Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death Attorneys in Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a loved one is always hard. Losing a loved one because someone wasn’t acting right makes the loss even more difficult Sometimes, these injuries result in catastrophic losses for victims and their families. Often, insurance companies are pariahs – waiting to take advantage of those who are suffering.  Whatever catastrophic event led you to us, know that we are in your corner. We protect the little guy against bad insurance companies and others who would take advantage of those in vulnerable positions.

Unfortunately, some victims do not survive their injuries. When this happens, it often leaves surviving family members wondering who is responsible for their loved one’s death and how they can recover. A wrongful death claim can help surviving families after the loss of a loved one due to the malicious or careless actions of another. Whether we need to negotiate with an insurance company or other party, we will fight against bullies trying to take advantage of your situation.

Compassionate Legal Representation for Tulsa Wrongful Death Actions

If your family has recently lost a loved one due to the actions of another party, you likely have many important legal questions about your next steps. You likely need to know how to prove the other party was responsible and how to hold them accountable for your family’s loss. If so, contact us. 222 Injury Lawyers have assisted many Tulsa area clients in a wide range of civil cases, including wrongful death claims. We stand up for the little guy – even when they can’t speak up for themselves due to death or injury. An experienced Tulsa wrongful death attorney can explain what your options are and protect you from unscrupulous insurance companies looking to take advantage of you. Having one of our team by your side throughout this difficult time can help ensure your family has the best chance of being taken care of after a loved one’s death.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When someone causes injury or economic harm to another party through negligence or any form of illegal misconduct, this is a personal injury. Oklahoma state law says that the at-fault party is responsible for all the losses they caused to the victim in question. However, if the victim does not survive the injury in question, their family would need to file a wrongful death claim instead of a personal injury claim.

A wrongful death action is like a personal injury claim. It is a civil suit seeking money from a defendant for their negligence or misconduct. However, while a personal injury case seeks money for the victim’s damages, a wrongful death claim seeks money for the victim’s injuries that led to their death and the surviving family’s damages.

Most US states have intestate succession laws for wrongful death claims, outlining who can file this type of claim. For example, in Oklahoma, state law requires the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death claim,if one has been appointed. If not, a wrongful death suit can be brought by the next of kin, normally referring to a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased.

Proving Fault for Wrongful Death in Oklahoma

Success with a wrongful death claim means knowing who is responsible for the death of your loved one. It also means being able to find proof of their responsibility. Most of the wrongful death claims filed in Oklahoma are about acts of negligence. Some of the most common causes of negligent wrongful deaths in the Tulsa area include:

  • Distracted driving. Drivers who cause a fatal accident due to inattention behind the wheel face liability for the wrongful death. In addition, depending on how bad the negligence is, this person may also face additional penalties, including facing jail time.
  • Workplace accidents. A fatal work-related injury could mean the victim’s family receiving death benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. However, if a specific party is at fault for causing your loved one’s death, they could easily face a wrongful death suit from the victim’s family as well.
  • Dog attacks. The state enforces a strict liability rule for dog owners whose pets injure others within the city limits. If a dog causes a fatal injury, the owner is responsible for the wrongful death, even if the dog did not have any history of biting or hurting people.

These are only a few possible examples of negligent wrongful deaths that might occur in the Tulsa area. If a wrongful death results from a crime or intentional misconduct, criminal charges can easily come into play. If that is the case, the defendant could face many years in prison along with having to pay for the surviving family’s damages.

What to Expect in a Tulsa Wrongful Death Case

A wrongful death claim happens in the civil court system. Most of the wrongful death suits filed in the state end in a private settlement – that means not having to go to trial because a mutual agreement about how much to pay the victim has been reached. The person responsible may also be prosecuted by the state. The wrongful death claim from the victim’s family will generally happen alongside the defendant’s criminal case proceedings.

If you and your family are able to privately settle your wrongful death action, you can keep some privacy during what is sure to be a difficult time. However, if settlement isn’t an option, you may need to go to court. A Tulsa wrongful death attorney can guide you throughout this process. With the help of 222 Injury Lawyers, you and your family will be able to make more informed decisions about each phase of your wrongful death case.

Contact Our Tulsa, OK Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Time is important for anyone thinking of filing a wrongful death action in Tulsa. With some limited exceptions, the state has a two-year statute of limitations for filing this type of civil case. This ensures the freshness of any physical evidence you may need to prove fault for the death. If witness testimony is necessary, your lawyers can get their statements as soon as possible for the most reliable memories. However, time is one way insurance agencies try and manipulate vulnerable people. Be sure to contact us as soon as you can to ensure we can protect you.

The team at 222 Injury Lawyers know how to handle complex personal injury claims involving catastrophic or fatal injuries. We also know how to deal with insurance companies that bully the vulnerable. We have successfully represented many past clients in the Tulsa area with their wrongful death claims. Let us put this experience to work for your family. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Tulsa wrongful death attorney to learn more about our legal services.

FAQs About Tulsa, OK Wrongful Death Law

What Is “Wrongful Death” in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma defines wrongful death as a death caused by the wrongful omission or act of another. Specifically, this applies when the deceased individual could have filed a personal injury claim if they had survived. If another party is legally at fault for the death of an individual, including cases such as negligence, malpractice, or intentional actions, the death may be ruled a wrongful death.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Oklahoma?

The statute of limitations is a specific period that a claim must be filed within to be accepted. Oklahoma places a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. If a claim is not filed within two years of the date of death, then it likely will not be heard by the courts. A Tulsa wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the process.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Oklahoma?

