Oklahoma Wrongful Death Attorney
We fight for the families of wrongful death victims to get them compensation the compensation they deserve. With more than 15 years of experience, Bryan Garrett is here for you.
Do I Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
We understand that it takes time to heal. The loss of a loved one due to an unexpected, catastrophic event can turn your entire world upside down. As you’re grieving, you may also be worried about making ends meet and your long-term financial prospects, especially if your loved one supported the family.
No amount of money in the world can bring your loved one back. Still, you could be entitled to compensation if another person or company’s negligent, careless, or reckless conduct was responsible for their death.
Navigating the wrongful death process alone is not recommended. One of the first challenges that can arise is proving wrongful death in the first place.
If you’re dealing with an insurance company, keep in mind that their goal is to collect insurance premiums, not pay settlements. As a result, an insurance company may fight you tooth and nail to avoid liability by allocating blame to other parties. They may even try to shift blame to your deceased loved one to reduce or eliminate their financial liability.
A wrongful death lawyer has experience in dealing with insurance companies. Further, attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and tools to evaluate the situation and determine an amount that compensates surviving family members fairly.
While the insurance company will work to minimize your claim, a wrongful death attorney will do everything in their power to secure maximum compensation.
Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death claims can be incredibly complex. Having an attorney working on your behalf can spell the difference between a denied claim or case dismissal and a six or seven-figure settlement.
There are several advantages to having a wrongful death attorney on your side.
1. Understanding the Value of Your Claim
Putting a value on someone’s life can be incredibly difficult. However, attorneys (and insurance companies) have models that allow them to determine how much money you should receive. Though money can’t replace a loved one, it can help secure your future and will enable you to make ends meet. A money judgment can also give you a sense of justice.
Without an attorney, you’ll be at the mercy of the insurance company’s valuation, which is bound to be unfairly low. Your attorney will assign dollar amounts to the following areas and then begin the process of negotiating with the other person’s insurance company:
– Funeral and burial expenses
– Medical expenses
– Pain and suffering
– Loss of wages and financial support
– Loss of companionship, guidance, mentorship
– Punitive damages
2. Gathering Evidence
To ensure that the party who caused your loved one’s death is held liable, you must be able to prove that they were responsible. The insurance company or that person’s attorney will try to avoid liability, but your attorney will take a close look at the evidence to uncover the truth.
Not only does gathering this information help lead to a positive outcome, it can also give you closure during this difficult time.
3. Getting Things Done While You Focus on Healing
Wrongful death cases can require a lot of paperwork and red tape. Keeping up with the correspondence and handling the details can be challenging in the best of times. While you’re grieving, these tasks may feel impossible. Let an attorney take this off your plate.
4. Negotiating Skills
Because wrongful death attorneys are familiar with how insurance companies work and how to value claims, they’re better positioned to negotiate on your behalf. The goal is to achieve a settlement that is as large as humanly possible. It’s the role of your attorney to help make that happen.
Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney
To prove wrongful death, the first step is to establish that the defendant’s negligent or reckless conduct resulted in your loved one losing their life. This typically involves a negligence analysis that that encompasses four elements:
- Duty and standard of care: Did the defendant owe a duty of care to your loved one? Was the standard of care higher than usual due to a special relationship (i.e., doctor / patient) or a unique set of circumstances?
- Breach of the duty of care: Did the defendant act in a manner that breached (broke) that duty.
- Actual and proximate cause: Was the defendant the actual legal cause of your loved one’s death? Would the death not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s actions?
- Damages: Any injury generally satisfies this element. It is clear that death meets this threshold.
Proving these elements is the plaintiff’s responsibility. However, unlike a criminal case, which requires proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a wrongful death lawsuit requires a lower burden of proof. As long as the plaintiff can provide a “preponderance of evidence” to link the defendant’s actions with the loved one’s death, it is likely that the defendant will be held liable.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
When you’re living in a world of financial uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is add another expense to your plate. The good news is that most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency basis. As a result, you likely won’t have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your attorney will receive a percentage of your settlement.
Because the attorney is not charging you anything upfront, it is in their best interest to make sure that your case has a favorable outcome.
As you consult with various attorneys, keep in mind that each attorney will structure these agreements differently. Some may charge a higher percentage than others, so make sure you are both on the same page about how much you will pay after a successful claim.
Why Should I Hire Bryan Garrett as My Wrongful Death Attorney?
When it comes to a claim for wrongful death, experience matters. The stakes are high, and the outcome of a case has the potential to affect you and your family for the rest of your life.
As a personal injury attorney with more than 15 years of experience, Bryan Garrett has worked with a large number of clients and gotten them excellent results. He and his team are experienced in wrongful death claims and are prepared to work tirelessly to settle with insurance companies or litigate in court.
Bryan Garrett’s dedicated in-house team is packed with talent and knowledge of all aspects of law and procedure. We view our clients as a part of our family, and we make sure they’re treated right. When you work with us, you’ll be a top priority, and we keep the lines of communication open.
You can be confident that we’ll always be accessible to answer your questions or address any concerns.
Contact us today for a free consultation.