When a loved one dies due to the negligence of their employer, the emotional and financial toll on their family can be devastating. However, in the state of Oklahoma, there are legal avenues available for surviving family members to seek justice and compensation for their loss through a wrongful death claim.
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that can be filed by the surviving family members of a person who died as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct. In the case of a workplace accident, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the employer if they believe that the employer’s negligence or recklessness caused the death of their loved one.
Wrongful death claims are separate from any criminal charges that may be brought against the employer. A criminal case is brought by the state to punish the employer for their actions, while a wrongful death claim is brought by the surviving family members to seek compensation for their loss.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, the following individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death claim:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
If the deceased did not have a spouse, children, or parents, the personal representative of their estate can file the wrongful death claim on behalf of any other surviving relatives.
What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death claim?
The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that can be quantified in monetary terms and include things like medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, and lost benefits. Non-economic damages are those that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms and include things like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium.
In Oklahoma, there is no cap on the amount of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim.
Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim
To successfully prove negligence in a wrongful death claim against an employer, the surviving family members must show that:
- The employer had a duty to provide a safe workplace for the deceased
- The employer breached that duty by failing to provide a safe workplace
- The breach of duty caused the death of the deceased
- The surviving family members suffered damages as a result of the death
It’s important to note that Oklahoma follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that if the deceased was partially responsible for their own death, the damages that can be recovered will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the deceased.
In addition to seeking justice for their loved one, filing a wrongful death claim can also hold the employer accountable for their actions and send a message to other employers that safety in the workplace is a top priority.
Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees. This includes ensuring that proper safety measures are in place, providing adequate training, and addressing any hazards that may arise. When employers fail to meet these obligations and a tragedy occurs, they should be held accountable.
It’s important to note that wrongful death claims can be complex and require a thorough investigation to determine liability. It’s crucial to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help gather evidence and build a strong case on behalf of the surviving family members.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of their employer, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the deceased’s death. Waiting too long to file a claim can result in the loss of legal rights to seek compensation.
Wrongful death claims against employers in Oklahoma can provide a way for surviving family members to seek justice and compensation for the loss of their loved one. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney to navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees, and when they fail to meet this obligation, they should be held accountable.
At the Murray Law Firm, we understand the devastating impact that the loss of a loved one can have on a family. That’s why we are dedicated to helping surviving family members pursue justice and compensation for wrongful death claims against employers in Oklahoma.
We have extensive experience and a proven track record of success in representing clients in these types of cases. We work closely with clients to provide compassionate and personalized representation and are committed to fighting for their rights.
Our team of attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, identify all responsible parties, and build a strong case on your behalf. We will pursue maximum compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
We understand that the legal process can be overwhelming, especially during a time of grief. That’s why we provide compassionate representation and work closely with clients to ensure that their emotional needs are met throughout the legal process.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of their employer, we are here to help. Contact the Murray Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.