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Wrongful Death Lawyer Tulsa, OK

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Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

A Tulsa, OK wrongful death lawyer understands that the loss of a loved one from an event other than natural causes is a deeply traumatic experience. It is natural to feel profound sadness, anxiety, and even anger – especially if the loss would not have occurred but for the negligent or intentionally wrongful conduct of an individual, business, or institution. Besides these already upsetting emotions, panic may creep in with regard to financial matters, especially if the lost loved one occupied the valuable role of a primary or co-equal income earner. While nothing can undo the trauma of losing a loved one, Oklahoma’s wrongful death law does offer survivors of a wrongful death victim the opportunity to seek financial compensation from those responsible for the wrongful death and its consequences.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

The pain of losing a loved one is immeasurable, especially when the loss is unexpected and due to someone else’s negligence. This is where the concept of a wrongful death lawsuit comes into play. As wrongful death lawyers in Tulsa, OK, we at Wandres Law, P.C. understand the gravity of such situations and are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal support to those left behind.

Wrongful death refers to a legal action brought when someone’s death is caused by the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default of another. It aims to provide relief to the family members who have been affected by the untimely death of their loved one.

Medical Malpractice

One prevalent type of wrongful death case stems from medical malpractice. This occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the standard of care in their field, resulting in the death of a patient. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, birth injuries, and failure to treat a condition appropriately.

Workplace Accidents

Workplace fatalities also lead to wrongful death claims. Despite strict occupational safety regulations, accidents happen, often due to inadequate safety measures, faulty equipment, or negligence. Construction sites, factories, and warehouses are common settings for such tragedies.

Vehicle Accidents

Automobile, motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian accidents are among the most common causes of wrongful death. Reckless driving, driving under the influence, and failure to obey traffic laws often result in catastrophic accidents, leaving families to mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Product Liability

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe for consumers. When defects in design, manufacturing, or labeling lead to a death, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. These cases can range from faulty automotive parts to unsafe children’s toys.

Premises Liability

Property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment. If someone dies due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property – be it a slip and fall or a structural collapse – a wrongful death claim may arise.

Criminal Acts

Wrongful death cases also arise from criminal acts such as homicide. While the criminal justice system can prosecute the offender, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that seeks financial compensation for the survivors.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Oklahoma

The loss of a loved one is always a profound and painful experience. When this loss is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, it can lead to a wrongful death claim. In Oklahoma, the law specifies who is eligible to file such a claim. At Wandres Law, P.C., as experienced wrongful death lawyers in Tulsa, OK, we aim to provide clarity and support to those considering a wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death claim is a legal action taken when a person’s death is caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another. This type of claim is intended to compensate the deceased’s family members for their loss. In Oklahoma, wrongful death claims are governed by specific statutes that outline who can file these claims and the types of compensation that may be available.

Eligibility to File a Wrongful Death Claim

In the state of Oklahoma, the laws regarding who can file a wrongful death claim are quite specific and restrictive. These laws dictate that only certain individuals, based on their relationship with the deceased, are permitted to initiate such a claim. This means that not just anyone can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit; instead, it’s typically limited to those who were closely related to the deceased. This eligibility criterion is designed to ensure that only those who were directly affected by the loss and have a legitimate emotional and often financial connection to the deceased are able to seek legal recourse. The following individuals are typically eligible:

Role and Responsibilities of the Personal Representative in Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

In many instances, the responsibility of filing a wrongful death claim falls upon the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This individual, commonly referred to as the executor, plays a pivotal role in managing the deceased’s final affairs and is often explicitly designated in the deceased’s will. If the deceased did not specify a personal representative in their will, or if there is no will, a court may appoint someone to fulfill this role. The personal representative’s duties extend beyond mere estate management; they are also tasked with the significant responsibility of initiating a wrongful death lawsuit. This involves legally representing the interests of the deceased’s estate and, by extension, the interests of the beneficiaries or heirs. The role is not only administrative but also carries a legal weight, as the personal representative must navigate through the complexities of wrongful death laws to effectively pursue the claim.

