A wrongful death occurs when one person dies as a result of the carelessness and negligence of another person or entity. Certain family members are allowed to seek damages as a result of wrongful death. A personal representative of the decedent is appointed by the court, and the wrongful death lawsuit is brought by him or her. If the decedent died with a will, the court ordinarily appoints the person designated as the decedent’s personal representative to that office. If the decedent died without a will, the court will almost always appoint a family member.
Damages in Oklahoma Wrongful Death Cases
Even if the cause of death is clear, you can expect the damages issue in the case to be strenuously defended. It will be the objective of the defense to devalue the damages in the case, while it is the objective of wrongful death lawyers in Oklahoma City, OK, to maximize their value. Here are some of the damages that are allowed to be considered by a jury in a wrongful death case:
- Loss of current support and benefits
- If there is a spouse, the loss of his or her consortium
- Medical bills between the time of the accident and the time of death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent between the time of the accident and his or her death
After a settlement or verdict, the court will decide on how any proceeds will be distributed.
The Time Limitation
In Oklahoma, the general rule is that you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you fail to file within that time, it’s likely that any such lawsuit will be dismissed, so file your lawsuit as soon as possible. Further, evidence can disappear and the recollections of witnesses might fade over time. Wrongful death lawyers in Oklahoma City, OK, can provide you with the help that you need in this difficult time.