Skip to content
   

Injured? Hire Us from the Comfort of Your Own Home - DETAILS HERE

Understanding the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Posted on: May 8, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

wrongful death

Oklahoma state law defines a wrongful death as a situation “when the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” The wrongful act that results in another person’s death may be caused by reckless, intentional or negligent conduct or neglect on the part of the accused violator.

Oklahoma Statutes Title 12, Chapter 17, Section 1053-A, stipulates that a wrongful death claim may be filed if the act that resulted in death would have allowed the deceased person to file a personal injury lawsuit had he or she survived. Accordingly, a wrongful death claim is better understood as a personal injury case where the injured person is no longer available to file a claim on their own behalf. Instead, survivors of the deceased person must file a wrongful death claim in court in an attempt to recover damages.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Oklahoma?

According to Oklahoma law, the personal representative represents both the deceased person and his or her beneficiaries or heirs. Often, this person will be appointed in a will or estate plan formulated by the deceased prior to death. It can be a spouse, child or sibling, or someone outside the deceased’s family. If no one is named as a personal representative, or the named personal representative is unwilling or unable to serve, the court may appoint a personal representative to oversee the claim.

What Damages May be Pursued in an Oklahoma Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is considered a civil lawsuit under Oklahoma law. It seeks to recover damages in three separate categories.

  • Damages suffered by the deceased person, which they would have been able to pursue in a personal injury case, including pain and suffering endured between the final injury or illness and the death, and loss of wages and benefits they would likely have earned if they had lived. (Oklahoma Statutes Title 12, Chapter 17, Section 1053-B)
  • Damages endured by surviving family members resulting from the deceased’s death. This includes damages for losses such as grief and loss of companionship, and all reasonable funeral and burial expenses. (Oklahoma Statutes Title 12, Chapter 17, Section 1053-B)
  • Punitive damages. Unlike other damages, the purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate for loss. Punitive damages may be awarded to punish bad conduct, particularly conduct that resulted in the wrongful death. (Oklahoma Statutes Title 12, Chapter 17, Section 1053-C)

If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in Tulsa, McAlester, or anywhere in eastern Oklahoma, or you suspect such neglect or misconduct, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact Edwards and Patterson Law at our Tulsa office (877-761-5059) or our McAlester office (918-302-3700) to schedule a free consultation concerning your case. Edwards & Patterson Law: We Care! We Fight! We Win!

  • NAMIL
  • superlawyers
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • top-100-attorneys-lifetime-achievement-seal
Offices in Tulsa & McAlester to Serve Your Needs IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO OUR OFFICES, WE WILL MEET YOU — ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.
EDWARDS & PATTERSON LAW

321 S. 3rd Street | McAlester, OK 74501

918-302-3700

Get Directions
EDWARDS & PATTERSON LAW

1831 East 71st Street | Tulsa, OK 74136

877-761-5059

Get Directions

Communities We Serve