Compensation for Fatal Car Accident: Oklahoma
Jul 15, 2023 by Adler Markoff & Associates
Compensation for Fatal Car Accident: Oklahoma
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A car accident is an unexpected and tragic event that can leave families devastated, especially when it results in the loss of a loved one. Apart from the emotional turmoil, families are often burdened with financial challenges due to medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of the deceased’s income. In Oklahoma, just like in other states, the law recognizes the need to provide compensation for fatal car accidents. In this blog, we will explore the avenues available for seeking compensation in Oklahoma after a fatal car accident.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
When a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, it is termed a wrongful death. In Oklahoma, the law allows surviving family members or representatives of the deceased’s estate to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. These claims are intended to provide compensation for the losses suffered due to the untimely death.
Eligibility for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
To file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma, certain criteria must be met. Typically, the following parties may be eligible to pursue such claims:
Spouse: The surviving husband or wife of the deceased.
Children: If the deceased had any surviving children, they are eligible to file a claim.
Parents: In cases where the deceased had no spouse or children, the parents may be eligible to seek compensation for wrongful death.
Personal Representative: If the deceased did not leave behind a spouse, children, or parents, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file the claim.
Types of Compensation
In Oklahoma, compensation in wrongful death claims may cover various damages. These can include:
Medical Expenses: If the deceased received medical treatment before passing away, the family can seek compensation for these medical bills.
Funeral and Burial Costs: Funerals and burials can be expensive. Compensation can help the family cover these costs and provide a respectful send-off to their loved one.
Loss of Income: If the deceased was the primary breadwinner, the family can claim compensation for the income they would have earned had the accident not occurred.
Loss of Companionship: The emotional toll of losing a loved one is immeasurable. Compensation may be awarded for the loss of companionship, care, and emotional support the deceased provided to their family members.
Pain and Suffering: In certain cases, compensation may be granted for the physical and emotional pain endured by the deceased before passing away.
Punitive Damages: In situations where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious, the court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.
Statute of Limitations
In Oklahoma, there is a time limit within which a wrongful death claim must be filed. Typically, the statute of limitations for such claims is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. Failing to file within this time frame can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.
More About the Time Limits to File for a Fatal Car Accident: Oklahoma >>
Comparative Fault Rules
Oklahoma follows a “modified comparative fault” rule when it comes to personal injury and wrongful death cases. This means that if the deceased person is found partially at fault for the accident, the compensation awarded to the family will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the deceased. However, if the deceased’s fault is determined to be 50% or more, the family may not be eligible to receive any compensation.
Fatal Car Accident: Oklahoma Compensation
Losing a loved one in a fatal car accident is an unimaginable tragedy, and no amount of compensation can truly make up for the pain and grief experienced by the family. However, seeking compensation can help ease the financial burden brought on by medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of income. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights and options for pursuing a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma. Remember that the statute of limitations is time-sensitive, so taking prompt action is crucial in protecting your family’s future during this difficult time.
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