Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a family member due to the negligence of another party is devastating.

When a wrongful death occurs, you should seek counsel from a law firm that is capable of achieving the justice your family deserves.

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC of Salt Lake City, UT, is that law firm. Our Utah wrongful death attorneys are ready to fight for you.

We Focus on Your Wrongful Death Case While You Focus on Healing

Younker Hyde Macfarlane's wrongful death lawyers have been handling wrongful death cases for decades, and our legal assistance begins with a free, no-pressure consultation at our Salt Lake City personal injury attorney's office.

You can set up a case review with one of our wrongful death attorneys by filling out our simple contact form or by calling us.

The sooner you contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the faster we can start helping you through this difficult time in your life.

our attorneys
Attorneys Ashton Hyde (left) and John Macfarlane (right), with Norm Younker, of counsel.

We Are the Firm  Other Attorneys Refer
Wrongful Death Cases To

Our Salt Lake City law firm has a reputation for taking cases that other firms won't touch, including wrongful death lawsuits. In fact, nearly 75 percent of our clients are referred by other Utah law firms.

Our internal system ensures each wrongful death claim is given focused attention by our attorneys. Our lawyers are not intimidated by any opposition and know when a settlement is good enough for our clients. Our extensive team includes nurses alongside attorneys and paralegals, giving us an advantage when it comes to research and applying medical knowledge to your case.

If you lost a loved one and someone else was at fault for their death, our wrongful death attorneys in Utah will fight for full and fair compensation on your behalf. Depending on the circumstances of your wrongful death lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and more. We don't get paid unless you win, so you can expect that we will pursue maximum restitution on your behalf.

Why Choose Younker Hyde Macfarlane?

If a child, spouse, or other family member has been killed due to the negligence of another party, please accept our deepest condolences. We know that there is no greater loss. Please know that the wrongful death attorneys at our Salt Lake City law office will do everything they can to guide you through this trying time. As your legal counsel, we can help you make informed decisions regarding your legal options.

Here are some reasons why we should be the law firm that handles your wrongful death claim, whether the wrongful death occurred in Salt Lake City or another Utah community:

High Number of Wrongful Death Claims

We've taken on more medical malpractice cases than any other firm in Utah, and many of these cases involve wrongful death. We have the resources to determine if medical malpractice was the cause of your loss.

Relationships Throughout Utah

Our dedication to fairness and ethics has fostered relationships with insurance agencies, defense counsels, and local hospitals. 

Pre-Litigation Settlements

We are never afraid to take a wrongful death lawsuit to trial, but we can also determine when a settlement offer truly represents the restitution you and your family deserve. We often settle pre-litigation, getting our clients a substantial settlement quickly, sometimes without filing a single document. 

Other Firms Refer Clients to Us

We are proud that most of our wrongful death cases are referrals from other personal injury lawyers. Other members of the Salt Lake City legal community know that we are capable of handling the wrongful death claims of grieving families.

Free Consultations & Representation on Contingency

If we don't achieve a settlement or jury award on your behalf, we don't collect payment. That's why it's in our best interest to be your devoted ally when you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact us for a free consultation to get started.

Clients Recommend Our Salt Lake City Firm


Ricky harris

Salt Lake City, UT


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This group is very kind and had reached out to me about a med mal/neglect case on my sis in another state. I currently have another lawyer but am going to go with this team due to the circumstances of my case and the knowledge this team seems to have is unbeatable. I cant wait have real justice served!

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Robert Miller

Salt Lake City, UT


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Younker Hyde Macfarlane have been wonderful throughout our entire experience. They have provided clear detailed information about the process that was ahead of us and provided regular updates all the way through the process. They were great to answer all questions along the way. I recommend them without reservation.

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Helping Bereaved Clients Collect Fair Compensation

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, one out of every four personal injury claims we handle involves a wrongful death. The highly educated members of our personal injury group (which includes wrongful death lawyers as well as nurses and paralegals) have successfully handled many kinds of complex wrongful death cases with dedicated focus, personalized client care, and aggressive representation in and out of court.

We invite you to find out for yourself why so many bereaved families have put their trust in the wrongful death lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane. 

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"You feel like somebody's fighting for you."

Just over eight years ago, Matt's wife tragically passed away after being prescribed medication by her doctor. In his search for answers and accountability, Matt found himself meeting with Ashton Hyde of Younker Hyde Macfarlane in Salt Lake City. Mr. Hyde and our team were successful in securing compensation for Matt. In this medication error lawyer testimonial, he says the process has brought clarity and relief for himself and his children.

