Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Oklahoma

It is always devastating when someone close to you dies unexpectedly, such as due to an undetected health condition or an accident. As pointed out on the website of law firm Abel Law Firm, it is doubly tragic when the death was directly caused by a third party’s wrongful act such as driving while intoxicated, neglect of a patient, or a defective product. These types of cases may qualify under Oklahoma law as a wrongful death, and the responsible party or parties may be named in a civil lawsuit for claiming compensation.

Wrongful death suits are essentially personal injury lawsuits except for the fact that the victim, who would have made a claim had he or she lived, had died. In wrongful death cases others may file a claim on behalf of the victim’s estate since the victim is unable to do so. This includes the surviving spouse, parent, child, or sibling, in that order. If there are no survivors in those categories, a person with the closest relationship to the deceased by marriage or blood may still file a claim. In some states two claims may be made: in behalf of the surviving family members and for the estate.

If a wrongful death claim prospers in Oklahoma, meaning that the jury or judge (if there is no jury) finds for the plaintiff, the defendant is liable for monetary damages which includes but not limited to mental anguish (for the death of a spouse or child), lost wages, loss of consortium, and reasonable expenses associated with the funeral and burial of the deceased. The type and amount of award will be determined by the court and the proceeds will be divided equitable among the beneficiaries of the deceased.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma is two years from the death of the victim. Cases filed after two years will be disallowed in court. A civil action for wrongful death may run concurrent with any criminal case for the same death.

If you lost a loved one as a result of the negligent or reckless act of a third party, you may be able to make a wrongful death claim. Consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in that state for help in this matter and to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitles to.