When you’ve lost a loved one, the grief is overwhelming. It’s even worse when the death was caused by another party’s wrongdoing or careless behavior. You might be suffering financial setbacks while feeling a need for some kind of justice.

London Harker Injury Law has a team of Sandy, Utah, attorneys who understand survivors’ unique challenges when handling a wrongful death claim. With compassion and empathy, we provide dedicated legal assistance to clients seeking justice and compensation.

Call us now at 77CARCRASH. While money can never make up for your loss, we want to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit in Utah is a legal recourse available to the surviving family members or dependents of an individual who has died because of someone’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. This type of suit allows the surviving party to seek compensation for their losses due to their loved one’s untimely death.

Specific statutes in the Utah Code govern a wrongful death lawsuit in Utah. Utah Code section 78B-3-105 states that the “heirs” who are legally allowed to file a wrongful death suit include:

  • The surviving wife or husband
  • The surviving adult children
  • The surviving parent or parents, which includes adoptive parents
  • The surviving stepchildren, if they are younger than 18 at the time of death and were dependent financially on the deceased party
  • Any other blood relatives, per Utah’s inheritance laws

The law in Utah presumes a surviving heir will assume the role of personal representative for filing the claim, which is why this role is usually called “presumptive personal representative.” But the deceased person’s will may also identify someone as the personal representative.

A personal representative must establish certain elements to pursue a Utah wrongful death claim. First, they must demonstrate that another person’s negligence or unlawful conduct caused the death, in whole or in part. Typical scenarios include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, or crimes. They have to show that the victim had a surviving dependent or heir, and that person suffered losses because of the death.

By working with experienced legal professionals who understand these requirements, such as the team at London Harker Injury Law, surviving family members can pursue justice and receive the financial support they deserve.

What Damages Can You Recover in a Utah Wrongful Death Suit?

In a Utah wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members or dependents may recover various damages. While the specific damages awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, here are some common categories of damages.

Economic Damages – These losses are those that have specific dollar amounts attached, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses – The costs associated with the loved one’s funeral service, burial plot, casket, transportation, and related costs
  • Medical expenses – The reasonable and necessary medical bills incurred before the person’s death
  • Loss of financial support– The value of the income, benefits, and financial support the deceased would have provided to the surviving family members had they lived

Non-Economic DamagesThese losses are the intangible results of the death and include:

  • Loss of companionship – The emotional support, guidance, and companionship the deceased person would have provided to their spouse, children, or other family members
  • Emotional distress – The psychological pain, suffering, and emotional anguish experienced by the surviving family members due to losing their loved one
  • Loss of consortium – The loss of the intimate and marital relationship between the deceased person and their spouse, including the loss of affection, companionship, and the ability to engage in spousal activities

Punitive DamagesA court may award punitive damage in certain cases. These damages aim to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. Utah Code section 78B-8-201 provides for the possibility of punitive damages when “it is established by clear and convincing evidence” that the death was the “result of willful and malicious or intentionally fraudulent conduct, or conduct that manifests a knowing and reckless indifference toward, and a disregard of, the rights of others.”

Comparative Negligence

It is important to note that Utah follows a modified comparative negligence rule in wrongful death cases. If the deceased person contributed to their death, their fault may affect the damages awarded. If the deceased person’s fault is determined to be 50% or more, their surviving family members may not recover damages.

Recovering compensation in a wrongful death claim can be complex and will depend on the case’s individual circumstances. The surviving family members should consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Sandy, Utah, who can assess their situation and help them seek appropriate compensation.

What Evidence Is Important in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In a Utah wrongful death claim, gathering and presenting the proper evidence is crucial to establish liability and support the damages sought. While you should begin to collect documents independently, retaining the help of an experienced Sandy, Utah, wrongful death attorney is very important to make sure you acquire the evidence you need.

Here are important types of evidence that can be significant in a wrongful death claim:

  • Accident reports – Any police reports, incident reports, or accident reconstruction reports that provide details about the incident leading to the person’s death.
  • Photographs or videos – Visual evidence that captures the accident scene, injuries sustained, property damage, or any relevant conditions.
  • Witness statements – Testimony from those who witnessed the accident or have relevant information about the death’s circumstances.
  • Medical records – Documentation of the deceased person’s medical treatment, including hospital records, doctor’s notes, and diagnostic reports.
  • Autopsy report – An autopsy report can provide important information regarding the cause of death and any contributing factors.
  • Expert witnesses – Professionals in fields such as accident reconstruction, medical experts, or industry specialists who can provide opinions and analysis based on their knowledge and experience.
  • Employment records – Proof of the deceased person’s income, benefits, and financial contributions to the family.
  • Tax records – Income tax returns and financial statements that establish the deceased person’s earning capacity and financial standing.
  • Funeral and burial expenses – Receipts and invoices related to funeral costs, burial plots, caskets, and other associated expenses.
  • Bills and invoices – Medical bills, therapy expenses, or any other costs incurred due to the injury leading to the wrongful death.
  • Emails, texts, or letters – Any written communication that might be relevant to the case, such as correspondence between the parties involved, admissions of fault, or evidence of negligence.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Utah Wrongful Death Claim?

In Utah, you must file a wrongful death claim within a specific time frame dictated by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Utah is generally two years from the date of the person’s death and one year if the claim is against a government. However, there can be exceptions to this timeline depending on the circumstances, so it is crucial to consult with an attorney experienced in wrongful death cases to ensure compliance with the applicable laws.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

Here are some ways in which an experienced Sandy, Utah, wrongful death attorney can provide valuable support:

  • Legal expertise and guidance

    A wrongful death attorney can provide legal advice, explain the rights and options available to the surviving family members, and guide them through the complex legal process.

  • Investigation and evidence gathering

    Attorneys can collect and analyze evidence, interview witnesses, consult experts, and obtain all relevant information to build a strong case.

  • Building a solid case

    An experienced attorney can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case and develop a strategic approach. They will use their skills to construct a compelling argument, present the evidence effectively, and advocate on behalf of the surviving family members to establish liability and seek appropriate compensation.

  • Handling legal procedures and paperwork

    Wrongful death claims involve various legal procedures, deadlines, and paperwork. An attorney can handle all the necessary paperwork, ensure that all required documentation is submitted correctly and on time, and manage the complex legal processes on behalf of the family members, relieving them of this burden during a difficult time.

  • Negotiation and settlement

    Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who can discuss settlement with the opposing party or their insurance company. They will work to secure fair and just compensation that adequately compensates the surviving family members for their losses. If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorney can represent the family members in court and advocate for their rights during trial.

  • Emotional support

    Dealing with losing a loved one is emotionally challenging. An attorney experienced in wrongful death cases can provide compassionate support, empathy, and understanding to the family members throughout the legal process, offering reassurance and helping them with the complexities of their case.

Get a Consultation for Your Sandy, Utah, Wrongful Death Claim

If someone’s conduct caused the death of your loved one, our team of experienced attorneys wants to help. We pride ourselves on compassionately empowering survivors to take legal action. Call the Sandy wrongful death attorneys of London Harker Injury Law today at 77CARCRASH so we can help you evaluate your claim and seek the compensation you deserve for your loss.


London Harker Injury Law Sandy Office

Personal Injury Attorney in Sandy, Utah


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