A wrongful death lawyer in his office comforting a mourning client and holding her arm.The loss of a loved one is a difficult and awful situation to bear. To make matters worse, fatal accidents present an array of unprecedented expenses, lifestyle changes, and more. There are also cases where another party’s negligence was the cause of the accident that led to another’s death, making the situation worse while clouding the surviving family’s financial future.

When a death happens because of another person or organization’s negligence, these situations are referred to as wrongful death cases. These kinds of cases are heard in the civil court system and can result in substantial compensation for the victim’s surviving family members.

Losing someone because of another negligence is not right. But you can fight to protect your own financial and legal interests in the wake of such a tragedy. Reach out to Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers in Utah to speak to our experienced legal team and find out how we can help. Schedule your free case review today when you (801) 810-9999 or contact us online.

Work With an Experienced Utah Wrongful Death Attorney

The loss of a loved one or family member can impact family dynamics, routines, and financial stability. For cases of wrongful death, the deceased would otherwise be here today if it were not for the negligent actions of another party.

When you work with an experienced wrongful death attorney for your case in Utah, you are working with a team who is knowledgeable of Utah law and has successfully resolved wrongful death cases in the past. Hiring the right legal team to build your case can be the difference between receiving compensation or receiving a lot less, if anything at all.

Losing someone you love because of negligence from another party does not have to be the end. Your legal team will provide you with the utmost support during this process. You can expect them to:

  • Provide legal representation and resources
  • Provide legal guidance and strategy
  • Calculate medical costs due to wrongful death related to the event of the accident
  • Calculate loss of wages because of time taken off work due to pain or medical needs
  • Incorporate damages for pain and suffering
  • Seek punitive damages, where appropriate, when there is extreme negligence and reckless behavior
  • Offer care and counsel at all stages of the claim

Those affected by the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can get started by immediately reaching out to a wrongful death attorney. Once a case is evaluated and deemed that there is a wrongful death claim, your legal team will:

  • Review and determine what damages can be claimed for this case.
  • File a Notice of a Claim, and facilitate the claim as it is investigated by the defendant’s insurance company.
  • Send Demand Letters to the negligent party’s insurer requesting compensation to cover all applicable damages
  • Receive the response to your demand, and negotiate further or escalate the claim to a lawsuit
  • In some cases, file a preemptive lawsuit to preserve all available legal powers for discovery and preservation of evidence

Possible At-Fault Parties in a Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death cases can span many types of organizations and individual parties. The more commonly seen defendants in these cases are:

  • Other drivers (in cases of a car accident-related death)
  • Companies that knew and failed to provide warnings of a harmful product, designed a faulty product or hired the person who committed negligence that led to the death of the victim
  • Government agencies that do not provide proper signage for road work or other hazardous conditions
  • Medical professionals and providers who commit malpractice
  • Parties that fatally assaulted the decedent
  • Building owners and property managers that failed to provide adequate security to protect the decedent

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death is a claim brought against someone who caused the death of a victim, whether knowingly or negligently. In these cases, the other party’s actions directly resulted in the death of another.

After the loss of the victim, left behind are spouses, children, extended family, and friends. All who are left to bear the pain of losing their loved ones. But not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim. Only eligible parties can file a claim of wrongful death. In Utah, this includes:

  • The surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • The surviving children
  • Parents or siblings of the victim if the victim was unmarried or with no children
  • Anyone else who can prove financial dependence on the victim

Getting started with your claim is never easy, and establishing legal standing to file the claim is one of the first big steps. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action on behalf of the decedent.

How to Prove Wrongful Death

Not all fatalities in accidents are a result of negligence from someone else. Proving that the wrongful death occurred can be challenging, as it is not just the negligence of the other party that has to be proven. The families filing the wrongful death claim must also show the impacts that the loss of their loved ones has had on their lives, whether through emotional distress, loss of consortium, or financial losses that compromise their ability to keep their home or pay their bills.

The Four Elements Proving Wrongful Death

There are four elements of negligence that the courts require plaintiffs to prove happened and caused the wrongful death:

  • The at-fault party was responsible for the victim’s safety (duty of care).
  • The party breached its responsibilities.
  • The party’s actions were the most direct (proximate) cause of the death of the victim.
  • Families suffered grave loss and financial, emotional, and other kinds of damages as a result of the death of their loved ones.

Note that because extensive evidence and research must be done before the case can conclude and damages can be awarded, these cases can take longer than others to resolve themselves.

Survival Actions

Survival actions are usually submitted in conjunction with wrongful death claims. Survival actions are the financial claims victims would file had they still been alive after the accident. Unfortunately, accidents leading to death are not always quick, and in many cases, the victims suffer before they pass. This claim compensates for the victim’s medical expenses in connection with their fatal injuries as well as their own pain and suffering before passing away.

A survival action claim can be brought forth by a representative of the decedent’s estate. In many situations, these cases are pursued jointly with a wrongful death claim.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims are very similar to personal injury cases, with the exception that the negligence that occurred actually resulted in the death of the victim rather than just enduring some kind of serious injury.

Just like personal injury claims, wrongful death claims must be filed within a window from when the event happened. In wrongful death cases, families have only two years to submit a wrongful death claim in the court system.

The two-year period applies to all wrongful death cases. And while two years seems to be an adequate amount of time to file a claim, the families of victims must understand that filing as sooner than later is the best option.

The reality is that two years go quickly, and missing the deadline will result in the ability to receive compensation through a wrongful death claim altogether.

Getting Started With Your Wrongful Death Claim

Losing someone you love — especially when they provide stability to your household — can be stressful, emotionally draining, and painful. To make matters worse, one can find themselves losing not just their loved ones but the ability to continue their routines and lifestyle because of the loss of income.

In the process of getting started on a wrongful death claim, you must immediately reach out to an attorney to get started. There is no time to lose.

Call Our Utah Wrongful Death Law Firm Today

Losing someone you love is hard to bear. From emotional distress to figuring out how to afford current lifestyles, one’s death can bring on substantial change to the family they leave behind.

Find help when you reach out to our team at Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers in Utah. Our legal experts have years of dedicated experience in successfully resolving wrongful death cases, and we are here to help you.

The most important step you can take is to start getting all of the needed information down. Our attorneys can assist you with beginning the process of forming a claim, and we will work closely with you to identify all potentially responsible parties.

You deserve the highest level of care and compassion at this time of great need, and that is exactly what we at Valley Law seek to provide. Learn more about your legal rights and how to start building your claim during a 100% free, confidential case review. Schedule your free initial consultation with a Utah wrongful death lawyer today when you call (801) 810-9999 or contact us online.

Additional Questions?

We have helped many clients recover from injuries resulting from car accidents in West Valley, Salt Lake City, and the greater Utah area. We are here to help you recover after an accident. If you've been injured, don't hesitate to call Valley Law Accident and Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. We have recovered millions for our clients and we are ready to fight for you.

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