Wrongful Death Resources

Abstraction, anger, and apathy toward the tasks surrounding a wrongful death are natural reactions to loss. Yet these tasks cannot be simply ignored, and they unfortunately fall to those who have been most profoundly affected by the death. They cannot be put off, and many have to be done in a particular order. Although practical advice cannot take away the pain of bereavement, it can move the details along more quickly so that the loved ones of the deceased may move on with their own recovery. It is therefore our hope that anyone suffering in the wake of a wrongful death will benefit from one of the following pages:

5 Resources for Wrongful Death Survivors

1.  How to Find Wrongful Death Laws

Utah wrongful death law is complex and requires a great deal of patience to navigate (and even then, the application of the law is determined by legal precedent). For the benefit of the lay citizen who has not made understanding the law his life’s work, there are sites that lay them out in simple terms. For instance, United States citizens looking for their state’s wrongful death laws can find them summarized nicely here—unless they live in Utah, which is the only state not covered in the US Legal database. For those with an interest in pouring over the written law, Title 78B, Sections 2-5 contain information on the treatment of wrongful death, and the Governmental Immunity Act  and Workers’ Compensation Act encompass more specific information on wrongful death in certain contexts.

2.  How to Find the Proper Forms

UTCourts.gov has provided guidelines for alternative dispute resolution and filing civil claims to demystify the process of seeking compensation. Some forms are available online; other forms will be provided by the insurance company. The specific procedures and associated forms that a wrongful death claim entails are, if not the most difficult part of a wrongful death claim, probably the most frustrating.  Those who are unfamiliar with the process (and hopefully the vast majority of people do not have to apply this knowledge regularly) might feel like they’re playing chutes and ladders—just when they think they’re getting somewhere, they realize that they forgot an important step and have to backtrack.  This process is even less confusing if a personal injury attorney is involved, and his involvement doesn’t even necessarily demand retainment. Many personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations to prospective clients, who often leave with valuable insights even if they don’t leave with a lawyer. To find out whether your situation calls for a lawyer, you can call Christensen & Hymas at (801) 506-0800.

3.  How to Plan a Funeral

Even planning a joyous event can be tremendously stressful. Funeral planning is difficult to think about, let alone execute. The sheer number of details to attend to is intimidating, and a heavy spirit impedes timely progress. Furthermore, the demands of a funeral are not analogous to the demands of a wedding or a birthday party – death comes with its own unique set of concerns. To learn what these are, you can visit Shared Sorrow’s time-of-loss checklist to find what must be done about the death itself and read over suggestions for interment and funeral services. Cost estimates can be determined by online funeral cost calculators. If these resources do not sufficiently ease the burden, professional funeral planners may yet be of service.

4.  How to Obtain a Death Certificate

A death certificate is necessary for the handling of the decedent’s estate, accessing or truncating government, insurance, and other services. The decedent’s last will and testament (a document containing important information regarding their deposition) cannot be executed until it is proven that she has passed on. Thus, death certificates should be acquired quickly. Procurement of this document depends upon the survivors’ ability to produce the correct documentation as evidence of death.

5.  How to Find Grief Support Groups

Any monetary compensation that the families of a deceased member receive will only relieve the financial burdens. While monetary burdens are the least of a family’s concerns, there are also ways to help ease the emotional and mental burdens that the death of a loved one creates. Grief support groups provide grieving families the opportunity to make connections with others in similar yet different circumstances. These meetings are almost always free of charge. They focus on remembering the deceased loved one and recognizing the emotions that one experiences. Doing so allows individuals to move forward in life without pretending the event never happened or forgetting the loved one. Judi’s House.org offers a list of grieving centers throughout Utah to provide free support for those individuals and familiies who need support and a chance to express the most. To learn more about wrongful death claims and to see how we have helped others who have lost loved one, visit our Wrongful Death article or see examples of cases we have won.

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