Every year, thousands of people die in motor vehicle accidents throughout the country. Drivers in Ponca City should always put safety first, because a potentially fatal accident can develop at any time and on any road. When a fatal car accident does occur, what legal options can a deceased victim's family pursue?
Under Oklahoma law, a personal representative for the deceased victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim's estate. The representative who files the legal action, otherwise known as the plaintiff, must prove a few different points to be successful in a wrongful death case. For example, one of these points is whether another person's negligence caused the person's death.
To show that a negligent driver caused a fatal motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff typically presents evidence that might include eyewitness testimony, reports from crash reconstruction experts and testimony from law enforcement officers who responded to the accident.
Following a death in a motor vehicle accident, the victim's personal representative has only two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, waiting that long to get legal help could compromise the case, because some critical evidence could quickly disappear during the months after the accident. For example, witness's memories fade and physical evidence can be lost or destroyed.
The unexpected loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident is a tragic event, and no legal action can make a family whole again after this kind of event. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can hold the negligent parties responsible and can get a monetary award that will ultimately go to the victim's loves ones.