Sometimes, when people die, it’s truly an accident. Other times, a person or a business caused the death through illegal behavior, omissions or negligence.
When one party directly causes the death of a person, those left behind grieving sometimes have the option of going to the Oklahoma civil courts and asking for justice in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. Understanding the two important rules below will be key to evaluating whether a claim will benefit those affected by a recent loss.
Only one person can file
There may be many people directly and indirectly impacted by someone’s untimely death, but only one individual has the authority to pursue a lawsuit under Oklahoma law. The personal representative for the estate of the person who died will be the person to file the lawsuit. They will then have a responsibility to appropriately distribute the proceeds of that lawsuit in accordance with Oklahoma state law.
A lawsuit needs to happen quickly
Any kind of personal injury claim in Oklahoma may be subject to a statute of limitations. Those who wait more than two years after someone’s death to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit may lose the option of requesting compensation from the party to blame. In some cases, families may need to replace the personal representative of the estate before the statute of limitations expires to ensure that someone seeks justice on behalf of the surviving dependents.
Understanding the laws that apply to Oklahoma wrongful death lawsuits will benefit those hoping to seek financial justice after someone’s death.