When your loved one passes away, you deserve to honor their memory. You are probably focused on the funeral and burial, but you must also protect your loved one's rights.
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, if your loved one has passed away because of the action or inaction of someone else, we may be able to pursue compensation on your behalf.
It is downright tragic if your loved one's death could have been avoided, and you need to rely on us to conduct a full investigation. Learn more about how we can protect your rights, and call us to schedule a case consultation. We may recover compensation through wrongful death claims or lawsuits on your behalf.
Experienced Representation From an Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Lawyer
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, our Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyers have already represented countless individuals and families in the local area. We know this is a stressful time for you and your family, and we will provide your case with the care and compassion it deserves. Our Oklahoma City wrongful death attorneys can handle the legal issues for you while you focus on honoring the memory of your loved one.
Our wrongful death attorney will keep you updated every step of the way, and we will use every resource that we have available to ensure your rights are protected.
The Wrongful Death Laws in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, you need to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of your loved one's passing. There is a lot that you need to focus on when a loved one passes away, and you need to place your attention where it belongs. At the same time, you should not wait too long, as we cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf if it falls outside the statute of limitations.
You also need to know who has the standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one has passed away.
People Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Oklahoma
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim if someone passes away due to the action or inaction of someone else. A few examples of people who may be able to file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma include:
A Personal Representative
The estate's representative is the primary person who should file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone passes away. This individual is usually appointed by the loved one when they are still alive to ensure all assets and debt associated with the estate are distributed correctly. This individual usually files a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma, but others might also be eligible.
The Surviving Spouse
The surviving spouse of someone who passes away should also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma. It might be the same person as the estate's representative, but that is not always true. If you believe your spouse has passed away in a wrongful death situation, you should contact us to schedule a case consultation as quickly as possible.
The Next of Kin
Other surviving family members may also be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma. Not every family member can bring a wrongful death case. In general, the closer the family member's blood relation to the individual who has passed away, the more likely they are to have the standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
It can be confusing to figure out who can file wrongful death lawsuits in Oklahoma, so schedule a case consultation with us as quickly as possible.
Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases
We handle several common examples of wrongful death cases in Oklahoma. Some of the most common examples include:
- Intentional Acts: If your loved one has passed away because of the intentional acts of someone else, there should be a wrongful death case we can pursue on your behalf. For example, if your loved one was murdered or if your loved one passed away after being assaulted, we may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While you should certainly pursue this case in the criminal court, we may be able to pursue it in the civil court as well.
- Negligence: If your loved one died because of someone else's negligence, you might have a wrongful death case. If someone else owed your loved one a duty of care and did not show them that duty of care, we may be able to pursue a wrongful death case based on negligence.
- Malpractice: There are also situations where malpractice may result in someone else's death. While this is not necessarily criminal, it could still be a wrongful death case. Importantly, just because your loved one passes away during a medical procedure doesn't necessarily mean that medical malpractice took place. We must conduct a full investigation to figure out what happened.
These are just a few of the most common examples of wrongful death cases we handle locally. If you believe you may have a wrongful death case, you should contact us to schedule a case consultation.
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Oklahoma City
There are several common examples of wrongful death causes that we encounter. Some of the most common examples include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common examples of wrongful death cases that we handle.
- Criminal Acts: We also handle wrongful death cases related to criminal acts, such as murder.
- Nursing Home Abuse: We can investigate wrongful deaths in nursing homes due to abuse.
- Bicycle Accidents: If your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, we might be able to pursue a wrongful death case if they were struck by somebody else.
- Workplace Accidents: Wrongful deaths can also occur in workplace accidents, and we can investigate a workplace accident on your behalf.
If you feel your loved one has passed away under suspicious circumstances, you should contact us to schedule a case consultation.
Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim
If we pursue a wrongful death claim based on negligence, we must prove several elements for that case to be successful. They include:
Duty of Care
We must prove that the defendant had a duty of care to his loved one. For example, if your loved one was driving down the road and was struck by another motorist, we must prove that the motorist had a duty of care to your loved one.
In Oklahoma, all motorists must follow the laws of the road, so we may simply have to prove that the defendant was behind the other car's wheel.
Next, we must show that the defendant somehow breached their duty of care. All drivers are supposed to follow the rules of the road, so we may have to prove that the defendant broke traffic laws somehow.
After this, we must show that the breach of that duty of care directly resulted in wrongful death. Using the motor vehicle accident example from above, we will have to prove that the defendant not only broke the rules of the road but also that the defendant crashed into your loved one's car when the rules of the road were broken. We will have to prove that the defendant directly caused the death of your loved one.
Finally, you must prove that your loved ones suffered some damage. While your loved one passing away is an obvious result, there are other examples of damages we may have to prove.
For example, we may have to prove that you incurred financial expenses you would not otherwise have suffered. Or, we will have to prove that you and your family have lost income due to your loved one passing away.
If we can prove all of these elements, we should be able to bring a successful wrongful death case.
How Oklahoma Comparative Fault Rules Could Affect Your Wrongful Death Case
Comparative negligence could affect the size of any potential settlement you recover. It means that a judge or jury decides that you or your loved one bear some responsibility for the damages resulting from the incident.
For example, if a jury decides that your loved one was 20% at fault for the accident, then any potential settlement would be reduced by 20%. Schedule a case consultation with us quickly to maximize your compensation.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A few examples of damage that we may be able to recover in a wrongful death suit include:
We can recover economic damages on your behalf. For example, suppose you have incurred medical expenses due to a wrongful death case. In that case, we can pursue compensation to cover those medical expenses. Or, if your family has lost income due to the wrongful death case, we may be able to seek damages to replace that lost income.
We can also pursue non-economic damages on your behalf. These are damages that do not necessarily have an invoice or receipt, but they are still important.
For example, we may be able to pursue compensation for pain and suffering following a wrongful death case. We may also be able to seek compensation if you have lost consortium due to the wrongful death.
Schedule an Initial Consultation With Our Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux
If your loved one has passed away, you need to make sure that you honor their memory. At the same time, critical legal issues may need to be addressed, so contact us at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux to schedule a case consultation.
Our top priority is to protect the rights of your loved one and your family, so call us today to schedule a free initial case consultation to learn more about how we can help you.