Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
We understand that the death of a family member due to someone else’s negligence is a traumatic and often overwhelming experience. Although there is no amount of money that can relieve this emotional burden, our Edmonds wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to helping families receive the compensation they may be entitled to. Here is what you should know about successfully proving a wrongful death claim.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim | Negligence
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.
Proving 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.
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.