Wrongful death laws are in place to compensate the victims of ultimate tragedy, when another person’s carelessness causes the death of their loved one. Those who are affected by these cases of extreme negligence are left with the lifelong emotional impact of someone else’s oversight. While money can never truly address the damage a wrongful death causes, a successful claim can alleviate the financial stressors associated with any death.
To bring forward a wrongful death case, someone must be appointed to represent the victim and their family. Although some people have their posthumous affairs in order, wrongful death cases often involve someone taken too soon — a victim may not yet have someone who is appointed to handle the legal complexities of their death. A wrongful death victim’s legal representative will depend on state laws and the unique circumstances of the case.
If a victim has chosen someone to represent their estate, that person will almost always be the chosen representative in a wrongful death case on their behalf. This is true in Oklahoma, as well as in the laws of many other states across the country.
When an estate representative was not appointed, or is unable to participate in the lawsuit, Oklahoma law allows the court to appoint a representative: Usually a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or other close relative. Again, who is chosen will depend on the details of each case and can be negotiated among the family of the deceased.
Other Requirements for Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims are also subject to a statute of limitations, which establishes a time constraint on when a claim can legally be filed. As is true of representative requirements, the statute of limitations varies among state laws. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years after the victim was killed. Claims that are attempted outside of this time limit are almost always unsuccessful.
If your loved one was a victim of another person’s negligence, resulting in death, contact The Law Office of Michael R. Green, PLLC. Our lawyer is available to offer support in the wake of tragedy.Use our contact form or call to discuss the details of your case in a no-cost analysis from our team.