In an ideal world, we would never need wrongful death lawsuits. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a person will encounter in life. If you lost someone due to another person’s negligence, your sense of loss can run deeper and leave you feeling that an injustice has occurred. During these challenging times, it may be unclear what you can do to push through your loss. You do not have to go through this kind of loss alone. With the help of a Federal Way wrongful death lawyer from Premier Law Group, you can begin the process of holding the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case in Federal Way?
There are certain restrictions on who can bring a wrongful death case in Federal Way. For example, friends of the deceased cannot bring a wrongful death case. Washington State law has specific rules and guidelines that allow certain people to file a wrongful death action. Different rules apply to adult and child deaths. The following are the rules governing who may bring a wrongful death claim:
Wrongful Death of an Adult
The person representing the deceased’s estate may bring the action for the estate and for the benefit of the deceased’s family. If none of these people survived the decedent, the action benefits “parents, sisters, or brothers, who may be dependent upon the deceased person for support, and who are residents within the United States at the time of their death,” as according to Washington State’s Wrongful Death statute.
Wrongful Death of a Child under Eighteen
A parent who has regularly and recently contributed to the support of their minor child may bring a wrongful death lawsuit; however, some restrictions apply. Marital status is not a factor when the decedent is under eighteen. If only one parent files, the other parent must be notified of the lawsuit.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
Under Washington State law, wrongful death occurs when a person’s life is taken due to the wrongful acts, neglect, or default of another person. Negligence can happen in any setting, and it can be a basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. Negligence is the failure or inability to take the reasonable care necessary to prevent injuries or fatalities to another. Negligence is involved in all kinds of scenarios. Examples of negligence include, but are not limited to:
- Construction accidents
- Burn accidents
- Defective products
- Dog bites
- Vehicle crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
Wrongful deaths are often caused by someone’s negligence. Wrongful death, however, is not a criminal offense. Criminal liability for killing someone includes murder and negligent homicide. If the alleged criminal is facing criminal charges, you can still bring a wrongful death claim against them in civil court. This is true even if the person is not convicted of criminal wrongdoing.
In a criminal case, criminal liability must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, civil liability must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. Put another way, the burden of proof is much higher for a criminal case than it is for a civil case. In a civil wrongful death case, the plaintiff only has to prove that it is exceedingly likely that the defendant killed someone wrongfully.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Federal Way, WA Today
At Premier Law Group, our wrongful death attorneys understand that losing a loved one due to the negligence of another person is a devastating experience. You do not have to navigate the complexities of a wrongful death claim all by yourself. Premier Law Group has experienced and passionate wrongful death attorneys in Federal Way, WA that want to help you with your wrongful death lawsuit. We are empathetic professionals who want to help you bring closure to your family and honor your loved one. If a loved one has died on account of someone else’s negligence, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We have offices in Federal Way, Bellevue, and Renton, and we help people in the greater Seattle area. For a no commitment, no-cost consultation, you can contact us online or call (206) 880-7518.