Time Is of the Essence Let Us Help You Avoid Financial Hardship

The wrongful death lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC encourage you not to hesitate if you have questions or concerns regarding your legal rights after a wrongful death has occurred. Utah gives families two years from the time of death to file a wrongful death suit, and that time can pass quickly. Reach out to our Salt Lake City law office as soon as you are able so that we can begin building your case.

It is true that no amount of compensation can replace your loved one or heal the pain in your heart, but financial hardship as a result of another party's negligence should not be your burden to bear. Everything from medical bills to funeral expenses and lost financial support should be paid for by the negligent party. Making sure the responsible party is held accountable is what we do.

Call Us

(801) 335-6467

Common Accidents
Resulting in Wrongful Death 

Nearly any accident, whether it's a car accident, truck accident, or workplace accident, can result in death. Our Utah attorneys have helped families recover compensation after innocent victims have died due to:

We are serious about meeting the needs of our clients, and you can trust us to work diligently on your behalf. If a loved one has passed due to any of these circumstances, we highly encourage you to act quickly. We will be your advocates when it comes to navigating this hardship, and we will not let an insurance company shortchange you and the ones you love.

Misdiagnosis Can Be Grounds for a Wrongful Death Case

If your loved one died of a heart attack after being seen by a family doctor or emergency room personnel who failed to diagnose the condition, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Some physicians may fail to take blood tests or an EKG. In other cases, these tests may be given, but the results are misread, and the symptoms are incorrectly attributed to heartburn or a shoulder injury. 

Other common instances of misdiagnosis involve a pulmonary embolism, in which a blood clot becomes stuck in a lung artery. This can cause symptoms such as painful breathing and low oxygen levels, and is often misdiagnosed as pneumonia or asthma.  

If you suspect a misdiagnosis is to blame for the loss of your loved one, reach out to our attorneys in Salt Lake City. We can help recommend the right steps to take next.

Patient in hospital bed wearing an oxygen monitor

Opioids and Hypoxic Injuries

It's no secret that opioids are potentially dangerous drugs that are widely prescribed. Overdoses can lead to respiratory suppression and potentially fatal brain injuries. If your loved one died while taking prescription opioids, or after being given opioids in the hospital, it's worth investigating whether these drugs were properly administered. Our wrongful death lawyers can help.

If your loved one was under 50 and died in a hospital with no prior major medical conditions, you need to discuss your case with Younker Hyde Macfarlane.

Achieving Justice for Casualties of Auto Accidents

Auto accident and first responders helping victim
Accidents on the road are incredibly common. But when these collisions result in fatal accidents, you need legal guidance to achieve justice for your lost loved one and help your family heal. Whether the fatal accident was a result of common negligence or criminal activity such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have grounds for a civil suit in which you can pursue restitution for your loss of consortium, funeral costs, and more. Our wrongful death lawyers in Salt Lake City are here to listen to the facts of your case and help you pursue the compensation you and your family deserve.

What We Can Do For Your Case

Wrongful death claims cover a wide variety of cases in the realm of personal injury. Clients who have lost a family member due to the negligence of someone else deserve compensation. Our attorneys work with these families to help them find help and receive due compensation.

We're Proud to Help the People of Utah


Debi Hooker

Salt Lake City, UT


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John MacFarlane at Younker Hyde MacFarlane handled my medical malpractice case from 3/2022 - 12/2023. John and his team made the process stress-free for me during a difficult and stressful time. They communicated with me along the way, were always available to answer my questions and negotiated my settlement higher than I expected & in a reasonable amount of time. I highly recommend John and the entire team at YHM!

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Patricia Trudeau

Salt Lake City, UT


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John Macfarlane did a spectacular job handling my lawsuit from the beginning to the final settlement. I was looking for a lawyer to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to find justice for my deceased son. Two of the biggest law firms in Salt Lake City turned me down because “there wasn’t enough time.“ Fortunately, I found John Macfarlane who pulled off a miracle!  Thank you John. God bless you!

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit In Utah?

Utah law states that only the deceased person's spouse, children, parents, and stepchildren under the age of 18 who are financially dependent on the victim may file a wrongful death claim. If the victim adopted a child or was adopted, this right is extended to the adopted and adoptive family members.

