Ogden Wrongful Death Lawyer
Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death in Utah, accounting for approximately 1,125 deaths per year. The top five leading causes of unintentional injury death all relate to acts of negligence: poisoning, car accidents, suffocation, falls, and environmental exposure. If you recently lost a beloved family member in one of these circumstances or other accident-related cause, talk to a compassionate Ogden wrongful death lawyer at Feller & Wendt, LLC. You could have grounds for a wrongful death claim, resulting in payment for your family’s losses. Let our family help yours after someone else’s negligence unexpectedly cuts a life short in Utah.
Wrongful Death Laws in Utah
A wrongful death is one that arises out of the “neglect, default, or wrongful act” of another party. Unfortunately, wrongful death is a somewhat common outcome of auto accidents, workplace incidents, medical malpractice, dangerous premises, and defective products. In 2016 in Utah, 273 people died in fatal car accidents alone. Hundreds of people lose their lives every year because of a preventable hazard such as a distracted driver or defective drug. After a loss of life, certain family members may be able to hire an Ogden personal injury attorney and pursue damage recovery through a civil claim. The following laws determine who can file a wrongful death claim and when and why in Utah:
- Who can file? In Utah, the surviving heirs of the deceased person or the decedent’s estate representative can seek damages through a wrongful death claim. An “heir” can include a surviving spouse, adult child, parents, and some other blood relatives. Generally, one of the heirs will take on the role of personal representative of the estate. Otherwise, the courts may name a representative to file the claim.
- When can you file? If the deceased person likely could have brought a personal injury claim had the incident not resulted in death, the surviving family members may bring a wrongful death claim. The claimant has two years from the date of death to file the claim, or one year if the defendant is the government. It is possible to file a civil wrongful death claim at the same time as a criminal claim against the defendant for homicide.
- What damages are available? A successful wrongful death claim in Utah could result in compensation for the family’s funeral and burial expenses, medical costs up until the date of death, lost wages and benefits, lost inheritance, lost guidance and companionship, mental and emotional anguish, mental anguish, and punitive damages. Thanks to recent case law, there is also no longer a cap on mental and emotional anguish damages if the wrongful death stemmed from medical malpractice.
The best way to walk the line between all of Utah’s wrongful death laws and statutes is to hire an Ogden wrongful death lawyer to represent your best interests. An experienced attorney can help you collect evidence of wrongful death, name the proper defendant(s), and bring your claim in time to meet the deadline.
Free Consultation with Local Wrongful Death Attorney in Ogden
Feller & Wendt, LLC has more than 25 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Utah. We’ve secured millions of dollars in settlements and judgment awards for our clients through skilled litigation tactics. Your choice of lawyer directly impacts your case outcome. For exceptional legal representation in Ogden, call our office at (801) 499-5060 or contact us online.