Losing a loved one in a car accident is an indescribable tragedy for the victim’s family and friends. When that death is the result of another driver’s negligent actions or failure to drive prudently, the tragedy is compounded. If you have lost someone close to you in a car accident, you may be wondering if you qualify to file a lawsuit for wrongful death, and if you qualify to receive a portion of the resulting compensation.
Who can file the lawsuit
Unlike in other states, in Oklahoma the only person who can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party is the deceased’s personal representative. The personal representative brings the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s family, and if they win the lawsuit, the compensation will be distributed to certain key individuals as determined by law.
The personal representative has two years from the date of the death to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. After that date, they lose the ability to present the lawsuit.
Who can receive compensation
Oklahoma law lays out certain types of damages that are to be paid to certain family members of the deceased. For example, if the deceased left behind a spouse, that spouse can receive compensation for loss of consortium and grief. The deceased’s children can recover for grief and loss of companionship.
Family members who relied on the deceased for financial support can recover for their loss. The court will calculate how much compensation is required by looking at the deceased’s earning capacity and the probable duration of their life had they survived.
The death of a loved one leaves a hole in our lives that no amount of money can fill. A wrongful death lawsuit can at least provide the deceased’s family members with the financial support that they need to survive while they struggle to adapt to their loss.