Damages in an OK Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Losing a loved one in an accident often is one of the most difficult experiences in the lives of the surviving family members. At Hasbrook & Hasbrook, know that the loss of a parent or spouse can also leave an enormous financial deficit. When a family member is killed in a tragic accident, the accident victim’s immediate family can suffer the economic consequences. Not only are medical bills and funeral costs expensive, but lost wages can total anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions. You should not have to pay the financial costs of a loved one’s untimely death. You may be eligible for damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Wrongful Death Compensation

Types of Damages for Which You May be Eligible

Under Oklahoma law (Oklahoma Statutes § 12-1053), the survivors may be able to receive two different kinds of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are designed to compensate survivors for losses associated with their loved one’s death. When a plaintiff is awarded compensatory damages, this type of damages award can take two different forms:

  • Economic damages: this type of compensatory damages award is designed to provide survivors with compensation for specific, objective losses associated with the wrongful death. In other words, these are damages intended to cover the kinds of losses for which there is a clear dollar amount, such as hospital bills and medical costs (if the wrongful death victim initially survived the accident but later succumbed to his or her injuries), burial expenses, lost wages, and lost benefits (such as the deceased’s insurance coverage or a pension plan). Economic damages typically are those that would be calculated similarly by anyone examining the situation.
  • Non-economic damages: this type of compensatory damages award is designed to provide survivors with compensation for less tangible losses. In other words, these damages are intended to cover the kinds of losses for which there is not an objective dollar figure, such as mental pain and anguish associated with the loss of a loved one, loss of the protection and care from the deceased, and loss of consortium.

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and to help deter such harmful behavior in the future. While not all states permit punitive damages to be awarded, under Oklahoma law, “punitive or exemplary damages may also be recovered against the person proximately causing the wrongful death.”

Calculating Wrongful Death Damages

How are wrongful death damages calculated? When it comes to compensatory damages, economic damages typically are the easiest to calculate given their objective nature. However, calculating non-economic damages, as well as punitive damages, can be extremely complicated. It is important to work with an Oklahoma wrongful death attorney who can provide the strongest evidence in your case to show the jury the extensive losses you have incurred.

Contact an Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Attorney

It is important to learn more about obtaining damages by filing an Oklahoma wrongful death lawsuit. At Hasbrook & Hasbrook, we are dedicated to providing personal attention to each of our clients. You should reach out to an experienced Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyer today to learn more about your options. Contact Hasbrook & Hasbrook to speak to an advocate today.