Tulsa Wrongful Death Attorneys Who Take Your Case Seriously
You can count on us to be there for you
Losing a loved one can be overwhelming under normal circumstances. But if your family member died because of someone else's reckless or negligent behavior, the flood of emotions can be powerful. Frustration, anger and confusion are just some of the feelings you might be experiencing now.
We understand what you're going through, and we want to help. That's because our Tulsa wrongful death attorneys have been there for others during this difficult time. We know how complicated and confusing everything can be for family members. We want to put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Our lawyers at Lawter & Associates, PLLC understand how the legal system works here in Tulsa. That's because we've been doing this work for more than 40 years. Experience matters - and so does your case.
After the death of loved one, you have two years to take legal action in Oklahoma. That might seem like a long time, but building a wrongful death case can be a lengthy process. And the longer you wait, the harder it often becomes for us to find evidence to support your claim.
Wrongful death cases we handle
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe a fatal accident caused by someone else's reckless or negligent actions. That definition can cover a wide range of fatal accidents, including:
- Fatal car accidents caused by another driver
- Fatal pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice cases
- Nursing home abuse and neglect cases which result in death
- Other fatal motor vehicle accidents (trucks, motorcycles, etc.)
Note that in Oklahoma, loss of an unborn child due to the negligence of someone other than the mother is also considered a wrongful death.
We know how difficult this time in your life must be for you. That's why we urge you to talk to us as soon as possible. We can help you cut through all the red tape so you can focus on what really matters - grieving the loss of your loved one.
What expenses are covered?
If someone’s actions (or inaction) resulted in the death of a loved one, you should be eligible to receive financial compensation for all expenses due to their loss, including:
- Medical bills
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Funeral expenses
In addition, you deserve to receive compensation intended to replace income your family member could have earned in the future if they had survived. This often includes lost future income and replacement income if they could not work before their death due to their injury. In addition, you may also be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering in certain circumstances. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can discuss all these issues with you and help you decide what approach makes the most sense for you.
Who can take legal action after a wrongful death?
Essentially, a wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim brought on behalf of someone who has died. Under Oklahoma law, the personal representative of the deceased (often, the executor of someone’s will) to file a lawsuit on their behalf. The personal representative is typically named in the deceased person’s will. If there is no will, or if the person named in the will is unable or unwilling to serve, then a personal representative may be appointed by the probate court.
While the personal representative brings the claim, they are not necessarily the recipient of the damages (financial compensation) for the wrongful death. The damages recovered in a wrongful death claim may go to the surviving spouse, children, or next of kin, or to the estate, depending on the types of damages being sought. Our Tulsa wrongful death attorneys can help you navigate these complexities.
How does the legal process work?
If a loved one dies due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior in Oklahoma, there are several steps you often need to take in order to obtain the financial compensation your family deserves for your loved one’s loss.
In general, you need to provide evidence that at-fault party’s actions (or inaction) resulted in your loved one’s death. This evidence can cover a wide range, including:
- The driver who caused the fatal crash was speeding or intoxicated.
- The surgeon who operated on your loved one failed to follow standard medical protocols.
- The nursing home where your loved one died had unsanitary conditions which resulted in a fatal infection.
Often, your attorney will conduct an independent investigation to find the evidence you need to prove the at-fault party was liable (legally responsible) for your loved one’s death. Your lawyer can then help you file a lawsuit. if necessary, in the appropriate state or federal court in Oklahoma.
Just keep in mind that you only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death in most cases to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma. If you miss that deadline (known as the statute of limitations) you could miss your only opportunity to obtain the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.
What is the average settlement for a wrongful death lawsuit?
There is no single average settlement for a wrongful death lawsuit because each case is unique and influenced by different factors. While there is no definitive "average" settlement amount, understanding the elements that can affect compensation is crucial. Several factors come into play when determining the monetary value of a wrongful death claim, including but not limited to:
- The age of the deceased
- The deceased’s health
- The deceased’s income and future earning potential
- The amount of medical and funeral expenses
- The deceased’s conscious pain and suffering prior to death
- Benefits the survivors have lost, such as health insurance and retirement
- The grief and loss of companionship of the surviving family
How we can help your family
Facts build strong legal cases. That's why our Tulsa wrongful death attorneys will get straight to work investigating your loved one's death. Sometimes, this involves examining accident reports. Other times, we carefully review inspection records. We also regularly consult with accident reconstruction experts to find out exactly what happened.
We then often present this information to the insurance company representing the person or company who caused the fatal accident. Often, insurance companies agree to negotiate with us. If not, we're prepared to take them to court on your behalf.
Lawter & Associates, PLLC
6450 S Lewis Avenue #100
Tulsa, OK 74136
Phone: (918) 496-9577