Lacey Attorney Representing Surviving Relatives of Wrongful Death Victims
There is no easy way to talk about a wrongful death case, especially when the loss of your loved one may have been prevented if it wasn’t for someone else’s negligence. When you are grieving the loss of a family member, it may be hard to concentrate on things like paperwork and steps to file a claim — that is why the legal team at Capital Injury Law can handle all aspects of your case on your behalf. Here are a few important answers about wrongful death claims in the state of Washington.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death in the State of Washington?
Wrongful death is a term used to define a death that was caused by unnatural means — usually an accident or injury — resulting from someone else’s negligent or reckless actions. This also applies to the negligent actions of companies.
A wrongful death lawsuit is usually a civil lawsuit and not a criminal one because the at-fault party did not have the criminal intent to harm or kill the victim, but some cases can be elevated to a criminal lawsuit if the death was caused by extremely reckless actions and/or gross negligence. When the death was caused by a defective product or piece of equipment, then the manufacturer of that defective product may be at fault.
Who Can File for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Washington state, the closest surviving family member such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling can file suit for the wrongful death of their loved one. It is important to mention that the person who initiates the lawsuit is not necessarily the one who will be awarded the settlement money if the case is successful.
Once a next-of-kin begins the lawsuit, the attorney overseeing the lawsuit may assign that person or someone else in the family as the representative of the decedent’s estate. Any awards resulting from the lawsuit will be issued to the estate of that person so that it can then be equally divided among beneficiaries along with any other assets the decedent may have left behind.
How Much Money Can Be Awarded for a Wrongful Death Case?
We understand that any money a family receives for a wrongful death case is no replacement for the loved one they are grieving, but it is the best that can be done from a legal standpoint. Recent changes in state laws now allow surviving relatives to seek compensation for economic damages (such as medical bills, burial costs, and loss of future wages) as well as non-economic damages (such as suffering and loss of companionship).
Cases involving wrongful deaths are complex and settlement calculations tend to take into consideration damages (as explained above) as well as other factors, such as the person’s age, the specific circumstances that led to that person’s death, and which party or parties are being held legally and financially responsible. Speaking to an attorney is the safest way to get a fair estimate of your case value.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
When you are grieving the premature loss of a loved one, you shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with red-tape and constant insurance phone calls. When you work with a legal team such as Capital Injury Law, we will handle every aspect of the case. We know what type of evidence is needed to build a strong case and what steps need to be taken to secure maximum compensation on behalf of your deceased loved one.
When the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, only an aggressive and professional wrongful death law firm can increase your chances of holding the at-fault party legally and financially responsible for the consequence of their negligent actions. We have assisted many families in the same situation to navigate this difficult time in their lives and get the justice they deserve. Contact our Lacey office at 360-209-3360 and schedule an initial consultation to see how we can help.
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