What To Do After The Wrongful Death Of A Loved One

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What To Do When The Worst Has Happened

If someone you love died by the negligence or wrongful act of another, then you may have the right to obtain compensation for the loss. Whether you can sue for death of a loved one depends on your relationship with the person who passed away. Spouses, children and parents can always file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a loved one. Stepchildren also have a right to claim compensation, but only if under the age of 18 and are financially dependent on the step-parent. We call these people “heirs.” Unmarried couples may have some protections, but most likely only if a court determines that there was a common law marriage before the death. This determination can only happen within one year of the person’s death.

The person’s personal representative—the person in charge of taking care of the estate—files the lawsuit on behalf of all the heirs. Normally, this is the spouse. But if there isn’t a spouse, then one of the children or parents will bring the lawsuit.

A Few Things To Consider

A wrongful death lawsuit allows the heirs to recover many damages, including medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, lost support and maintenance, pain and suffering, and, most importantly, the lost relationship and companionship. In fact, the Utah Supreme Court has said that the greatest losses caused by wrongful death include the loss of love, companionship, society, comfort and affection of the loved one. These losses are why Utah’s constitution prohibits limits on wrongful death compensation, except for very limited circumstances like worker’s compensation claims. To find out if you qualify as a person who can sue for wrongful death, and to find out what you can recover, give us a Call Now at (801)303-5800. We will be happy to discuss your circumstances and answer your questions.




Jon HammondWhat To Do After The Wrongful Death Of A Loved One