Filing A Wrongful Death Claim In Utah
In Utah, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by a wrongful act or the negligence of another party. The party can be an individual or business. Filing a wrongful death claim in Utah depends on a lot of factors.
Who Can Sue For The Death Of A Loved One?
The state only allows heirs or, an individual or personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a claim. In situations where the deceased individual was under guardianship, the legal guardian can file a wrongful death lawsuit. “Heirs” are defined as the following –
- Adult children
- Stepchildren (if they are under 18 years old and dependent on the deceased financially)
- Any other blood relative according to the state’s inheritance laws
It’s important to discuss the term “presumptive personal representative” with your team of Salt Lake City wrongful death attorneys. If your family member has an estate plan, a personal representative may be named. If this is the case, only the personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Understand The Damages In A Wrongful Death Case
The state allows the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for specific losses related to the deceased person’s death. These damages include:
- Medical expenses related to his injury or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering endured by the individual
- Loss of companionship
- Lost wages (including the future wages of the person who died)
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the reckless and intentional behavior of the defendant. In other words, it sends a message to the defendant that his or her actions were wrong. It also sends a message to Utah residents not to commit the same act because it won’t be tolerated.
Filing a Wrongful Death must be done within a Certain Period
Utah requires all wrongful death claims to be filed within two years of the date of the person’s death. There is one exception. If the government is accused of the wrongful death, the plaintiff has only one year to file the lawsuit. A wrongful claim must be filed regardless of how a criminal case proceeds.
Eisenberg, Cutt, Kendell & Olson is here for you during your time of need.
ECKO Legal and their experienced team of Salt Lake City wrongful death attorneys are here to help you through the legal process of filing a wrongful death claim.