Understanding Wrongful Death

Understanding Wrongful Death

Accidents that result in death occur daily across Utah. Dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult and often overwhelming for families. What makes dealing with this tragic situation even worse, is finding out that your loved one died as the result of another party’s negligent or reckless acts. When a person dies due to the negligence of another, it can be grounds for a lawsuit.

In Utah, individuals who lose loved ones may be able to file wrongful death claims against the responsible party. Legally, wrongful death is a term used to describe when a person dies due to the gross negligence of another party. A responsible party can be a person or company.

When a wrongful death occurs, the family of the decedent can file a wrongful death claim in civil court to get compensation for the loss. Wrongful death cases can be filed alongside criminal cases, and neither case’s outcome affects the other. Working with Siegfried & Jensen will ensure your family gets the compensation and justice you deserve.

What Is Considered A “Wrongful Death” In Utah?

Utah law provides a legal route for individuals who lost a loved one to recover compensation from the responsible party. There are various circumstances that can result in a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are usually filed when death is the result of:

Medical Malpractice: If a medical professional is negligent or careless while providing medical care to a patient, they can be held liable for the death of the patient.

Illegal Drug Use: If a person dies as the result of drug use, the family members of the aggrieved may be able to recover compensation for damages resulting from the death. The family members would have to prove who provided the substance to the decedent in order to achieve a successful outcome on their case. Working with an attorney from Siegfried & Jensen can drastically improve your chances of recovering compensation for your damages.

Auto Accidents: Family members of fatal accident victims are able to recover compensation from the party responsible for the accident. Quite often, cases involving driving while under the influence or extreme negligence are easier to prove than others. Working with an experienced attorney will ensure your case has all the evidence necessary to support your claim.

Work Accidents: Workplace injuries occur every day across Utah. Fortunately, some incidents result in the loss of life. In these cases, family members of the decedent may be able to recover compensation for their loved one’s injuries. Family members can recover compensation for the medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and various other damages.

Defective Products: Manufacturers are required to offer safe and reliable products to the public. Sometimes, negligent manufacturing processes lead to defective products. When a person loses their life due to a defective product, aggrieved family members are able to recover compensation for their loss. Cases involving defective products are extremely complex and complicated. It is crucial to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible to go over your case and help determine the best legal route forward.

Illegal Exposure To Dangerous Materials: Exposure to dangerous materials can be fatal. Not only can negligent parties be charged in civil court, but their illegal actions can result in criminal charges as well. These cases are often detail-oriented and very fact specific. It is crucial to contact a wrongful death attorney to help with your case.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Under Utah law, only legal heirs are entitled to filing wrongful death claims against responsible parties. Although only one legal heir is designated to represent the estate, they can file claims on behalf of all of the decedent’s heirs. Immediate, surviving family members of the decedent are considered heirs under Utah law. This includes:

  1. Spouse
  2. Natural or adopted children;
  3. Parents;
  4. Stepchildren under 18 years of age.

If none of these exist, other blood relatives of the decedent are provided the legal right to file lawsuits. This includes:

  1. Spouses;
  2. Adult children; or
  3. Parents

The individual automatically in charge of the lawsuit is deemed the “presumptive personal representative” of the estate.  Designation begins at the top of the list and moves down. Each person on the list is disqualified for either being nonexistent, incapacitated, dead, or responsible for the decedent’s death.

Additionally, the family may choose their own personal representative to act in their place if they are not willing to file a lawsuit personally. It is crucial to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit enables you to recover compensation for some of the damages incurred as the result of the death.

Recoverable Damages In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The aggrieved may be able to recover compensation for damages like:

  • Financial loss
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of championship
  • Medical bills
  • Funeral expenses

And all other costs related to the incident, medical care, and death. Heirs interested in filing wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitation of two years after the death to file. Working with a diligent wrongful death attorney from Siegfried & Jensen will ensure your case is filed on time in order to recover the compensation you deserve.

Utah Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help You Obtain Justice

Regardless of the circumstances, losing a loved one is tragic. Finding out the negligent acts of another party caused the death can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. It is critical to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to help your family protect your legal rights. At Siegfried & Jensen, we work hard for you so you can grieve and recover without worrying about the complicated legal process.

Although no amount of money could ever replace a life, compensation can help aggrieved family members alleviate some of the financial burdens they face having lost their loved one. Contact Siegfried & Jensen at (801) 598 -1218 to schedule a free consultation so we can see what legal options are available for you.

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