Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers

Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Lawyer

At Ylla Gosney, our Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers will be there to represent you if you’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident. No matter what caused the death, our team will be ready to help you or any other surviving family members through the legal process. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to get the process started.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?

According to Oklahoma law, only certain people are allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Usually, it’s the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, and typically they’re named in the will. They’re the only ones that can actually file the wrongful death lawsuit.

Under these guidelines, the personal representative will file the claim on behalf of the surviving family members, like the:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents

With that said, if the death occurs unexpectedly, there may not be a will or other guidelines in place. In the event that’s the case, the judge will name a personal representative to bring a lawsuit.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

There’s no legal requirement that says you need a lawyer to file an injury claim in Oklahoma City. However, because a wrongful death claim is somewhat unique, you’ll likely need a lawyer to help you through the more challenging aspects of these particular cases.

Our team at Ylla Gosney have the experience and dedication to guide you if you’re able to file a wrongful death claim by:

  • Providing legal guidance – The first thing we can do for you is give you legal guidance. When you meet with our team initially, we’ll evaluate and assess your claim and what the path forward looks like. We’ll also help you establish that you’re able to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Collecting important evidence – The strength of any case rests on evidence. In a wrongful death claim, we’ll help you gather crucial evidence like medical records, accident reports, statements, and any other evidence you have that can help us build a strong case for you.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies and other lawyers – A big part of our services lies in negotiating with insurance companies. They’re the ones that represent the other side in a claim, along with other lawyers. As such, we’ll ask them for evidence, their investigative reports, and ultimately, financial support that’s available under the law.
  • Court representation – In the event that your case goes to court before a judge, we’ll represent your interests. We’ll go to hearings, make important filings, and possibly may even present your case before a judge and jury.

Again, losing someone you care about is certainly difficult. However, making the step to file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma City is an important part of getting back to normal. More than anything else, our team takes a compassionate and dedicated approach to wrongful death cases, and will make sure to treat you and your family with respect as the process plays out.

Who is Responsible for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Having the ability to file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma City is only the starting point of the process. From there, you or a personal representative have to actually file the claim against the person or entity that’s responsible for causing the accident that led to your loved ones death.

The first step in the legal process is figuring out who is responsible–known as “liability.” Generally, a wrongful death claim comes out of a situation where:

  • The person would have survived if not for the negligence or misconduct of another.

Obviously, there are a number of different types of incidents where such an incident can occur. Usually, though, wrongful death claims involve:

  • Car or truck accidents
  • Motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents
  • Defective products
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Burn injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents

Depending on the type of accident, potentially liable parties could include:

  • Other drivers
  • Workplaces or businesses
  • Government agencies
  • Product manufacturers
  • Property owners
  • Employers
  • Medical professionals

Legal Process and Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Once you’re able to file a claim, our team can help you with the next steps. Although it’s unique and somewhat challenging, a wrongful death claim is looked at the same as any other injury claim in Oklahoma City. The main difference is that the injured party isn’t able to file the claim on their own, and instead it falls to the personal representative of their estate.

Still, the legal process plays out similarly and start with:

  • Filing an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit

Once the claim is filed, you and other surviving family members can recover damages from the responsible party. This can include the following, depending on the particular facts of your case:

  • Funeral and burial expenses – These cover the costs of the funeral and burial if the family had to pay for them.
  • Medical bills – These damages cover the costs of medical treatment and care that the person who passed away had before they died.
  • Lost income – These damages involve getting money for the income the person who passed away would have earned, especially if they were the main person making money for the family.
  • Loss of future income – These damages cover the income the person who passed away could have made in the future, including raises and better job opportunities.
  • Lost benefits – Similar to lost income, these damages make up for the benefits from the job that the person who passed away would have had, like health insurance or retirement plans.

In Oklahoma, as with any claim, a wrongful death claim must be filed within a specific timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of death. Failing to file within this period may result in the loss of the opportunity to seek financial support.

Other Factors

Although it’s undoubtedly painful, there are certain foundational elements that come into play in a wrongful death claim. Typically, these factors influence the damages that you and other survivors can recover and are based on your lost loved one’s:

  • Age at the time of death
  • Children or dependents’ age and circumstances
  • Income at the time of death
  • Earning potential
  • Education and training
  • State of their health
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Overall value of any lost benefits

Wrongful death claims, though sad, are similar to other injury claims but are influenced by unique circumstances. The value is determined not only by specific factors mentioned but also by the details of the accident causing the loss. Ultimately, the at-fault party’s insurance company has the final say in deciding the amount for your loved one’s wrongful death claim. So, having our team’s legal and emotional support can make all the difference in these claims.

Contact Ylla Gosney Today For a Free Consultation

Wrongful deaths are tragic events that usually happen suddenly, leaving little to no time to prepare for the aftermath. Our Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyers at Ylla Gosney understand the difficulty of these situations. We’re proud to support victims both legally and emotionally during this challenging time. Contact us today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.