Immediate Family Members, these include

  1. Spouses: A surviving spouse has a right to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of companionship, mental anguish, and financial support.
  2. Children: Biological and legally adopted children of the deceased can seek compensation for the loss of parental guidance, affection, and support.
  3. Parents: In cases where the deceased is a minor child, the parents can file a wrongful death claim for the emotional trauma and loss of their child’s companionship.

Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

In Oklahoma, wrongful death claims encompass a broad spectrum of compensatory aspects, addressing both tangible and intangible losses. These damages are categorized into economic (financial) and non-economic types, each reflecting different facets of loss caused by the wrongful death. The following is a detailed breakdown of these damages:

Medical Expenses

This includes all the healthcare costs that were incurred as a result of the injury that eventually led to the death. It covers hospital bills, medical treatments, surgeries, medication costs, and any other healthcare services that the deceased required due to the fatal injury.

Funeral and Burial Expenses

These damages cover the costs associated with the deceased’s funeral services and burial. It encompasses everything from the funeral home charges, casket or urn costs, ceremony expenses, to the burial plot and headstone.

Loss of Expected Income

This refers to the financial support the deceased would have contributed had they lived. It includes not only their current income but also future earnings that are now lost to the family or dependents. This calculation often considers the deceased’s earning potential, career trajectory, and retirement benefits.

Loss of Companionship and Emotional Support

These non-economic damages acknowledge the emotional and relational loss suffered by the family members or close associates of the deceased. It compensates for the loss of love, companionship, guidance, and emotional support that the deceased would have provided.

Pain and Suffering of the Deceased

This category compensates for the physical pain and emotional distress the deceased endured between the initial injury and their eventual death. It recognizes the suffering that the deceased might have experienced due to the injury.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the wrongful death resulted from gross negligence or deliberate malicious acts, the court may award punitive damages. These are not intended to compensate for a loss but rather to punish the wrongdoer and serve as a deterrent against similar actions in the future.

Each of these types of damages serves to provide a comprehensive compensation package for the beneficiaries of the deceased, reflecting the multitude of ways in which the wrongful death has impacted their lives.

Steps To Take To File A Wrongful Death Claim

When your loved one passes as the result of another party’s negligence, you may want to file a wrongful death claim but are not sure of the steps to take. In fact, legal matters can often be so overwhelming and difficult that many people decide not to pursue them because it is too much to handle during a time of grief. When there is finally time to sit down and move forward, the statute of limitations may be up and there is nothing to do. This is why one of the best things you can do is work with a lawyer when you believe someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your loved one to become injured and die. When you are ready to move forward, reach out to our office.

Hire a Lawyer

One of the best moves you can make is to first hire a lawyer. You have the right to grieve and mourn the loss of your loved one without feeling like it falls on you and you alone to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims can be tricky, especially when it comes to who has the right to file. Speak with a seasoned lawyer and let them guide you through the process. 

Be prepared to negotiate

Not all wrongful death claims will have successful negotiations and settlements but this will likely be the simplest route to take. When you want to move forward with filing a suit, the negligent party and their insurance will likely want to negotiate instead of going to court. This is not a bad option and gives you a much stronger chance of winning compensation than it would if you go to court. 

Open an estate

You must set up an estate so that you can file on behalf of your loved one. This can be tricky since there is so much paperwork and you need a valid estate plan. This involves working with the local probate court, appointing a representative, and speaking with your lawyer about probate laws in Oklahoma. It can be easier if your loved one had an estate plan in place and already has a person named as their personal representative. This makes filing a wrongful death claim simpler. 

Be prepared to litigate

In many instances, the insurance company will offer a settlement. This will bump back and forth between the lawyer and the insurance company and may settle a fair agreement. However, if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement for your loved one’s wrongful death, you want a lawyer who is willing to move forward with litigation. 

You should not be concerned that your loved one will not be brought to justice. Instead, speak with our trusted lawyers to learn more about how we can help with your wrongful death case now. 

