Are you visiting this page because you believe the death of a loved one may be considered a wrongful death by negligence or fatal accident? If your loved one has passed away, let us first say how deeply sorry we are for your loss. Here at Premier Law Group of Seattle, Federal Way, Renton, and Bellevue, our wrongful death attorneys understand how emotionally difficult it is to consider taking legal action over a loved one’s death, and we are here to provide you with the best support and information in the Greater Seattle area that you need to make this process as easy as possible on you.
Defining a Wrongful Death Case in Washington
A death is classified as a wrongful death when it is caused by the negligence of another person. This means that someone else must be doing something they shouldn’t or not doing something they should. If somebody ran a red light and hit a pedestrian in the crosswalk and this resulted in injuries that caused a death, this would be classified as wrongful death. The person who caused the accident is to be held responsible for the damages. Liability changes from case to case, and it is based on various laws and previous cases determined in the state. It is difficult to determine whether or not you have a wrongful death case without speaking to an injury attorney who can hear all the details of your case.
The Dual Nature of Wrongful Death Cases
There are two types of wrongful death claims:
- General claims-these claims compensate the “beneficiaries,” or relatives, of the victim.
- Survival claims-these claims compensate the person who died, through his or her estate.
The Role of Negligence in Washington’s Wrongful Death Cases
Death is usually considered a wrongful death if it was caused by someone else’s negligence. There are many ways in which this can happen, like:
- Car Accident Fatalities
- Pedestrian Collision Fatalities
- Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
- Trucking Accident Fatalities
- Bicycle Accident Fatalities
- Airplane Accident Fatalities
- Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Materials or Conditions
- Construction Site Death
- Many More
If a loved one has passed away, you probably have a lot of questions and we made this page is meant to provide you with as much info as we can to help answer your questions. You can also call us at 206-285-1743 and we will connect you with an attorney right away.
Financial Compensation for Bereaved Families
Losing a close family member can have devastating effects, including mental and emotional trauma, as well as financial consequences. A death that is caused by the negligent actions of someone else, means your family is entitled to sue for these damages. You and your family are best served when you hire an experienced wrongful death attorney. The money that can be recovered for wrongful death claims are known as “damages,” and these can range from lost wages, funeral expenses, and medical bills to non-financial losses (pain and suffering) such as loss of the relationship and mental anguish.
Families going through this challenging process deserve to have the best representation. Premier Law Group’s experienced wrongful death attorneys are here to help you to recover and all possible damages you may be entitled to.
Eligibility Criteria for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
In Washington State, the beneficiaries who can receive compensation are limited to spouses, children, or stepchildren, as well as parents or siblings who are financially dependent on the deceased. Being emotionally dependent does not count as a form of dependence, so it needs to be strictly financial. The boyfriend or girlfriend of the victim would no qualify to receive compensation.
Accidents & Deaths on the Road: Understanding Transportation-Related Wrongful Deaths
The majority of wrongful death and fatal accident cases that we take at Premier Law Group of Seattle and Bellevue deal with transportation-related fatalities. Transportation-related fatalities are usually caused by something the other driver has done to cause the accident. There were nearly 40,000 deaths by fatal accidents that occurred last year on America’s streets and highways. This is a sad number, which is why we fight so hard through our program “Teens Against Distracted Driving” to help reduce this number. We also take pride in fighting on behalf of the families who have had to experience such losses.
The Process of Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims are very complicated and can be difficult to understand for those without a lot of know-how in the subject. Our wrongful death attorneys Jason Epstein and Patrick Kang wrote a book on Wrongful Death in Washington State. This book helps people who need more detailed information on the topic. Here is a basic overview to help give you a better idea of the process if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death.
The first step in filing a wrongful death case is appointing a personal representative for the deceased. The next step is for a summons and complaint to be brought to the at-fault party. Once this happens, the lawsuit begins.
Filing Time Limit for Wrongful Death Cases in Washington
There is a statute of limitations in the State of Washington that requires you to begin the lawsuit within three years of the wrongful death or fatal accident. If you wait longer than this, you can no longer seek damages for death. If you file the lawsuit properly then the case will enter the “discovery” phase, where both sides will work to strengthen their respective cases and better understand the arguments coming from the opposing side.
Filing Time Limit for Wrongful Death Cases in Washington
Before going to trial, the case could go through alternative dispute resolutions, such as mediation and arbitration. Active cases that can’t be settled are going to go to trial. Wrongful death lawsuits are very complicated, which is why each case is different. To get a better understanding of exactly what you should do for your case, you should contact one of our wrongful death attorneys at our Seattle, Bellevue, Federal Way, or Vancouver office and speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney. Call us at 206-285-1743 to speak directly to an attorney right now.
How Premier Law Group Champions Your Wrongful Death Claim
First, when you call us for your Free Case Review one of our attorneys will help you decide whether you even need an attorney – if you can settle your wrongful death case on your own, our free book can help provide the guidance you need to do just that. For more complex cases, you will want to have an expert Seattle wrongful death attorney on your side to get the best settlement possible. Remember, the trauma you experience right after car accidents can be the tip of the iceberg. It is not until you have healed fully that you can know about the full nature and extent of your injuries, including if you have any permanent damage. Insurance companies will pressure you to settle before you know the full extent of the impact of an accident. That’s not right, and we will stand up for you!
- Listen carefully to your needs, questions, and concerns involving your claim.
- Handle ALL the legal issues so you can focus on healing.
- Deal with the insurance companies – sometimes there is more than one!
- Order all medical records and bills related to the accident.
- Walk you through the litigation process so you fully understand what is happening.
- Communicate with you OFTEN so you know how your case is moving along.
Call 206-285-1743 to Speak with an Attorney Right Now
If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, call us. We won’t make you wait to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Our lawyers are available for you to discuss your case anytime during our business hours. We will help you through this difficult time and get you the damages you and your family deserve.