Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one in Utah and are thinking of pursuing a wrongful death claim, you should know that obtaining a fair settlement can be difficult and will require a great deal of skill and experience.
The attorneys at Handy & Handy are dedicated to helping loved ones pursue their legal options after a family member has been killed in an accident. Your life forever changes after a fatal accident. We know how you are feeling and understand the devastation this has caused to your family.
Our lawyers, Preston L. Handy and Garrett S. Handy have extensive experience helping families navigate their legal options during this difficult time. We will guide you through the entire process, informing you of your rights, exploring your legal options, and giving you insight along the way so you know what to expect.
Contact us right away if you suspect the death of a loved one was caused by the misconduct of another person or company. We will provide the legal guidance and compassion you need.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
What is considered a “wrongful death?” Wrongful death is when the death of a person is caused by the intentional act, recklessness or negligence of another individual or entity.
The following circumstances commonly give rise to wrongful death claims in Utah:
- Medical Malpractice,
- Nursing home abuse or neglect,
- Drunk driving, and
- Intentional acts of violence
Whether the fault lies with a person, business or large corporation, the survivors of the deceased may be entitled to monetary compensation for the loss of a loved one. But, as there are many things that can give rise to a wrongful death claim, many factors must also be taken into account when determining what should be considered a fair settlement for your claim, including but not limited to:
- How the death occurred
- Who is at fault, and
- Whether or not you are working with the right attorney
The laws concerning who is entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of a loved are complex. You need an expert on your side who can give you the aggressive representation you deserve. Whether your loved one was killed intentionally, in an accident, or due to negligence, you should discuss your case with a caring expert who is on your side and who will help you understand your options for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Handy & Handy, our attorneys have more than 35 years of experience representing plaintiffs in wrongful death claims in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah.
The Differences Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims in Utah
There are some significant differences between an ordinary personal injury claim and a wrongful death claim. Understanding these differences can help you and your Utah wrongful death attorney work better together as you pursue your claim.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah
One of the biggest differences between personal injury and wrongful death claims in Utah is who can bring the claim. Personal injury claims are brought by the injured person, who is seeking compensation for his or her injuries and losses. But, for obvious reasons, this is not the case with wrongful death claims. A wrongful death claim must be brought by either the decedent’s heirs, their legal guardian, or the personal representative of their estate, on behalf of the estate or the decedent’s heirs.
What Damages Can Be Recovered Through a Wrongful Death Claim
Another notable difference between personal injury and wrongful death claims in Utah is the types of damages that can be recovered. A typical personal injury settlement can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and income, and pain and suffering. But in a wrongful death case, additional damages can be recovered by the decedent’s heirs or estate for damages such as:
- The decedent’s final medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent’s lost earnings before death
- The decedent’s pain and suffering prior to death, and
- The surviving family members’ loss of the decedent’s household services, comfort, support, guidance, and companionship
In addition, a court may award the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim with punitive damages, meant to punish the defendant for acts of intentional or reckless conduct, as well as to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
How Long You Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim
Yet another important difference between personal injury and wrongful death claims in Utah is that you have less time to bring a wrongful death claim. Whereas with the typical personal injury claim, you have four years from the date of the injurious incident to file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer, you only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit, or one year if you are filing a claim against a government entity. Miss this deadline, and you may never be able to recover any compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one.
Learn About Your Legal Options. Contact Us.
Before discussing a wrongful death settlement with the negligent party or their insurance provider, consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Utah wrongful death attorney who can help you understand your legal options.
We will help you hold negligent parties accountable for your tragic loss. Contact us online, or call our firm at (801) 264-6677 to discuss your case. We offer free consultations. There is no risk to meeting with us — we only get paid if we recover in your claim.