Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
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. Filing a wrongful death claim can be complicated without the aid of our experienced Edmonds wrongful death lawyers. Here is what you should know.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim | Who Can File a Claim?
Under Washington state 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 anyone who is dependent upon the deceased for financial support and is a resident of the United States at the time the death occurred.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim | Proving Wrongful Death
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.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim | Comparative Fault
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.
An experienced 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 after the unexpected death of their loved one. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.