Should the victim have no surviving parents, children, or spouse, other blood relatives of the deceased (such as a brother or sister) are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If the deceased person was an adult and was under someone's guardianship, the legal guardian is allowed to bring the wrongful death claim to court. Any damages recovered from a claim filed by a legal guardian, however, will be awarded to the victim's family members, not the guardian.

A personal representative (also known as the executor) of the deceased person's estate may also file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Damages in lawsuits filed by a personal representative are awarded to the family of the deceased. 

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Our Team Speaks Several Languages

We have attorneys that are fluent in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese. We also have attorneys who are communicative in Portuguese. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, an act of medical malpractice, or another instance of third-party negligence, call (801) 335-6467 or write to us to talk to wrongful death and personal injury lawyers who speak your language. 

"No amount of compensation can replace your loved one, but it can relieve financial burdens and help you afford the resources needed to cope with your loss." Younker Hyde Macfarlane

We Achieve Major Verdicts and Settlements

Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers have repeatedly proven their ability to obtain significant compensation for our clients. These are two examples from our extensive history of success:
surgeons performing surgery

$5 Million Jury Award

A 67-year-old woman underwent a hernia repair surgery at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. During the procedure, one of the surgeons caused an incision on the woman’s bowels. This led to worsening pain and mental state over the next few days. After a repair surgery, she struggled to wean off her ventilator, causing her family to believe she was on the verge of death. The doctors failed to explain that her condition was improving, and instead ceased life-sustaining care. 

The deceased’s family came to our wrongful death team to seek justice. We took their case to court. During a nine-day trial, we successfully persuaded the jury that had the doctors properly advocated for continued care, the woman likely would have recovered fully instead of passing away. We collected $2 million for each of the decedent’s children and $1 million for her estate.

an ECG machine

$2.9 Million Verdict

A middle-aged employee of the Utah Transit Authority developed chest pains that spread to his abdomen. He had telltale symptoms of the serious cardiac condition known as aortic dissection. On two occasions, he sought care at a medical clinic, but was misdiagnosed and not referred to the emergency room. Four days after the second misdiagnosis, he passed away. His widow spoke to our law firm because of our proven wrongful death litigation abilities. The clinic declined a settlement offer of $1 million, so we took the case to trial. Despite the jury finding the deceased to be 30% at-fault for his passing, our team received a jury award of $2,940,250.21 for the deceased’s family.

Trial Is Not Always Necessary


Our pre-litigation abilities often allow us to collect significant compensation for clients without the need for trial. We have had several cases that we settled for robust six-figure totals without ever having to file a single document. 

There Is No Cap on Noneconomic Damages In a Utah Wrongful Death Case

a hand holding a gavel

There are various types of lawsuits that have a maximum limit of compensation that can be obtained. Some families decide not to pursue a wrongful death case because they feel the possible compensation is not worth the potential pain of litigation. 

You should know that the Utah Supreme Court decided that there is no cap on non-economic damages in a wrongful death case. This means the amount of compensation you and your family could make a tremendous difference in your quality of life. Call or write to our attorneys so we can assess your case. 

(801) 335-6467

Salt Lake City Recommends Our Firm Reviews of Our Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawyers


Donna Caporaso

Salt Lake City, UT


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I can't express enough gratitude for John Macfarlane, Mckay Korbett, and their incredible supporting staff. I reached out to them for a Spinal Cord Injury medical malpractice claim, and from day one, they were nothing short of exceptional. Efficiency is the name of the game with this team. They were quick to gather all the necessary information, documents, and evidence to build a strong case. I couldn't recommend them more highly.

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Ajazya Barbosa

Salt Lake City, UT


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I would highly recommend this firm to anyone. They were extremely helpful from the beginning till the end. We felt well taken care of. My daughter will have better life quality thanks to your help! Thank God.

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How We Pursue Restitution

The Legal Process

Establishing Liability

To establish liability, we must show that a party failed to uphold a duty owed and, as a result, caused bodily injury (in this case, death) to the victim. Whenever a person is operating a motor vehicle, a doctor is performing surgery, or a business is designing and manufacturing a product for public sale, a duty is owed.

Identifying Duty Owed

The duty varies, however, based on the situation, and it must first be established what duty was owed before we can show that the defendant failed to uphold this duty. The attorneys at our Salt Lake City law office accomplish this through intimate familiarity with the law and counsel from experts in the fields of medicine, accident reconstruction, forensics, and various other fields.

Settlement Negotiations/Court

Once our Salt Lake City attorneys have built a case against the responsible party, we will meet with that party and their representatives to try and negotiate a settlement. If we are unable to reach a settlement that truly covers the full extent of your losses, we will take your case to trial. Again, we only get paid if we achieve justice on your behalf, so you can expect us to present a compelling, fact-based case in pursuit of restitution for your family.

