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  • Writer's pictureMichael L. Brooks, J.D.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Oklahoma: What You Need to Know

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that can be brought by the estate of a deceased person. The purpose of such a claim is to recover damages for the loss suffered by the decedent's family members and dependents.


Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Oklahoma?

Eligible claimants in Oklahoma include the following:

  • The decedent's surviving spouse and/or children (including adopted children), or the decedent’s next of kin if there is no surviving spouse or child.

  • Parents of a deceased child.

  • Any person who paid the decedent’s medical and/or burial expenses, or the decedent’s estate if the estate paid such expenses.


What Damages Can be Recovered in an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Claim?

Oklahoma wrongful death claims are based on the same legal principles as other personal injury cases. The most common types of damages that can be recovered in an Oklahoma wrongful death claim are:

  • Compensatory damages - Compensation for your losses, including medical expenses and funeral costs, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, grief, and loss of financial support.

  • Punitive damages - Punitive or exemplary damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their misconduct and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. These awards are intended to punish the defendant, not compensate you for your loss of companionship or financial support provided by your loved one who died as a result of someone else's negligence or intentional act (e.g., murder).


What is the Process for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Oklahoma?

The process for filing a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma is similar to that of other states. The first step is to investigate the cause of death and gather evidence. You will then file a lawsuit against whoever was at fault for your loved one's death, such as an insurance company or manufacturer. If you win your case, you can recover damages such as lost wages and medical bills incurred by your family member before their death.

If you're considering filing suit after losing someone close to you due to negligence or recklessness on someone else's part, it's important that you know how long they have been gone before doing so--and whether they left behind any dependents who might be eligible for compensation through this type of lawsuit (more on this later).


What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Oklahoma?

You may have heard the term "statute of limitations" before, but you might not know exactly what it means or how it applies to your case. In simple terms, a statute of limitations is a time limit on filing a lawsuit (or other legal action). If you do not file your lawsuit within this timeframe, then you will be barred from pursuing your claim.

There are two main types of statutes: personal injury statutes and wrongful death statutes. Personal injury statutes apply when someone has been injured due to another person's negligence or wrongdoing; these cases include medical malpractice claims, as well as car accidents caused by reckless driving or defective products like faulty brakes on cars or toys with sharp edges that can cut children's fingers off if they're not properly packaged before being sold in stores where kids can reach them easily.

Wrongful death claims are different from personal injury claims because they involve someone dying as opposed to just getting hurt physically (although sometimes both types overlap). If someone dies because another person did something negligent--like driving drunk or medical malpractice--then their family members may have grounds for bringing suit against those responsible through Oklahoma's wrongful death statute. Oklahoma wrongful death claims typically must be brought within two years of the date of death, but the time period may be shorter in some cases—for example, you have only one year to bring a wrongful death claim against an Oklahoma governmental entity. Because of these strict time limits, it is important that you consult with an experienced Oklahoma wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the death of your loved one.


How Can an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?

An Oklahoma wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the legal process and help you navigate it. They will investigate the cause of death, calculate damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and provide emotional support during this difficult time.


What is a Wrongful Death Settlement?

A wrongful death settlement is a financial agreement between the family of a deceased person and those responsible for their death. In order to receive compensation, you must prove that your loved one's death was caused by someone else's negligence or misconduct.


If you're negotiating with an insurance company or another party who may be liable for your loved one's death, it's important to understand what they are willing to offer and why they might be offering it.


What is a Wrongful Death Trial?

A wrongful death trial is a civil lawsuit that allows family members to sue for damages when someone dies due to the negligence of another person. In order to file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma, you must prove that your loved one died as a result of an injury caused by someone else's actions (or inaction)


Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to Oklahoma wrongful death claims. If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of another person or entity, contact us today for a free consultation.

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