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Support for those dealing with wrongful death issues

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Wrongful Death

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, it is critical to build a strong network of support so that you can rely on family, friends, counselors and others for encouragement and assistance as you cope with your loss and learn to move on in life without your family member. The grieving process may intensify in situations where a fatality was preventable had it not been for another person’s negligence, recklessness or malicious behavior. Such tragedies often lead to wrongful death claims in court.

It’s not uncommon to experience feelings of frustration, anger or even guilt (wondering whether you could have prevented the death) in cases where a wrongful death has occurred. Finding ways to process your grief and find closure is helpful. For many families, this includes filing a wrongful death claim, which is a legal process that allows an immediate family member of a decedent to seek restitution from the person who caused his or her death.

You file wrongful death claims in civil court

You must process a wrongful death claim through the civil justice system. If your loved one would have had grounds for filing a personal injury claim if he or she had survived, then it’s likely that a spouse, adult child or other immediate family member may file a lawsuit on behalf of the decedent.

When you’re a plaintiff in a wrongful death case, you must prove that several elements existed at the time your loved one suffered the injuries that resulted in his or her passing. Such elements include an owed duty of care, failure to fulfill the duty (negligence), the collision or accident occurred because of said negligence, and evidence of damage (in this case, death).

Is this type of legal claim only for car accidents?

You can file a wrongful death claim following any incident that caused (otherwise preventable) fatal injuries to your loved one, for which another individual or group of people were responsible. For example, you might have grounds for filing a claim regarding medical malpractice, fatal wounds from a dog bite, criminal assault or numerous other issues.

Because wrongful death litigation is complex and often upsetting to a decedent’s loved ones, it is best to rely on experienced representation in court. Doing so enables you to take more of a back seat during proceedings, listening and observing, without necessarily having to speak or present evidence. In fact, an attorney can provide support even before a trial begins, to gather evidence, speak with witnesses and determine the maximum compensation allowable under Oklahoma injury laws.