Utah law entitles immediate family to compensation for the accidental death of a loved one
Wrongful death is caused by negligence or misconduct by a person or system. The death may be the result of a dangerous condition or property, a manufacturer overlooking a safety feature, or another driver’s momentary distraction. Fillmore Spencer LLC wrongful death lawyers help you prevail against tactics deployed by the defense and insurance company and obtain compensation for the loss of your loved one and, possibly, some measure of justice.
Every fatality is, of course, a tragic loss, but perhaps none more so than the death of a family breadwinner. Can the family pay bills going forward? Will you lose your home? Can the household chores, like child and elder care, car maintenance, housework, home repair, and yard work be performed by other family members? How will family members cope with the sudden stress of this major life change?
The attorneys at Fillmore Spencer LLC understand the trauma and stress that survivors feel and take an active interest in protecting their rights. The responsible party’s insurance company may quickly offer a settlement, ostensibly to limit its defense litigation costs but possibly to preempt a large jury award. Our lawyers review the circumstances and help you determine whether the settlement offer will be adequate to cover your losses. The insurance company then may drag its feet, attempting to get you to snap up the settlement offer. Our attorneys will counsel you on the next steps to take.
A wrongful death claim may be made by a “presumptive personal representative.” If the deceased has not indicated who this will be, Utah state law assumes it will be a relative and even designates who may bring the claim: a spouse, child or parent.
The personal representative is charged with pursuing any personal injury claims that arose prior to the descendant’s death, representing all heirs in the wrongful death claim and properly distributing proceeds from all legal actions. The personal representative must file any wrongful death claim within two years of the deceased’s passing, or one year if the negligent party was a government entity or working employee.
As with personal injury cases, wrongful death cases often entitle survivors to both economic and noneconomic (pain and suffering) damages, as well as punitive damages if the court sees fit. In Utah, noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases are limited to no more than $450,000. However, this limit may not apply in wrongful death cases.
Whether your loved one has suffered an accidental death in an auto collision or died as the result of a surgical error, Fillmore Spencer LLC helps you seek bona fide economic and noneconomic damages for such costs as:
Your family must focus on coping with its emotional loss as best it can, and, understandably, may be reluctant to pursue an “award” for your loved one’s death. At the same time, insurance defense attorneys and opportunistic insurance risk adjustors may try to exploit your emotional vulnerability. Fillmore Spencer LLC can clearly identifying the grounds for a wrongful death claim, ensuring all filings, processes and deadlines are properly satisfied and countering defense arguments that will try to cancel or limit your rights. Though no one can ever make up for the loss, Fillmore Spencer LLC works to ensure that your family’s future is not permanently compromised by a loved one’s passing. Call us at (801) 426-8200 or contact us online for an obligation-free initial consultation.