Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits are oftentimes misunderstood and confusing for people, and for good reason. One of the most commonly asked questions after the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one is whether or not you have the right to file a lawsuit and receive damages for the physical and emotional trauma you have had to endure. While it can be overwhelming to think about having to file a wrongful death claim in the midst of grieving and funeral preparations, it will be worth it to take the time to sit down with an attorney from Atkins & Markoff to go over your rights. It is important to keep in mind that although you do have one year to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the sooner the better. In some instances, there may be specific deadlines that you will be asked to meet that are sooner than the deadlines put in place by the statute of limitations. This is one of the main reasons why it is imperative that you discuss your case with a wrongful death attorney. By taking the time to understand your rights and what is required of you when it comes to moving forward with these types of cases, you will be more prepared in the future.
Understanding Wrongful Death Eligibility
In order to be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma, you will need to meet a few basic requirements. In most cases, the following criteria must be met for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed:
- You are an immediate family member of the deceased individual – This may include spouses, parents, and children of the deceased
- You can show proof of your loved one’s death – You must have a death certificate signed by the coroner in order to file a wrongful death claim
- You have suffered – Before moving forward with this type of lawsuit, you must be able to prove that you have suffered – either emotional, physical, or financial trauma – as a result of your loved one’s death
Depending on the specific circumstances, secondary beneficiaries may also have the right to file a wrongful death claim. These secondary beneficiaries may include extended relatives who are connected to the deceased by marriage or blood. In most cases, these relatives can file a wrongful death claim only in the absence of primary beneficiaries. To find out more about Oklahoma’s laws pertaining to secondary beneficiaries, please contact an attorney from Atkins & Markoff today.
The most important step when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim is to determine your eligibility. There are numerous factors that contribute to this determination, which is why we highly recommend contacting an attorney from our Oklahoma law firm right away if you have lost a loved one in an accident. If you have discovered that you do, in fact, have the right to file a wrongful death claim, please contact us so we can help you get started with the next steps. While you are not legally required to have a lawyer file your lawsuit, it is important to keep in mind that you will likely be up against a big insurance company, which means you will have to prove that the defendant was responsible for the death of you loved one. To learn more about how we can help you with your wrongful death claim, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.