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.
Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Resources
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Why Choose Handy & Handy?
The Salt Lake City wrongful death attorney at Handy & Handy is 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.
Client Testimonial For Handy & Handy
“I would recommend calling Handy & Handy. If you are injured and need someone to help you through the process, I would recommend calling Handy & Handy. Every single person in their office handled my case in a professional manner. They answered my questions and kept me up to date on my case, which helped me get back to my life.”
– Karen O
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
What is considered a “wrongful death?” Wrongful death is when the death of a person or loved one 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 Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer who is on your side and who will help you understand your options for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Handy & Handy, our Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer has 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 in Utah.
A personal injury claim in Salt Lake City arises when an individual sustains injuries due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct.
Personal injury cases encompass a broad spectrum of accidents, such as car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, or product liability incidents. In Utah, the injured party has four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
To establish a successful personal injury claim, several elements must be proven.
These include demonstrating that the defendant had a duty of care towards the injured party, that they breached that duty through their actions or negligence, and that the breach directly caused the injuries and resulting damages.
In personal injury cases, the injured party aims to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other related losses, such as the loss of a loved one.
A wrongful death claim is filed when a person’s death occurs due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, whether you are in Salt Lake City or elsewhere.
These claims aim to provide financial relief to the surviving family members who have suffered emotionally, financially, and even physically due to the loss of their loved one.
Establishing a wrongful death claim or wrongful death cases involves proving that the defendant’s actions or negligence caused the death and that the surviving family members have suffered damages as a result. Damages in wrongful death claims can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, medical bills, and emotional distress.
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 cases in Salt Lake City, 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.
Who Is Liable For Wrongful Death?
When trying to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to determine who is truly liable for this horrific event. However, determining who is liable can fall into many categories, which include:
- Negligent Individuals: This can include drivers in car accidents, healthcare professionals in cases of medical malpractice, or individuals who caused fatal accidents due to their actions or negligence.
- Individuals With Intention: Individuals who intentionally cause harm resulting in death, such as in cases of assault or murder.
- Employers: If the wrongful death occurred in the course of employment, the employer may be held liable for the actions of their employees or for maintaining unsafe working conditions.
- Product Manufacturers: If a defective product caused the death, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer could be held accountable for their negligence.
- Government Agencies or Municipalities: In cases where a government agency or local government’s negligence or misconduct leads to a wrongful death, they may be held liable. This can include accidents caused by poorly maintained roads or negligent actions by government employees.
The Damages That Can Be Recovered Through a Wrongful Death Claim
Another notable difference between personal injury and wrongful death claims in Salt Lake City, Utah is the types of damages that can be recovered. A typical personal injury settlement for a loved one 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death
What Is The Average Settlement For A Wrongful Death Claim In Utah?
It is important to note that each wrongful death case is unique, and settlement amounts can vary widely. However, based on historical data and legal insights, the average settlement for a wrongful death claim in Utah typically ranges from tens of thousands to several million dollars.
Cases involving clear liability, substantial economic damages, and significant non-economic damages often result in higher settlements. Factors such as the deceased person’s age, occupation, earning potential, medical bills, and the impact on surviving family members or loved one also contribute to the final settlement amount.
What Is The Duty Of Care?
The duty of care refers to the legal responsibility an individual or entity owes to others to act with reasonable caution and prevent harm. It is based on the expectation that one should not cause harm or injury to others due to their actions or negligence.This principle plays a critical role in assessing negligence and liability in wrongful death cases.
How Long Will It Take To Recover Damages From A Wrongful Death Claim?
Since every case is unique in Salt Lake City, it typically takes months to years to reach a resolution for your loved one, considering the various stages involved with filing a wrongful death lawsuit, such as investigation, filing the lawsuit, discovery, settlement negotiations or trial, and post-trial proceedings.
How Long Do I 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 a 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.
Contact Our Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Attorney Today
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 of a loved one. 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.
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Locations We Serve
We serve all of Salt Lake City, including:
Downtown | Sugar House | Capitol Hill | Marmalade | Bonneville Hills | Central City | East Central | Liberty Wells | Rose Park | Glendale | Poplar Grove | Fairpark | Westpointe | Millcreek | Holladay | Cottonwood Heights | Mount Olympus | Yalecrest | Highland Park | Federal Heights | Gilmer Park | Wasatch Hollow | North Temple | The Avenues