Lost a Loved One? Our Fatal Car Accident Lawyers Have Answers
After you have had some time to process your loss, you and your family may question how you can hold the other party responsible. How can you seek justice after a deadly car accident for your loved one and the pain you all have experienced? A skilled fatal accident attorney can best answer these difficult questions.
Emerald City Law Group will listen to your story and learn about your needs. Contact our team to help get the compensation you deserve for what you’ve endured. While money won’t bring back your loved one or solve everything, it can help you move forward.
Based in Seattle, We Assist People Across Washington and Offer Virtual Consultations. Initial Consults are Free, Confidential, and We’re Available 24/7 to Answer Your Questions.
Fatal Car Accidents in Washington
In 2022, there were more than 700 fatal crashes in Washington. While many factors can contribute to fatal car accidents, here are the elements that increase the likelihood of a deadly car accident:
- Impaired/Intoxicated Drivers
- Failing to Yield the Right of Way
- Excessive Speeding
- Excessive Fatigue
- Distracted Driving
- Bad Weather
Fatal Car Crashes in WA: What You Need to Know
Washington’s fatal car accident law was developed to hold the at-fault party responsible for their negligence. However, the process can be complex without help.
Fatal Car Accidents & Washington Wrongful Death Law
Washington’s wrongful death law is found in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 4.20. This allows for a civil claim that can be used to hold an individual liable for another person’s death when that person’s death was the result of the individual’s negligence, recklessness, or misconduct. A wrongful death claim enables you and your other family members to pursue compensation for your financial and emotional injuries.
RCW 4.20.010 states that when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default, then their representative may bring an action for compensation against the person who caused the death.
Who Can File a Fatal Car Accident Claim?
Only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death car accident claim. If you are the personal representative for the estate or a relative of someone who passed away in a car crash, you should speak with a fatal car crash lawyer immediately.
Fatal Car Accident Compensation in Washington
If you are the personal representative for your loved one’s estate, you may be legally entitled to financial compensation for your loss. State laws dictate the specific eligibility criteria and time frames for filing such claims and the types of damages that can be sought.
At Emerald City Law Group, our fatal auto accident attorneys will help you determine what you’re entitled to and fight to receive all the economic and non-economic damages related to your loved one’s death. These damages may include:
- Your loved one’s remaining medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of your loved one’s financial support
- Loss of your loved one’s employment benefits, including health insurance
- Loss of your loved one’s retirement benefits
- Loss of your loved one’s companionship and society
- Loss of a parent’s parental guidance and love
- Your emotional distress
- Loss of a spouse’s intimate relationship
Who Can Recover Compensation after a Fatal Car Accident?
RCW 4.20.020 outlines the eligibility criteria for receiving compensation from a wrongful death claim in the event of a fatal car crash. Only the deceased’s surviving spouse, registered domestic partner, child, or stepchild are entitled to a share of any awarded compensation.
In cases where there is no spouse, partner, or child, parents or siblings of the deceased may qualify for compensation if they were financially dependent on the deceased. Individuals outside of these specified relationships are generally not eligible to receive compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Navigating a Washington Fatal Car Accident Claim & Lawsuit
The fatal car accident claims process can be complex and emotionally charged. It is important to understand your rights and options. Enlisting the assistance of a skilled attorney will make the process smoother and will take the work out of your already stressed hands.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After the accident, contact your insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible. They will assign you a claims adjuster to investigate the accident and determine how much the insurance company will pay.
The more evidence your attorney can gather, the stronger your case will be. This includes the police report, medical records, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene and damage to the vehicle.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Once the insurance company has investigated the accident, they may offer to settle your claim. Your attorney will work to negotiate a higher settlement amount, but it is important to be realistic. If you are not able to reach an agreement with the insurance company, your fatal car accident lawyers may need to file a lawsuit.
File a Fatal Car Accident Lawsuit
If you file a lawsuit, your fatal car accident attorney must draft many legal documents and meet deadlines. You must name all possible negligent parties and identify their insurance companies. If you fail to name a responsible party, you may not get the compensation you deserve.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process can be time-consuming and expensive. It involves exchanging information between all parties, including names of witnesses, experts, and documents.
Fatal Car Accident Settlements
During the claims and lawsuit process, your lawyer will constantly work to negotiate the most favorable settlement amount. This involves negotiating with the insurance company and reaching a fair settlement agreement.
Remember that insurers are businesses that want to protect their bottom line. They do not want to pay out on every claim they receive. They will avoid paying the maximum settlement possible. Our fatal car crash attorneys will vigorously fight for your family to obtain fair compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries.
Taking Your Case to Trial
If the insurance companies refuse a fair settlement offer, you may have to take your case to trial. Your attorney can represent you and present your case to the jury. The jury will decide how much compensation to award you in your wrongful death lawsuit.
Washington Fatal Car Accident Info & Resources
Our Seattle fatal car accident lawyers are here to help you navigate your devastating claim. We know you have many questions right now. We have answers. If you need additional information, contact Emerald City Law Group immediately.
How Long Do I Have to File a Fatal Car Accident Claim?
A fatal car accident claim is based on Washington’s wrongful death laws. Under this statute, you have three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a lawsuit. This might sound like a long time, but you must act quickly. Evidence can disappear and witnesses may forget what happened. It’s important to contact a fatal car crash attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Can I File a Fatal Car Accident Claim if My Loved One Was Partially At Fault?
Washington follows the law of comparative negligence, which allows for the possibility of compensation even if your loved one was partially at fault for the accident. However, the total compensation awarded would be reduced by the percentage of their fault. Consulting with an attorney is essential to accurately determine fault and ensure a fair settlement.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Fatal Car Accident Case?
The duration to settle a wrongful death claim in Washington can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case, the clarity of liability, the amount of damages sought, and the willingness of the parties to reach a settlement. While some cases may resolve in months, others could take years, especially if the case goes to trial.
How Do You Prove Pain & Suffering after a Fatal Car Accident?
Proving pain and suffering in a fatal car accident case requires presenting evidence of the deceased’s physical and emotional anguish before death. This can be established through medical records, witness testimonies, and expert opinions. An experienced attorney can help gather and present this evidence in the most compelling manner.
Don’t Wait. Contact Our Seattle Car Accident Lawyers
The lawyers at Emerald City Law Group are ready to help. Call us today. We will advise you about the wrongful death legal process and how to get the compensation you deserve.
Emerald City Law Group Will:
- Compassionately listen to your story and explain your options.
- Investigate what happened in your loved one’s accident.
- Communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies.
- File a lawsuit and take your case to court, if necessary.
- Keep you updated throughout your case.
Fatal Car Crash Attorneys Serving Washington – Free Consults 24/7
Emerald City Law Group provides Seattle and the greater Washington area with high-caliber legal representation for those affected by fatal auto accidents.
Seattle – Local Areas Served
- King County – Bellevue, Auburn, Kent, Renton, Federal Way, Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Carnation, Duvall, Issaquah, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Sammamish, Seattle, & Woodinville
- Snohomish County – Everett, Lynnwood, and Marysville.
- Pierce County – Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Lakewood
- Grays Harbor
- Kittitas County
- Spokane County
- Cowlitz County
- Douglas County
- Mason County
- Skagit County
- Thurston County
- Island County
- Mason County
- Grays County
- Kitsap County
- Lewis County
- Whatcom County
- Whitman County
- San Juan County