In the state of Oklahoma, if a negligence lawsuit is filed by a family member of a deceased person due to an injury while living and it contributed to their death and no will is in place and a settlement is given. Does the person who files the lawsuit receive the settlement or is it divided equally between the heirs of the person who is deceased. In this case it would be four siblings over the age of 21.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Negligence Settlement
The answer would depend upon what you mean by contributed to their death and who the person was that filed the lawsuit. Additional variables may come into play as well. If you would like a more specific answer, some additional facts may be necessary.
Re: Negligence Settlement
Here is what the statue says as concerns your question, if I have understood it correctly.
"Oklahoma Statutes Citationized
Title 12. Civil Procedure
Section 1053 - Wrongful Death - Limitation of Actions - Damages.
Cite as: O.S. §, __ __
A. When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the former may maintain an action therefor against the latter, or his personal representative if he is also deceased, if the former might have maintained an action, had he lived, against the latter, or his representative, for an injury for the same act or omission. The action must be commenced within two (2) years.
B. The damages recoverable in actions for wrongful death as provided in this section shall include the following: Medical and burial expenses, which shall be distributed to the person or governmental agency as defined in Section 200 [56-200] of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes, who paid these expenses, or to the decedent's estate if paid by the estate.
The loss of consortium and the grief of the surviving spouse, which shall be distributed to the surviving spouse.
The mental pain and anguish suffered by the decedent, which shall be distributed to the surviving spouse and children, if any, or next of kin in the same proportion as personal property of the decedent.
The pecuniary loss to the survivors based upon properly admissible evidence with regard thereto including, but not limited to, the age, occupation, earning capacity, health habits, and probable duration of the decedent's life, which must inure to the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and children, if any, or next of kin, and shall be distributed to them according to their pecuniary loss.
The grief and loss of companionship of the children and parents of the decedent, which shall be distributed to them according to their grief and loss of companionship.
C. In proper cases, as provided by Section 9 [23-9] of Title 23 of the Oklahoma Statutes, punitive or exemplary damages may also be recovered against the person proximately causing the wrongful death or his representative if such person be deceased. Such damages, if recovered, shall be distributed to the surviving spouse and children, if any, or next of kin in the same proportion as personal property of the decedent.
D. Where the recovery is to be distributed according to a person's pecuniary loss or loss of companionship, the judge shall determine the proper division.
E. The above-mentioned distributions shall be made after the payment of legal expenses and costs of the action