The untimely or accidental death of a loved one is always a challenging time. Besides the emotional pain brought by a sudden death, surviving families can suffer financial problems as well. When the death is caused by the wrongful or negligent conduct of another party, Oklahoma families have the right to seek justice and minimize financial repercussions by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit? A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action that holds a person or entity responsible for the untimely death of a person due to medical malpractice, unsafe premises, a motor vehicle accident, a defective product or other negligence or wrongdoing. The lawsuit asserts that if not for the conduct of the entity or person, the fatal accident would not have happened. The plaintiffs can seek monetary damages including reimbursement for medical and funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, the grief of surviving children, parents and spouse, and the mental pain and suffering of the decedent.
Who can file the lawsuit? The personal representative of the decedent can file the lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members. It is generally recommended that the personal representative hire an attorney to prepare the lawsuit and represent the family’s interests in court.
Is there a time limit to filing a wrongful death lawsuit? Yes. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for filing this legal action is two years. This means that a lawsuit must generally be filed within two years of the date of death or the claim can be forever barred from court. In order to preserve evidence and allow sufficient time for investigation and preparation of the lawsuit, it is always in the best interests of surviving family members to consult a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Source: Oscn.net, “Oklahoma Statutes Citationized,” Accessed on Dec. 23, 2014
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