Layton Wrongful Death Lawyer
When one person or party causes an injury to another party through negligence, the injured party can seek compensation for their losses through a personal injury claim. If the victim dies, his or her surviving family will need to pursue a wrongful death claim instead. Wrongful death claims are essentially personal injury claims filed on behalf of the deceased, but there are a few key differences between these two types of claims. Utah follows strict requirements when it comes to who may file a wrongful death claim so it is important to consult a qualified Layton wrongful death lawyer.
Utah’s Wrongful Death Statutes
Utah state law allows for surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death. If the party responsible for the death is a government entity, this window is only one year from the date of death. Utah defines a wrongful death as any death resulting from a “wrongful act, neglect, or default” from another party. Such acts would typically lead to personal injury claims, but since the victim in these situations cannot represent his or her own interests in court after death, Utah allows for a decedent’s surviving spouse, child, or parent to file a wrongful death claim. This right extends to stepchildren under the age of 18 who were financially dependent on the decedent, as well as adoptive parents. Utah inheritance laws also allow for others to pursue wrongful death claims in special circumstances.
If the deceased individual has an estate, then a personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim in lieu of a family member.
For more information regarding wrongful death laws in Utah, speak with a dedicated Layton wrongful death lawyer.
Damages in Utah Wrongful Death Cases
Damages in wrongful death claims in Utah can include:
- Funeral and burial costs for the deceased.
- Medical expenses from the loved one’s final injury or illness.
- Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent until his or her death following the fatal incident.
- Pain and suffering endured by the surviving loved ones, due to the untimely death of a family member.
- Lost income from time the deceased spent out of work after the fatal injury: This can also extend to future earnings the deceased would have reasonably expected to earn had the incident not occurred.
- Lost earnings from investments, retirement funds, and insurance policies.
- Loss of consortium, affection, care, and guidance provided by the deceased.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, a jury may award punitive damages if a defendant’s behavior was reckless, intentionally harmful, or otherwise grossly negligent.
Proving Wrongful Death in Utah
Success in a wrongful death claim hinges on the concept of negligence. Just like any personal injury case, the plaintiff and his or her Layton personal injury lawyer must prove that the defendant in a wrongful death claim was negligent, and his or her negligence directly resulted in the wrongful death in question. In some cases, this can be difficult, especially if the deceased had a preexisting medical condition or injury that the final illness or injury worsened. It can be hard to prove the extent of a negligent act’s effects, and the right attorney will make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a complex wrongful death claim.
Feller & Wendt, LLC | Trusted Wrongful Death Attorneys in Layton
If you have recently lost a loved one in Layton, Utah in what you believe was a case of wrongful death, contact Feller & Wendt, LLC today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. We have more than 25 years of experience handling all types of civil claims for our clients, and we understand how deeply an untimely death can affect a family. Allow us to handle your legal concerns so you and your loved ones can focus on grieving and recovery.