Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult events you can experience. If you lost a family member as a result of wrongful death, you could claim compensatory damages for you and your family.
If you need a Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer for your Utah wrongful death case, choose Feller Wendt, LLC. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined legal experience representing families of deceased individuals.
Why Trust Feller & Wendt, LLC With Your Wrongful Death Claim?
Our clients choose Feller Wendt, LLC for our dedication to clients and a 95% success rate. Here are a few more reasons why you should hire us to handle your wrongful death lawsuit:
- Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay any legal fees unless we secure a settlement on your behalf.
- Our attorneys are not afraid to bring your case to court if you do not receive a fair offer during insurance negotiations.
- We have secured millions of dollars in settlements for our clients and will do everything in our power to secure a just settlement for you.
Call (801) 499-5060 today to schedule a free consultation. A caring Salt Lake city personal injury lawyer experienced in wrongful death claims will discuss the specifics of your case and help you learn your legal options for financial recovery.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Utah law defines wrongful death as a death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of an at-fault party or parties. Multiple entities and people can be involved in wrongful death claims. Usually, if the deceased could have filed a personal injury claim if he or she had lived, the case could have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death cases can occur out of any situation, but some of the most common causes include the following.
- Car, truck, or pedestrian accidents, caused by distracted, drunk, drugged, or otherwise reckless driving
- Medical malpractice, including incidents which occur as a result of anesthesia, emergency room error, and more
- Work accidents, particularly for workers in the construction industry
In addition, wrongful death lawsuits are usually based on negligence. In order to prevail in your wrongful death case, your lawyer must be able to prove the following.
- The defendant owed the deceased victim a duty of care
- The defendant violated the duty of care
- The death or fatal injury was the direct result of the defendant’s breach
- The wrongful death caused the plaintiff to suffer damages
Plaintiffs may pursue compensation on a variety of levels. Losing a loved one is hard enough, facing financial loss should be the least of your concerns.
Who Is Liable for a Wrongful Death?
Liability for a wrongful death, varies with each case. In a car accident case, the driver may be liable for reckless driving, failure to maintain the road, or a manufacturer for releasing a faulty product. A Salt Lake City accident attorney can help you find the best compensation for your losses and any other damages. In a workplace accident that results in wrongful death, the employer may also be liable. Typically, one’s own insurance coverage and compensation will cover the accident costs, but pursuing the other party’s insurance provides even greater compensation.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
When you file a claim for wrongful death damages, you may receive funds intended to compensate the deceased’s heirs and the estate. Utah law states that you can claim several types of damages in wrongful death cases:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages, including loss of future wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering endured by family members
- Medical expenses related to the cause of death
- Loss of companionship, care, and guidance
- Punitive damages for especially reckless or negligent behavior
These damages focus on compensating the beneficiaries for financial and non-financial hardships related to the death, However, punitive damages do not. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the individual, but are rather a technique to punish the defendant for intentional or reckless behavior. Punitive damages are usually in the form of large fines. They are meant to prevent the individual and other individuals from performing similar behaviors again. Punitive damages clearly indicate that the court does not take wrongful death lightly.
For more information regarding wrongful death compensation, consult a dedicated wrongful death attorney in Salt Lake City.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Utah
Wrongful death claims in Utah are subject to a statute of limitations. For most wrongful death cases, you must file the claim within two years of the date of death. If the claim involves a government entity, you need to file the claim within one year of the death. You can file a wrongful death claim while a simultaneous criminal case is occurring.
In any case, you need to file the claim within the time limit – if you fail to do so, the court will likely refuse to hear it. Contact a wrongful death attorney immediately to start the process and discuss your legal options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah?
Only certain people can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased in the state of Utah. They have to be the heirs of the deceased or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This can include:
- A surviving spouse
- Surviving adult children
- A legal guardian of the deceased, including guardians of adults under supervision
- Surviving stepchildren of the deceased, if they were supported financially and were under age 18 at the time of death
- Other blood relatives, such as parents and grandparents
One of the heirs will become the personal representative of the estate if the deceased did not name one in his or her will. The named personal representative may also file the claim.
Contact a Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you need a wrongful death lawyer in Utah, contact Feller Wendt, LLC today to discuss your case. Our attorneys will work closely with you to determine the optimal path to maximum compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers in Salt Lake City, UT.