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Layton Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving Northern Utah
The death of a loved one can be devastating. In addition to the emotional turmoil that comes from the loss, medical bills, and funeral expenses can be overwhelming. If your loved one worked to help provide for your family, it may become a struggle to cope with life’s demands on a reduced income. When the death of a loved one is the result of someone else’s fault (i.e., a wrongful death), you have legal options.
Under the law, you can claim compensation for financial losses and emotional suffering caused by the wrongful death of a family member. Such cases are complex and can be lengthy. Representation by a law firm experienced in wrongful death cases is essential. While cases can be won without representation, insurance industry studies show that fighting the legal battle with a lawyer will reward you with a much higher settlement. It is proven that plaintiffs without legal representation often misstep in their case by giving a recorded statement, demanding too much or too little, assuming the system makes sense, taking the insurance company’s “final” offer and settle the case without knowing the full extent of their injuries. Here at LeBaron & Jensen, P.C., our attorneys are driven by a sense of justice. We believe in helping individuals who have suffered because of others’ negligence; we also believe that they shouldn’t deal with their losses by themselves. If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Nothing can bring your loved one back, but we can work to guarantee accountability and try to replace the value of the support the deceased would have provided to their loved ones had their life not been cut short.
At LeBaron and Jensen, P.C., we work tirelessly to use all resources necessary to effectively settle your claim. We understand the difficulties that arise after losing a loved one, so we strive to take on the stress, so you don’t have to. Finalizing a loved one’s affairs can involve financial complications. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis, so we won’t get paid unless you do.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim
In Utah, wrongful death claims usually must be brought within two years from the date of death, although there are some exceptions that may shorten or lengthen this time period. A personal representative may bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the heirs, or the heirs may bring the claim themselves. A personal representative is someone—usually an heir—who is appointed by the court to handle the financial affairs of the person who died. The wrongful death heirs in Utah are the surviving spouse, children (including minor stepchildren who were primarily financially dependent on the person who died), and parents. If none of these people are alive, then certain other blood relatives may be heirs. If a loved one has died because at the fault of another, an experienced wrongful death attorney in the state of Utah can prepare and file the paperwork necessary to get the court to appoint a personal representative. The attorneys at LeBaron & Jensen regularly do this for our clients without charging any additional fees.
Wrongful Death Definition
A wrongful death case allows family members to seek financial compensation when a loved one has died as a result of someone else’s negligence. Wrongful deaths can be the result of a variety of accidents and can receive compensation for a variety of damages. It isn’t always clear whether or not you have a viable wrongful death case, so always consult with an attorney before you make a decision.
If your relationship to the deceased is one of the people identified here, you may pursue compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one:
- Immediate family, such as a spouse, biological or adopted child, or parent
- Domestic or life partner
- Parent of a deceased or unborn fetus
- Financial dependent
- Other family member, such as a brother, sister, or grandparent
Wrongful Death Case Important Elements
Wrongful death lawsuits are founded on the principle of negligence. If it is determined that a defendant neglected his or her duty of care, they will be held liable. In order to effectively win your wrongful death lawsuit, your attorney will need to prove the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased victim
- The duty of care was effectively violated by the defendant
- This breach of duty directly resulted in the death of the victim
- The plaintiff suffered damages as an impact from the wrongful death
Some common wrongful death cases include the following:
- Car accidents
- Birth injuries
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
Damages You Can Pursue in a Wrongful Death Case
To determine the damages awarded in a wrongful death case, the court will consider a variety of factors, such as the relationship the survivor(s) had with the deceased, the amount of the deceased net income available to the claimant, life expectancy of all parties, and the replacement value of the deceased services.
As a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit, there are certain damages that you may be entitled to recover as surviving family member of the victim. Some of these include:
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Expenses from funeral and burial
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services, such as childcare etc.
- Mental & emotional anguish suffered
- Loss of financial support
- Future wages the deceased would have earned
Punitive damages may be awarded in addition to other damages based on the case. If the other parties’ actions are deemed intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent, punitive damages are often served to punish the offending party.
What if the deceased didn’t have or had never held a job?
