West Valley City Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a spouse, child, parent, or other loved one is terribly difficult and heart-wrenching for the entire family. In addition to the emotional pain of the loss, grieving families often face substantial financial constraints due to the loss of their loved one’s income and financial support.
When a loved one tragically loses their life as a result of someone else’s negligence, the decedent’s heirs and estate have a right to pursue a wrongful death claim on the decedent’s behalf.
At Handy & Handy, we help grieving families seek rightful compensation for the wrongful death of their loved ones in Utah. We know how devastating the loss of a loved one can be, and that is why we provide compassionate but aggressive representation to the family members of those who have lost their lives tragically and wrongfully.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, we can help. Call Handy & Handy today at (801) 264-6677 to arrange a free consultation with an experienced Utah wrongful death lawyer.
What is a Wrongful Death in Utah?
In Utah, wrongful death refers to a death caused by the negligence, wrongdoing, or intentional act of another person. A Wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury claim brought on behalf of a deceased person.
Common causes of wrongful death include medical malpractice, product defects, criminal acts, occupational hazards, abuse and neglect, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, and workplace accidents.
Wrongful Death Claims vs. Criminal Cases
A wrongful death claim is different from a criminal case. While in a criminal case the wrongdoer may be convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail, probation, or some other form of punishment, a wrongful death claim can only result in the wrongdoer being held financially liable for the victim’s death. Furthermore, the defendant in a wrongful death claim may (and often does) face criminal prosecution as well.
Another major difference between a wrongful death claim and a criminal case is that in a wrongful death case, the defendant’s liability must only be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Whereas, in a criminal case, the defendant’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher burden of proof.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah
In Utah, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the decedent’s surviving heirs (a spouse, child, parent, minor stepchild, or another blood relative). In addition, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate or their guardian may bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s heirs.
But, regardless of who brings it, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the decedent’s death, or one year of that date if being filed against a government entity. If this deadline (referred to as the statute of limitations) is missed, you may never be able to recover the compensation you need to recover from the loss of your loved one.
Damages Recoverable in a Utah Wrongful Death Claim
The damages that may be recovered through a wrongful death claim in Utah can mostly be categorized as compensatory damages, and include:
- Funeral and burial costs;
- The decedent’s final medical expenses;
- The decedent’s lost wages and income, as well as the income the decedent, would have earned if they had not lost their life;
- Loss of inheritance;
- The decedent’s pain and suffering before death; and
- Loss of the decedent’s support, counsel, and affection
In addition, the court may award punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or egregious behavior, and to deter others from engaging in the same or similar conduct.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a West Valley City Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you have lost a loved one in West Valley City as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, an experienced West Valley City wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family in the following ways:
- Determining if you are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim;
- Collecting and preserving the evidence needed to succeed in your case and maximize the compensation you receive; and
- Dealing with the liable insurance companies, so you don’t have to
Our knowledgeable and experienced wrongful death lawyers are here to help you and your family hold those responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for your loss. Please contact Handy & Handy for the help you need.
Call us today at (801) 264-6677 or fill out our contact form to arrange a free consultation with an experienced West Valley City wrongful death lawyer. Our skilled attorneys have more than 35 years of combined experience helping accident victims in Utah.