Salt Lake City Trusts Us


Bret Christenson

Salt Lake City, UT


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After watching my rather healthy Mother suffer horribly through the rabid effects of turning septic after a back operation due to the negligence of a care facility. As a family we decided to hire Yonker Hyde Macfarlane to help influence the behavior of facilities like this one from poor care of loved ones such as our sweet mother. We were referred to them by a surgeon and felt if he was willing to refer us he must must think quite highly of this Law Firm. We could not be more pleased. You will not find a Law Firm of better people and Lawyers than this Firm.

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Jan Wright

Salt Lake City, UT


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We had a long road to get resolution and accountability for our mother, but we had the best team in our corner the entire way!! Our family finally feels like we have closure and can move forward in a positive way knowing we got acknowledgement of wrongdoing, even if it was in a monetary settlement. We can’t thank you all enough for everything you did for us, and we will always be grateful for your amazing team that we had the pleasure of getting to know over the last six plus years!! The Ulibarri Family

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Autopsies Can Serve as Crucial Evidence in Your Case

If you believe you have a wrongful death case—and especially if you believe medical malpractice caused the loss of your loved one—you may need an autopsy.

An autopsy is an independent examination of the deceased by a forensic pathologist. This will allow them to provide their own insight regarding the cause of your loved one's death. This examination can be the key to identifying who is responsible, especially since the cause of death listed on a death certificate isn't necessarily accurate.

University of Utah

Obtaining an Autopsy from the University of Utah and Other Institutions

If your loved one received care at the University of Utah within a year leading up to their death, you can request an autopsy by the University of Utah Decedent Affairs Office at no charge to you. Some other institutions in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah have the same policy. 

Medical professional with a clipboard

Obtaining an Autopsy from the Office of the Medical Examiner

The Office of the Medical Examiner will cover an autopsy if a loved one dies in cases of suspected homicide, drug overdose, vehicle accidents, crimes, or diseases that could affect the public. The OME is rarely involved in cases relating to physicians or medical facilities.

Filing paperwork

Private Autopsies

You can also request a private autopsy, which can be expensive, but is often crucial to a successful wrongful death case. Our Salt Lake City attorneys can help you determine if an autopsy will benefit your case, and help to arrange it if necessary.

Wrongful Death FAQ Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifies as wrongful death?

In order to substantiate a claim of wrongful death in court, you must prove:

  • A party owed the deceased person a duty of safety (such as remaining attentive while driving in order to avoid injuring others)
  • That party acted in a negligent way or intentionally committed a wrongful act
  • This action resulted in your loved one's death
  • The death resulted in damages

For example, let's say a doctor prescribes too high of a dose to a patient. This dose proves fatal, resulting in medical bills and a loss of income and companionship for the patient's immediate family. This could be the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. Our Salt Lake City office can help determine if you have a case.

Is a wrongful death lawsuit a criminal or civil matter?

A wrongful death case is a civil matter, meaning it involves one party seeking financial restitution from another. If a party is found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit, they may be ordered to pay damages, but they won't face punishment such as jail time. A criminal case, on the other hand, is brought by the state against an accused party, and can result in criminal penalties. It is possible for both criminal charges and a wrongful death claim to be filed regarding the same incident. One of the most well-known examples of this is the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which was followed by a wrongful death lawsuit pertaining to the same deaths.

How do I choose a wrongful death lawyer?

The surest route to justice after the wrongful death of a loved one is to choose an attorney who is experienced, frequently handles wrongful death cases, and has a track record of success on behalf of clients. Our Salt Lake City attorneys have earned a reputation for being the firm other firms turn to when it comes to difficult wrongful death cases. This is primarily due to our many victories on behalf of grieving clients, including a $5 million jury award for the family of a medical malpractice victim who succumbed to his injuries.

"Thank you for your help through one of the toughest things I have ever gone through."

"This is the first time I have found it necessary to use a law firm, I was apprehensive because of all the stories I have heard about other law firms. When I took my wife’s wrongful death evidence, they were completely honest snd forthcoming, keeping me involved the complete time. It took 3 years, but they did an excellent job and basically did everything they said they would do. Their follow through and follow up has been the best. Thank you for your help through one of the toughest things I have ever gone through." Tom Henderson, 5-Star Google Review
Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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"They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family."

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