Losing a loved one is always a painful experience. That horrible feeling of loss is made much worse if you suspect that the death was either unnecessary or premature. Wrongful death can be caused by any number of careless acts as simple and obvious as an auto accident to matters as complex as medical malpractice. If you suspect your loved one’s death was caused by a preventable error, then a consultation with an experienced Salt Lake City Utah wrongful death lawyer, can help you get justice and perhaps prevent the same mistake from causing another needless death.
WRONGFUL DEATH STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
All wrongful death actions must be brought within the time limits set by each individual State. The wrongful death statute of limitations in Utah is usually 2 years. Nevertheless that limitation may be different depending on whether you are suing an individual or governmental entity. It can also be lengthened at times by how long it justifiably took to discover the negligence that caused the wrongful death. It is always a good idea to seek the advice of a skilled wrongful death attorney to determine whether or not your particular claim is barred by the statute of limitations.
WHO CAN BRING A WRONGFUL DEATH ACTION
An action for wrongful death can only be filed by an heir of the decedent or someone appointed by Court to represent the interests of all of the heirs of the estate. It is important to note that only one action may be filed for the wrongful death of any individual. If another heir has already filed a lawsuit, but has not been appointed to represent all the heirs, then it is possible to intervene in the case already filed. Considerations of how to proceed in any situation requires a skilled wrongful death attorney who is familiar, not only with the liability issues, but with the probate issues arising out of the distribution, to the heirs, of any wrongful death verdict or settlement.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN BE RECOVERED
The surviving relative of the decedent can be compensated for: Pain and suffering, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, funeral expenses and medical expenses. An experienced wrongful death attorney will spend the time necessary to become familiar with the deceased. He will find out what was lost when he/she passed away. That may be markedly different for a spouse, child or parent. Effectively articulating the loss suffered by each individual heir will go a long way in getting the money damages each one deserves.
DISTRIBUTION OF A WRONGFUL DEATH VERDICT OR SETTLEMENT
Deciding who gets what from the proceeds of any wrongful death claim can require the Wisdom of Solomon. It is imperative to get an experienced wrongful death attorney to not only identify all those entitled to a share, but to eventually get that distribution ratified by a court with jurisdiction over the matter.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into wrongful death claims.