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Wrongful Death Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The death of a loved one is a huge loss that cannot be recovered. But if this tragedy happened because of someone else’s negligence or intention, it’s possible to take legal action against the person or entity responsible. It cannot bring back your loved one, but it can hold the other party accountable, as well as provide compensation for your loss.  

Fatalities on the nation’s highways are common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts the number of daily fatalities on our nation’s highways at 99, along with more than 7,500 persons injured in vehicular accidents—the highest rate among first-world countries.  

Fatalities, of course, are not limited to roadway accidents between vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists are also at risk. Slips and falls on another party’s premises can result in injury and death. Even defective products can cause fatal harm. Then, of course, there is also medical malpractice. 

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act in or around Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact a wrongful death law firm. At the Law Offices of Jeff Martin, we will take on the big insurance companies and launch a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party so that your loss will hold the responsible party accountable and award you compensation for your suffering and financial losses. Our wrongful death attorneys proudly represent clients throughout Eastern Oklahoma, including Muskogee, Bartlesville, and McAlester.

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Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A lawsuit cannot bring back a loved one, but it is a powerful tool to hold the responsible party accountable, and it can also result in compensation for the expenses of caring for the loved one until he or she passed away, and then the expenses for funeral, burial or other outlays related to the event. It can also serve as an example to others of what negligence or wrongful actions can lead to. 

The compensation available through a lawsuit can also cover, according to Oklahoma Statutes Section 1053, loss of consortium (companionship), “mental pain and anguish suffered by the decedent,” and any financial or other support that the decedent would have provided were he or she still alive. 

What Actions Are Legally Liable?

If a driver rams into someone’s vehicle, causing the driver or a passenger to lose their life, that is a prime example of a wrongful death—but there are others. For instance, what if someone in a retail establishment slips and falls due to a slippery or uneven surface, hits their head on the floor, and never recovers? That is a case of premises liability, and the establishment may be responsible.  

A deliberate act, such as assault, can result in both criminal and civil legal actions. O.J. Simpson, accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend, was acquitted in a criminal trial, but a civil action based on wrongful death was thereafter successful. Medical malpractice, through misdiagnosis or mistreatment, can also lead to wrongful death legal actions. 

The Basis for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed if the decedent, had he or she lived, would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Most personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence. Negligence means that the other party had a duty of care toward others and their actions or failure to act resulted in harm to someone. There are four elements of a negligence lawsuit: 

  • DUTY: The responsible party had a duty of care toward the plaintiff or decedent. In a traffic situation, Oklahoma laws require drivers to keep others safe from harm. Healthcare providers have an obligation to safeguard their patients, and business owners have a duty to maintain a safe public environment. 

  • BREACH OF DUTY: The responsible party, through action or inaction, breached their duty of care. 

  • CAUSATION: Their breach caused the defendant’s, or decedent’s, harm or death. 

  • RESULT: Economic and non-economic damages were inflicted that should be compensated for. 

Oklahoma imposes a two-year statute of limitations on filing wrongful death lawsuits. The statute starts from the date of the person’s death, which could be later than the injury that led to the person’s demise. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In some states, family members are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but in Oklahoma, the legal action must be initiated by the decedent’s personal representative. Personal representative means the person named in the decedent’s last will and testament to become the executor of their estate. 

If the person died without a will, then the court overseeing the case will appoint an executor, or personal representative, usually from among family members. Any award from the lawsuit, of course, will accrue to the family members and not just the executor. 

Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving
Tulsa, Oklahoma

If you have lost a loved one in or around Tulsa, Oklahoma, due to the actions, negligence or recklessness of someone else, contact our wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin. Our “Heavy Hitter” legal team will pursue your claim to seek the just compensation owed you for your loss. We will treat you and your situation with the utmost compassion and understanding and see you through to the best outcome possible.