Losing a family member is one of life’s most heart-wrenching tragedies. The grief is compounded when a loved one dies unexpectedly due to another person’s malicious or negligent actions.
If you are in this situation, then you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim against the person or organization that caused your family member’s death. If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Burial and funeral costs;
- Health-care bills related to the deceased’s final illness or injury;
- Lost income, which includes the loss of future earnings and benefits;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of companionship, guidance and care; and
- In some cases, punitive damages are awarded if the defendant acted with particularly egregious behavior.
If your loved one died due to another person’s negligence or malicious actions, contact the Truman Law Firm P.C. Ronald W. Truman is a personal-injury lawyer in Utah who will evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Mr. Truman has the highest legal rating offered by Martindale-Hubbell — an AV Preeminent rating. Call 435-986-2222 to schedule a free consultation.
Read on to learn about three common causes of wrongful death:
- Medical Malpractice
A Johns Hopkins University study revealed that medical errors could be the third leading cause of death in the United States. Researchers discovered that medical mistakes cause at least 250,000 fatalities every year.
- Motor-Vehicle Accidents
More than 35,000 people died in motor-vehicle accidents in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That marked a 7.2-percent increase compared to 2014.
- Slip and Fall Accidents
Data from the National Floor Safety Institute suggests that 1 million emergency room visits every year involve slip and fall injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 falls results in a serious injury.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah?
Either a personal representative of the deceased’s estate or the heirs of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. Pursuant to Utah Code section 78B-3-105, “heirs” include:
- The spouse of the deceased;
- The adult children of the deceased;
- The natural or adoptive parents or parent of the deceased; and
- The stepchildren of the deceased, as long as they were financially dependent on the deceased and were younger than 18 at the time of death.
If the deceased is not survived by any of these parties, then “heirs” are also considered to be any blood relative.
Filing a wrongful death claim is a legally complicated process. You or your personal-injury lawyer will have to gather extensive evidence to prove negligence, liability and damages. This may require testimonies from medical and financial experts, doctors’ reports, photos and timelines, and other documentation.
Ronald W. Truman will help you navigate the claims process and fight for the highest possible compensation. Call 435-986-2222 to discuss your case with an accident attorney in Utah.