Unfortunately, medical practitioners can sometimes be negligent in their care of patients. Occasionally, such negligence results in death. Such an incident may leave you feeling devastated, but you may have a way to hold the negligent party accountable. With an Oklahoma City wrongful death attorney, you can file a claim and pursue a recovery from the party at fault. An attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve to cover the expenses associated with the treatment and death of a loved one not to mention possible punitive damages.
Understanding a wrongful death claim
Wrongful death pertains to situations where a negligent, reckless, or intentional act caused an individual’s death. Family members can seek an Oklahoma City wrongful death attorney to file a claim on behalf of the deceased. Proving this type of claim can be challenging, as the attorney needs to establish fault or negligence. The party at-fault has a ‘duty of care’ or a legal obligation to not cause any harm to others. Negligence in wrongful death cases will depend on demonstrating these elements:
- The deceased was owed a duty of care
- The duty was breached
- The breach resulted in an injury, which resulted in death
There are times when proving the breach of duty is easy, but most cases require a thorough investigation by a personal injury attorney. This also applies if there are multiple parties involved or known defective products.
Filing a claim
Start by hiring a seasoned wrongful death attorney from one of the top Oklahoma City law firms. They typically follow this process:
- Open an estate – You are filing the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased family member, so anything you can recover for them should go to their estate. So, you should open an estate formally by filing paperwork with a probate court.
- Appoint a personal representative – This is the executor or administrator responsible for putting together the deceased’s affairs and distributing assets. If your loved one died without leaving a Will, you need to appoint one.
- File the insurance claim and lawsuit – File the insurance claims with every relevant insurance company, including those of the at-fault party. The claims will depend on the kind of incident that resulted in wrongful death. Be sure to file a lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s demise.
- Negotiate insurance carrier(s) – The Oklahoma City wrongful death attorney will do their best to reach a settlement. If successful, the estate should distribute the proceeds to the heirs and family.
How much is my claim worth?
The worth of your claim can depend on several factors, the primary of which is evaluating how likely you are to prevail at trial. Consider consulting with Burton Law Group to learn more.