What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil court action. It is essentially a personal injury case, only the injured party did not survive the incident.
The person who can file a wrongful death suit varies from state to state. In some places, only the executor of the estate can file. In others, only close family members can bring forth the lawsuit.
A wrongful death suit is designed to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, and it provides financial compensation for the surviving loved ones.
In Utah, wrongful death laws apply when someone is negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful, and their actions result in someone’s death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah?
Generally speaking, immediate family members of the deceased can bring forth the suit.
- If the deceased was married at the time of their death, then their spouse is typically the one who can file the claim.
- If the deceased was not married but had children, then those children would have the standing to file a wrongful death suit.
- Similarly, if the deceased was a minor child, then their parents have the right to bring the claim.
- When there is no immediate spouse, child, or parent, siblings or other extended family members may be able to file.
If you are unsure of whether you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit, contact Nelson, Taylor & Associates, PLLC for help. We may be able to help guide your next steps.
Required Documentation for a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah
These documents include:
- The death certificate
- Evidence of the cause of death
- Proof of relationship to the deceased
- Evidence of the damages suffered by the surviving family members
- Lost income
- Missed work
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah
In general, damages in a wrongful death lawsuit help compensate the decedent's surviving family members for their loss.
These damages may include:
- Economic Damages
- Funeral costs
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages the deceased could have earned
- Non-Economic Damages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
In certain situations, Utah law also allows for punitive damages. These are designed to punish the negligent party for their actions.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death.
This means that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim and seek justice for your loved one. It's important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. That way, they will have time to help you navigate the legal process and make sure your claim is on time.
During this time, your attorney can help you gather evidence and prepare to show that evidence in court. If going to court is not necessary, your lawyer can still use this time to negotiate with insurance companies.
If your loved one was killed by someone else’s wrongful actions, our firm is ready to stand by your side. To consult with our team, contact us online or call our office now at (801) 901-7046.