Edmonds Wrongful Death Lawyer
An Edmonds wrongful death lawyer helps families recover financial compensation for medical expenses, final expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering that is experienced because of the unexpected death of their loved one. In the State of Washington, wrongful death means that someone died because another person, or a business did something negligent. Although there is no amount of money that can relieve the pain families go through, we want to help families get the compensation that they may be entitled to receive.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington?
Under Washington law, a wrongful death claim may be filed by:
- The surviving spouse;
- The state registered domestic partner;
- A child or children of the deceased; or
- For “the benefit” of parents, siblings, or any one who is dependent upon the deceased for financial support and is a resident of the United States at the time death occurred.
How Is Wrongful Death Proven in Washington?
These cases can be complex and emotionally draining for families to deal with. An Edmonds wrongful death lawyer has experience in helping families affected by this tragedy by helping hold the responsible parties accountable. To prove wrongful death, you must be able to show that the defendant or defendants were negligent.
- Negligence means that the defendant(s) owed a duty to the deceased. For example, all drivers have a duty to obey the laws of the road, including not getting behind the wheel if they are intoxicated.
- The defendant(s) must have ignored or breached their duty. If a driver is intoxicated and gets behind the wheel, they are breaching their duty.
- The breach of duty must be the actual cause of death for the victim. This is often referred to as the “but-for” test. But-for the driver getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and not yielding the right of way at a red light, they would not have hit the victim’s car and caused the injuries that resulted in the victim’s death.
Because we’re talking about negligence and how it is the determining factor in these heart-wrenching cases, we must also discuss what happens if the victim had any fault in the accident. Washington is a comparative fault state. The court will look at whether the victim played any part in the accident. For example, if the victim is found to be 10% at fault for the accident that caused their death, their family would likely recover around 90% of the compensation they requested.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is most commonly caused by:
- Medical malpractice. This includes misdiagnosing a condition, surgical errors, medication errors, and birth injuries.
- Car, truck, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents. These accidents can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect. This may include infections, abuse, malnutrition, and other horrific conditions.
- Product liability. Unfortunately, not all products come without danger. Sometimes, those dangers are unknown. Problems such as manufacturing defects can create deadly conditions.
Can Wrongful Death Be Filed If an Employee Dies While Working?
The answer to this question depends on the facts surrounding the death. It’s likely that the Department of Labor will compensate the family for the death of their loved one. However, it also depends on whether a third-party was responsible for the accident that caused the death. For example, if someone who routinely drives to places or appointments on behalf of their employer is killed in a traffic accident because of the negligence of another driver, the family may likely have the legal right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver.
Families Have Three Years After the Date of Death to File Their Claim
In Washington, there is a statute of limitation for filing a wrongful death claim. This means that the family of the deceased only has a certain amount of time to file their claim. That time limit is three years from the date of death. If the claim is not filed within that time period, it is almost certain that the court will refuse to accept the case. Remember, though, the deadline is three years after the date of death, not three years after the injury occurred.
Compensation May Be Available for Your Family
If your family is suffering because of a wrongful death, call us to schedule your free consultation. We may be able to help you get compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Loss of property
- Loss of companionship
We know this is a difficult time for you and your family, but you are not alone. Call an experienced Edmonds wrongful death lawyer at Certa Law Group to find out if you have a case. We offer free confidential consultations and would be happy to help.