Experiencing the sudden death of a loved one is one of the most painful trials an individual can endure. In certain cases, when that death was the result of wrongful acts by another the pain is worse. It’s in such situations that the survivors are well-advised to consult with our Tulsa wrongful death attorneys. They have experience in personal injury lawsuits and can apprise them of their rights under the law.
Oklahoma Wrongful Death Lawsuits:
Wrongful death lawsuits can spring from a myriad of different circumstances. Recently, the mother of a thirty-nine-year-old African American man suffered a wrongful death in her family. Her son died after being “hogtied” by four Oklahoma City policemen. She later sued the officers for the wrongful death of her son. The deceased suffered from paranoia and schizophrenia and called 911 on May 1, 2013 for emergency medical assistance. Four officers arrived at his home, at which point the mentally ill man refused to ride in the squad car to the hospital. Instead he only wanted to ride in his grandmother’s car. The officers then placed him in the “maximum restraint hobble system” in order to subdue him. Afterward, he collapsed, and paramedics took him to the hospital. The emergency room staff pronounced him dead.
Oklahoma’s medical examiner named “excited delirium syndrome” as the cause of death. As a result, the cause of death was ruled an accident. The report noted the physical conflict with the police was only an aggravating factor. The report noted that the deceased was under the influence of methamphetamine’s at the time of death. Civil rights groups noted that “excited delirium syndrome” is often used to explain the death of individuals who have been subjected to excessive force. This excessive force is at the hands of police. Further, many doctors do not recognize excited delirium as a legitimate medical condition. In the lawsuit filed earlier this year, the plaintiff is seeking $75,000 for her son’s wrongful death, in addition to damages for pain and suffering, medical and funeral expenses, as well as other costs related to his death.
Oklahoma Wrongful Death Laws:
Oklahoma law allows a cause of action for wrongful death when the wrongful act or omission of one person or persons causes the death of another person, and the wrongful act could have formed the basis of a personal injury lawsuit had the deceased survived. (Okla. Stat. tit. 12, Sec. 1053). The act causing death may be classified as negligent, reckless, or intentional. The deceased’s personal representative may bring such a lawsuit.
The state law further defines the types of damages that the personal representative of the deceased may be able to recover. These include:
- medical and burial expenses,
- loss of consortium and grief to the surviving spouse,
- mental pain and anguish suffered by the deceased,
- financial loss to the survivors of the deceased,
- grief and loss of companionship to the children and parents of the deceased.
In addition to the above, punitive and exemplary damages may be awarded if the defendant(s)’ behavior was in reckless disregard for the rights of others, or was intentional and malicious. The statute sets the time limit (statute of limitations) for the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit at two years from the date of death.
Contact Our Tulsa Wrongful Death Attorneys:
If your loved one died as a result of the actions of another, and you believe that those actions were wrongful in some way, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important that you seek the advice of capable Tulsa Wrongful Death Attorneys as soon as possible, both because of the 2-year statute of limitations and because of the need to identify witnesses and evidence that may be key to a successful case. Call our office today for a consultation.