You may have noticed that many of the damages available in wrongful death cases have to do with income. Fortunately, the court recognizes that not all contributions a person makes in their lifetime are strictly economic. If your mother or father was a homemaker, for example, and they were killed in a car accident, your family would still be entitled to damages. A stay-at-home parent contributes domestic services, guidance, and nurturing to the family. When these contributions are translated to measurable, monetary terms, they are called “pecuniary losses,” and they may justify damages in a wrongful death suit.
Similarly, wrongful death actions can be brought after the death of a child or retired senior. Unfortunately, their earning potential is speculative or minimal, so damage awards are usually more modest. Nevertheless, if you have lost someone, you deserve to be compensated for both the economic and non-economic losses you suffer from each and every day.
What is a survival action?
Survival actions are described in Section 78B-4-107 of the Utah Judicial Code. Essentially, if your loved one lived with the consequences of the wrongdoer’s behavior before dying, you may be able to recover damages for the pain, suffering, and losses they endured before their death. When someone dies, their personal injury claim does not die with them and can be awarded to their estate.
Survival actions are about the deceased, and not about their family members or any grief resulting from their death. As a result, any survival action you wish to pursue must be filed separately from your wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact us as soon as possible following an accident resulting in the death of another so we can gather evidence and talk with all parties to ensure we are able to build the strongest possible case for your potential entitlements. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation for all new personal injury and wrongful death cases, so don’t wait.
Meet our amazing attorneys.
We’re a talented group of attorneys interested in helping our clients get a fair settlement for their car accident.
When Miles LeBaron started LeBaron & Jensen with Tyler Jensen in 2004, they began with the objective of providing competent, result-oriented “big firm” legal representation, but with a small firm personal touch and less overhead to pass on to the client. Miles spent the first ten (10) years of his career representing various financial institutions and other companies in Utah with their litigation needs, including obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements from insurance companies who refused to compensate business owners who had their property damaged by fires or floods.
Tyler J. Jensen is one of the founding attorneys of LeBaron & Jensen, P.C. and represents clients in Utah and Colorado. Tyler has participated in more than 1000 hearings in his career and is in the court room multiple times each week. People know him for his deep commitment to his clients, promptness, approachability, and efficiency in getting results. Tyler has devoted his career to helping clients who are facing difficult financial circumstances as a result of injuries, health issues, financial issues, or other economic setbacks. Tyler is an experienced bankruptcy and personal injury attorney and has a passion for helping people turn their lives around.
Dallin G. Johnson
Dallin joined LeBaron & Jensen in 2019. Since joining, his practice has focused almost exclusively on personal injury and he has become an integral part of the firm’s personal injury team in negotiating and litigating personal injury matters. He has helped clients recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlement proceeds for their injuries. Dallin also speaks Spanish and can serve the firm’s multiple Spanish-speaking clients in their native language.
See what our clients are saying.
Our clients are grateful for support and compensations we have helped them receive!
I highly recommend the firm of LeBaron & Jensen. Tyler and his staff answers my concerns promptly, gives absolutely top notch advice and does not charge an arm and a leg, but very fair fee for the services they provide. I feel as though Tyler gives you more than what you pay for and goes beyond whats expected. This is not just my opinion, but many other colleagues who actually referred me to him.
I can not say enough about this attorney office. Amazing team. I called multiple times with questions. Some times daily. Linda was always very patient with me and gave me all the information I was looking for each time. After our case was closed I had some additional questions and called and the team did not hesitate to jump in and help. The team genially cares about you and your family. Choose them and they will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
We were very pleased with how Miles Lebaron handled our car accident case. The insurance company was quite difficult to work with. Miles was persistent with the insurance company and got the settlement we were seeking, without having to go to court.
Miles also handled a case for our son, who was bit on the face by a dog. Again, Miles was persistent and was able to get a fair settlement, which included allowing our son to have the reconstructive surgery that he needed.
Contact our Utah Wrongful Death Attorneys.
LeBaron & Jensen has decades of combined experience handling a variety of wrongful death cases throughout the state of Utah. We understand how devastating the loss of a loved one is and we promise to work hard to get fair financial compensation and peace of mind for you and your family. We provide free, no-obligation consultations for a variety of personal injury claims. Contact our office today at 801-773-9488 for more information about your wrongful death claim.
LeBaron & Jensen, P.C.
1241 N Main St, Layton, UT 84041