Many people die due to age, health issues and other natural causes. But, occasionally, people die because of situations caused by other parties. Hundreds of people in Oklahoma every year lose their lives due to criminal activity. Many others die in incidents caused by negligence or misconduct, like drunk driving car crashes.
Both businesses and individuals can directly cause someone’s death as a result of bad behaviors or omissions. Those grieving someone’s untimely passing due to such causes have certain rights under the law. Oklahoma wrongful death statutes allow the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to file a lawsuit against the party that caused their death. They can seek a specific amount of compensation based on the losses that the family of the deceased has suffered.
Economic losses are a major concern
Those seeking financial relief after the untimely death of an individual often have direct financial costs related to someone’s passing. Many people will receive medical care before their deaths, including ambulance transportation to the hospital and emergency trauma care. Some may even be on life support for days before they succumb to their injuries. Those costs can add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are also funeral and burial expenses to consider. Additionally, the person who died likely contributed to the household’s finances. Their lost wages and employment benefits can be worth a significant amount of money. A wrongful death lawsuit can include all of those economic losses.
People can also pursue non-economic losses
There are a variety of consequences from someone’s untimely passing that don’t have a direct price tag attached to them. If the person who died was married, their spouse can seek compensation for their grief and loss of consortium. There can also be claims for the grief and loss of companionship that surviving parents and children experience after someone’s death. Additionally, the lawsuit can include claims for compensation based on the mental pain and anguish of the deceased individual prior to their death.
It can be a challenge for families to put a price on these intangible losses, and they may need help with this and other aspects of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Seeking legal guidance and learning more about Oklahoma state statutes may help those grieving after the sudden loss of a loved one.