In many states, it is common for the family members of a wrongful death victim to file the necessary claim. However, that is not the case in Oklahoma. The personal representative of the decedent must file a claim for wrongful death compensation in Oklahoma. This individual may have been chosen by the deceased and named in their will. If there is no will, or a personal representative is not named, then the courts can appoint one.

What Damages Are Possible in an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Case?

Damages refer to any losses that can be claimed in a case dealing with personal injury or wrongful death. In the event of a wrongful death, the damages will be awarded to the deceased individual’s surviving loved ones. The most common damages in Oklahoma wrongful death cases include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Compensation for grief and loss
  • Burial expenses
  • Compensation for pain and anguish
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Compensation for the loss of relationship

Do Grandparents Have a Separate Right to File a Lawsuit for the Death of an Unborn Child?

In certain circumstances, grandparents and parents have a separate right to file a claim in the event of the death of an unborn child. According to Senate Bill 1728, which was passed in 2020, parents and grandparents have a right to sue the doctor who is responsible for an unborn child’s death. This is only true in certain circumstances. It is recommended that you work with an experienced wrongful death attorney to see if your case qualifies.

Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Considered Income in Oklahoma?

The settlement in a wrongful death claim may be a significant amount of money, depending on the specific details of the case. With an influx of money, you may wonder whether the settlement will need to be listed as income for tax purposes. According to Internal Revenue Service guidelines, most parts of a settlement from a wrongful death claim are not considered income. This is because a settlement is intended to compensate the family for their losses.

Who Chooses the Decedent’s Personal Representative?

The personal representative of a wrongful death victim is the person responsible for ensuring that their estate is reconciled properly. There are several ways this individual can be chosen. If the decedent had a will prior to their death, they may have named a personal representative. If they did not, the family of the deceased may be able to select a personal representative. This individual must be approved by the courts. If that is not possible for any reason, the courts will select and appoint a personal representative.

Who Chooses the Decedent’s Executor?

If the deceased individual had an established will, it is possible that they selected an executor, such as a friend or family member, prior to their death. If that is not the case, the courts will select an executor. There are several qualifications that must be met for an individual to be accepted as an executor. They must:

  • Be over the age of 18.
  • Have integrity.
  • Have not spent more than a year in prison.
  • Be competent and able to handle the duties.

Who Chooses the Decedent’s Administrator?

An administrator is only chosen if an individual dies without a will in place. In these cases, the administrator will be chosen by the courts. The possible administrators will be chosen based on a priority list established by the Oklahoma government. A surviving spouse is the first choice, followed by adult children, parents, siblings, and more. If no family or next of kin are available, the courts will appoint someone they view as competent.

Who Chooses the Decedent’s Conservator or Guardian?

A conservator or guardian is only involved with a wrongful death claim in very specific circumstances. They are often chosen for reasons that are unrelated to the wrongful death. In some cases, a conservator or guardian is put in place to make decisions for an adult who is legally incompetent. In other cases, the courts will appoint a guardian to make decisions for any children who are still under the age of 18.

What Do I Have to Prove in an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Case?

To complete a successful wrongful death claim, you must prove that the deceased individual would be alive if it were not for the actions or negligence of the responsible party. This must be done through credible evidence. You must prove that:

  1. The other party had a duty to the deceased.
  2. They neglected that duty.
  3. The deceased’s family suffered significant losses as a result.

How Do You Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case?

In many cases, you must approach the proof in a wrongful death case the same way you would in a personal injury claim. You must prove that:

  • The responsible party had some type of duty to the deceased.
  • That duty was not met as it should have been.
  • There have been major losses for the family of the deceased as a result.

To prove negligence connected with the wrongful death, you have a responsibility to prove that the action, or failure to act, of the responsible party was directly responsible for your loved one’s death.

What If I Am Unable to Afford a Lawyer for My Wrongful Death Case?

It is important to assess your financial situation when you are filing a wrongful death claim. Many attorneys may be willing to work with you to ensure that you can utilize their services. One option they may offer is a contingency fee. This means that you will not be responsible for paying an attorney unless you win your case. If your case is successful, then the attorney will receive a percentage of your settlement.

Who Is Responsible for Paying in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In the event of a wrongful death claim, the entity that caused the individual’s death becomes responsible for paying the damages. This could be another person, a company, or an organization. If it is proven that they hold responsibility for the wrongful death, then they will also hold full responsibility for paying the beneficiaries.

What Is the Cap on Wrongful Death Damages in Oklahoma?

In a wrongful death suit in Oklahoma, there is no cap on non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to specific ways that the quality of life of the deceased’s family and loved ones has been negatively impacted. This may include loss of companionship or pain and suffering. The decedent’s loved ones may receive any settlement, so long as the courts think it is justified by their suffering.

How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Oklahoma?

One category of damages in an Oklahoma wrongful death claim is pain and suffering. This includes physical or mental distress that is a direct result of the wrongful death. When the courts are calculating the amount of pain and suffering damages, they will look at every aspect of the case, including:

  • The total damages that can be recovered
  • The total economic loss
  • The total non-economic loss

Are Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements Taxable?

Most types of damages that are awarded in wrongful death settlements are not taxable. These settlements are not considered income in most cases, so they will not be taxed. The only type of damages that may be considered taxable are punitive damages. These are intended to punish the responsible party rather than compensate the family, so they may be taxed.

Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?

There are some circumstances where insurance will pay for wrongful death damages. If an entity has liability insurance, then the insurance company that represents them will do their own investigation and determine liability. This may take an extended period because the insurers will often wait for a claim to be filed. That way, they can be certain that the damages are being paid to the correct parties at the correct time.

Contact Our Tulsa, OK Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Our firm is comprised of seasoned wrongful death attorneys who are ready to help you today. Contact the team at 222 Injury Lawyers for all your wrongful death claim needs.

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