Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things a person will encounter in their lifetime. In an ideal world, there would be no need for wrongful death lawsuits. Unfortunately, the actions of other people can cause a loved one’s life to end abruptly. If you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you should speak to a Renton wrongful death lawyer to discuss how you can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. 

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case in Renton?

Financial compensation will not bring back your loved one; however, the party that is responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one should pay for their actions. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to bring accountability to wrongdoers and closure to the pain you’ve suffered by losing a loved one

There are restrictions on who is allowed to bring a wrongful death case. 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 case:

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. This means that if only one parent files, the other parent must be notified of the lawsuit.

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 law provides for “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.”

What Constitutes a 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. In addition, negligence can serve as 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 many different 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 Renton Wrongful Death Lawyer at Premier Law Group Today

The legal field can be complex, and there are many pitfalls that could cause your case to be thrown out by a judge. While dealing with the loss of a loved one, you should not have to carry the burden of a lawsuit by yourself. 

Premier Law Group has experienced and passionate attorneys 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 Renton, Federal Way, and Bellevue, 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.