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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 was a breadwinner, 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.  A wrongful death may occur as a result of a trucking accident, car accident, dangerous product, medical malpractice, construction accident, or other fatal accident.

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. Elegal is one of the leading wrongful-death law firms in Utah.

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 and 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 of someone else’s fault, an experienced personal-injury attorney can prepare and file the paperwork necessary to get the court to appoint a personal representative.  Elegal regularly does this for our clients without charging any additional fees.

Elegal has successfully represented numerous families and heirs of fatal accident victims.  With a hand-picked group chosen from of some of the nation’s leading medical experts, engineers, accident specialists, and other professionals, our wrongful-death lawyers work to build the strongest case possible. Our Utah lawyers have the resources and ability to get results in these  cases, and will work to obtain compensation and justice for you.

Call 801.326.3633 or contact our law firm online to arrange for a free consultation with a skilled Salt Lake City wrongful-death attorney.



When pursuing a wrongful-death claim, you must prove two things: that someone else was at fault in causing the death, and the damages flowing from the death.

Proving fault in a wrongful-death case is the same as proving fault in a personal-injury matter.  You need to show that someone wrongfully acted, resulting in harm; or that they wrongfully failed to act, resulting in harm. It is important to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in handling the types of claims that resulted in the death.  For example, a wrongful death may occur as a result of a medical error (i.e., medical malpractice) or a dangerous product (i.e., product liability).  Both of these areas are very complex and require a highly skilled lawyer to prove fault.  Elegal routinely handles these complex cases.

Understanding Compensation

Although there is no amount of money that can make up for the death of a loved one, there are three types of damages that may be recovered for wrongful death in Utah:  economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages.

  • Economic damages for wrongful death include medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of inheritance.
  • Noneconomic damages include the loss of companionship, society, comfort, care, protection, and affection the heirs have suffered.  These losses are unique to each heir and a jury may award different amounts of noneconomic damages to the individual heirs, depending on factors such as their relationship with the person who died, or how old or young they are.
  • Punitive damages do not focus on the losses attributable to the death.  Rather, they are focused on the wrongful conduct giving rise to the death, and they are designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct by others in the future.  Punitive damages require proof by “clear and convincing” evidence that the wrongdoer acted with a high degree of fault (e.g., reckless conduct).  They are rarely awarded in court and are not involved in every case.

The goal of Elegal is to maximize the compensation our clients receive. But in a greater sense, our goal is justice. We work to hold the negligent responsible for their actions and to bring the careless before the court of law. We hope that the successful outcomes we achieve through litigation and settlements will encourage safer roads, workplaces, and medical treatment.


Elegal was invaluable in helping us through a difficult time. Our son was involved in a horrible accident and we weren't sure if he would survive. We were dealing with doctors, medical bills, and overwhelming emotions on how we would help our son recover. They answered every question we had and explained the entire process. They went above and beyond for our son and truly cared about him. I never thought I would be in a situation where I needed a lawyer, but I was so grateful we had them representing our son. We now don't have to worry or stress about his future medical bills and surgeries. We can focus on spending time together and giving our son the best life he can have.

- Kali Winward