What Steps Should You Take Infographic

 

What Steps Should You Take Infographic

Tulsa Wrongful Death Statistics

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in the United States, there are an estimated 2.4 million wrongful death cases filed each year. This statistic shows the high number of wrongful death cases that occur each year. It is important to note that not all wrongful death cases are successful, but even if a case is not successful, it can still be an important way to hold those responsible for wrongful deaths accountable.

Frequently Asked Questions For Wrongful Death Cases

When a person passes away, the experience can leave family and friends deeply impacted by the loss but, when a person passes away unexpectedly and at the hands of a responsible party whose actions were negligent, a critical step will be to contact a Tulsa, OK wrongful death lawyer. Accidents of this nature can be complicated, and because the outcome resulted in death, damages can be significant, and for loved ones left behind, compensation may be much needed. The family members of victims have a right to pursue legal action with help from our Wandres Law, P.C team. However, there can be several complexities to the legal process, leaving families with many questions regarding the best way to move forward. 

What if the Person Who Died Was Partially at Fault?

In many wrongful death cases, the person who died may be found partially at fault for the incident that caused their death. In these cases, it is possible to still pursue a wrongful death claim, though the amount of compensation you may receive could be reduced depending on the degree of fault attributed to the deceased. It is important to speak to a Tulsa wrongful death lawyer at Wandres Law, P.C. to understand your legal options and potential compensation.

Who is eligible to bring forth a wrongful death claim?

Cases of this nature can be both intentional or result from negligence. When a person has passed away, loved ones may want to know how to proceed with the legal process and who may be eligible to bring forth a wrongful death claim. In most cases, immediate family members can file wrongful death claims. However, while there may be multiple qualified parties, remember that only one wrongful death claim can be filed through the decedent’s estate. To determine the appropriate process, family members considering legal action should speak with an experienced lawyer to learn the path forward. 

What key elements are necessary to prove cases of this nature?

As a Tulsa wrongful death lawyer will share, the person bringing forth the case carries the burden of proof, meaning they will have to prove that, based upon the preponderance of the evidence that the responsible party’s negligence resulted in the person’s passing. A lawyer will assist their client in identifying the following vital elements with evidence to support each:

  • Duty of Care
  • Breach of Duty of Care
  • Causation
  • Damages

What types of evidence can assist in building a strong claim against the responsible party?

When seeking compensation for damages, victims will not only need to supply evidence that supports each key element of the accident case, but they will also need to provide evidence that supports the damages suffered by the victim and their families. Critical evidence that a lawyer can assist in gathering will include:

  • Medical Records
  • Eyewitness Statements
  • Proof of Lost Wages
  • Pay Stubs
  • Police Reports
  • Photos/Videos
  • Death Certificate
  • Funeral Expenses

How long does a wrongful death case take to resolve?

Many people will be looking to resolve the legal process as soon as possible so that they can move forward. Wrongful death cases can take several months to several years to complete. However, the length of time the case may take can vary depending on the legal process that is pursued. Victims’ families can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit with the insurance company. Often, the appropriate way to initiate the process is to file a wrongful death claim with the insurance company; through this process, lawyers and insurance companies will work to negotiate a fair settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the victim’s lawyer may recommend pursuing a lawsuit, which may take longer to resolve. While filing a lawsuit can yield more significant settlement amounts, it’s possible to walk away empty-handed if the court does not rule in the plaintiff’s favor. 

Wandres Law, PC, Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

1202 E 33rd St, Tulsa, OK 74105

Consult An Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney

Navigating the legal complexities of wrongful death claims in Oklahoma can be challenging, especially while coping with the emotional toll of losing a loved one. To ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can guide you through the process.

 At Wandres Law, P.C., we understand the profound impact of wrongful death on families. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are here to provide you with the support and legal representation you need during this difficult time. If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation with a skilled Tulsa wrongful death lawyer. We are committed to helping you seek justice for your loved one and holding those responsible accountable for their actions.

Wandres Law, PC, Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

1202 East 33rd Street Tulsa, OK 74105

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