For over a decade, The Gooch Firm, P.C. in Salt Lake City has helped grieving families in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming recover from monetary damages in wrongful death actions. Losing a loved one is a horrific experience, and while dealing with the pain of loss, surviving family members often face new financial worries that only add to their suffering. Jeffrey Gooch and his caring staff are here to help you handle the legal issues related to the wrongful death of a family member so that you can focus on recovering emotionally.
Our firm has significant experience guiding plaintiffs through times of great sorrow. If you have recently lost a family member in a tragic accident caused by another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, contact The Gooch Firm, P.C. and schedule a free initial consultation.
I have been a practicing attorney for over 20 years. During that time I have represented a wide range of people, with a wide range of injuries. My clients mean a great deal to me. I have assembled a team that is dedicated to getting the best results for the fantastic people we represent.
A wrongful death claim arises when a person’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, corporation, or government entity. In Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming an heir, heirs, or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may maintain a wrongful death claim; however, the lawsuit is filed in the name of the estate, not in the name of the individual family member. Any settlement or jury verdict is awarded to the estate and distributed to heirs according to applicable probate laws. Generally, a deceased person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, parents, and dependent relatives qualify as heirs.
Wrongful death claims can arise in many situations, such as auto accidents, trucking accidents, and medical malpractice, or due to dangerous premises. If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by the fault of another, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. Our attorneys begin investigations as soon as possible to preserve valuable evidence, secure witness testimony and uncover all liable parties.
An action for wrongful death in both Utah and Idaho is intended to compensate the deceased’s survivors for their own losses and not the injuries of the deceased. Accordingly, a wrongful death plaintiff may recover any actual damages that are fair under the circumstances, except for those generally recoverable in a personal injury action to compensate the injured victim for damages incurred before death. Survivors bringing a wrongful death claim may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages, including but not limited to:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings the deceased would have provided for the surviving family members
- Lost pensions or retirement benefits
- Loss of companionship, love, comfort, care, protection, guidance, and moral support
- Mental anguish and suffering
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, it is important to seek immediate legal representation. Both Utah and Idaho have statutes of limitations that generally limit the amount of time a plaintiff can bring most claims to within two years of the date of death; otherwise, your claim may be barred by statute and you will lose the opportunity to recover for your losses. However, this time limit may be tolled in certain circumstances, such as when the victim of the injury was a minor or mentally incompetent. It is important to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible in order to fully preserve your rights.