WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA
The death of a loved one always brings grief. When that death occurs unexpectedly due to something someone else did or did not do, shock exacerbates the grief. Had it not been for that other person, your loved one would still be here with you.
Wrongful death occurs in many ways, but motor vehicle accidents are a leading one. Between 600 and 700 people die in auto crashes every year on Oklahoma roadways, many of them because someone failed to uphold their duty of care.
If you have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, you should talk to a compassionate personal injury attorney to explore legal action. For more than 30 years, Stan Bearden has been helping clients in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma, experiencing shock, grief, and anger surrounding a wrongful death. He can assist you, too. Contact Stan Bearden Law Firm to get started on your claim.
WHY SHOULD I PURSUE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
This is a question most people ask after losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intent, and it’s a fair one to ask. After all, a wrongful death settlement will not bring back that person’s life. Money can’t replace what you have lost. There are, however, two good reasons to pursue a wrongful death claim or file a wrongful death lawsuit.
First, pursuing a wrongful death action holds the person responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their negligence. If not for them, your loved one would still be here. An insurance claim or lawsuit may help prevent that person from ever causing the death of someone else again, and that will save another family the immeasurable grief you’re feeling right now.
Second, in the wake of your loss, you will face significant financial challenges. The costs associated with your loved one’s medical care, funeral, and burial expenses can be significant. You have suddenly lost the income that person provided and would have for the foreseeable future. You have lost the services they provided, their companionship, and their guidance as you struggle with grief and anguish. A wrongful death settlement will help you and your family now and in the future, easing the financial burden you face because of the death.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL DEATH IN OKLAHOMA?
Wrongful death is a death caused by someone’s actions, their failure to take certain actions, or by intent. If your loved one would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim against someone else had they survived, a wrongful death action can be pursued in their stead.
For example, if a negligent driver caused a crash that injured your loved one, he or she would have been able to file a liability claim against that driver to recover damages. If your loved one died because of the crash, his or her estate may file an action to recover damages for the estate and its heirs.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death actions is only two years in Oklahoma. You have two years from the day your loved one died to either settle a claim with the insurer or file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party at fault.
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
A wrongful death claim is not filed by the surviving spouse, parents, children, or other close relatives in Oklahoma. Instead, the action must be pursued by the personal representative or “executor” of the decedent’s estate.
If they had a will at the time of their death, a personal representative would have been named in it. If they did not, which often happens because the death is so unexpected, the probate court will appoint someone to serve in this capacity. The wrongful death action will recover damages for the estate and for its beneficiaries and heirs.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE RECOVERABLE?
The estate may recover the cost of medical and burial expenses as well as non-economic damages such as the pain, suffering, and mental anguish suffered by the decedent before they died. On behalf of survivors, recoverable damages include the loss of consortium and the grief of a surviving spouse, loss of companionship, and the grief suffered by children and parents. The future income and benefits the person would have earned had they lived is also recoverable.
If the decedent is a minor, unemancipated child, recoverable damages include such things as the medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship and the parent-child relationship, loss of future support and services, and compensation for the expenses of raising the child.
WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY SERVING TULSA, OKLAHOMA
Death is never easy, and no sum of money will replace what you have lost, but if someone’s negligence led to your loved one’s death, you should hold them accountable. Stan Bearden has helped dozens of Tulsa, Oklahoma, families facing such loss with compassion for them and tenacity with insurance companies and in the courtroom. If you have lost a loved one, call Stan Bearden Law Firm now to schedule a free case consultation.