeral costs, and other damages.
Numerous situations can cause a wrongful death:
- Auto accidents
- On-the-job accidents in industrial plants, oil fields, and other work sites
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Accidents caused by defective tools and other products
Regardless of the cause of death, you could have a legal claim if someone else’s bad decisions or thoughtless actions led to the death. Our attorneys can help you determine whether you have a claim and explain the next steps.
People Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
Only a select few members can file a wrongful death claim. These include:
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s children
- The deceased’s parents
- Other dependents of the deceased
If the deceased had a will at the time of their death, the person named as their personal representative would be appointed by the court. They will also be responsible for initiating the wrongful death claim.
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When to File a Wrongful Death Claim
You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. This period is known as the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations allows victims to file a claim while the accident facts are still easy to recall. If you file your wrongful death lawsuit after this period, the courts may dismiss your case. You may miss the opportunity to make the right parties accountable for your loved one’s death.
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What to Look for in a Wrongful Death Attorney in Ponca City, OK
Wrongful death is a unique aspect of personal injury law. It requires working with an attorney with the right combination of compassion and experience. That is why you should consult with our attorneys. We understand you are still grieving and ready to represent your best interests.
Types of Recoverable Damages for Fatal Accident Claims in Ponca City
When filing a fatal accident claim, your wrongful death lawyer in Ponca City, OK will need to carefully go over every way your life has been affected by the loss of your loved one. We will also need to carefully consider the extent to which your loved one’s life was affected by their fatal injuries.
Damages are typically paid out in two separate ways. The first is damages that go to the decedent’s surviving family members. This does not only include financial losses, but non-financial losses or non-economic damages as well. Some examples of damages that may go to the decedent’s surviving family members include:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Costs of the decedent’s burial and funeral arrangements
- Loss of the decedent’s love and support
- Loss of the decedent’s household services and financial support
- Loss of a parental relationship, including guidance, protection, and advice
Other types of damages go to the decedent’s estate. Multiple parties may have the authority to file the wrongful death claim, but the decision to state is generally entitled to any out-of-pocket expenses it covers. For example, this might be a little and burial expenses, healthcare bills, and other economic losses. Typically, non-economic damages are not available to the estate.
It is also possible that your family may be awarded punitive damages in your wrongful death claim. Punitive damages under Oklahoma laws are typically only available when the decedent’s conduct is malicious, intentional, egregious, or grossly negligent. The court system must find it appropriate to punish the decedent for their actions for punitive damages to apply.
For example, if your loved one passed away in a collision caused by a drunk driver, and that drunk driver had multiple criminal DUI charges on their record, you may have the right to punitive damages in your wrongful death claim. Your wrongful death lawyer in Ponca City, OK will carefully evaluate the specific circumstances of your keys to determine how much you might expect to recover in your lawsuit and insurance claims.
Speak to a Ponca City Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one because of someone else’s negligent actions, you deserve to be compensated. You should not have to pay for their medical expenses, funeral costs, or other bills related to their death out of your own pocket.
Contact an experienced Ponca City wrongful death attorney at BDIW Law for a free initial consultation. Call our office or complete our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation with our legal team today.
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