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 for your loved one and the pain you all have experienced? An experienced Seattle fatal car accident lawyer can best answers these difficult questions.
Learning that your loved one passed away in a car accident would be incredibly traumatic. Discovering that another person’s careless or reckless behavior caused this pain, makes it even more so. You and your family now face a future without a spouse, parent, child, and sibling. In the midst of processing your grief, you are being forced to deal with life’s daily necessities, like paying the medical bills and planning a funeral and burial on top of cooking, cleaning, and working. It can feel impossible to get through it.
In Washington, you may have the right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. You should meet with the Seattle fatal car accident lawyers at Emerald City Law Group to discuss this option.
Types of Car Accidents that Commonly Lead to Fatalities
Deaths can occur in almost type of Seattle auto accident. A myriad of factors contributes to whether an auto accident causes minor-to-moderate injuries, serious injuries, or fatalities. However, certain elements increase the likelihood of a car accident being fatal, including:
- Intoxication due to drugs, alcohol, or both
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Excessive speeding
- Excessive fatigue and drowsiness
- Distracted driving
- Bad weather
Following a fatal auto accident, you need to work with an attorney who understands how to investigate the crash. A Seattle fatal car accident attorney from Emerald City Law Group will conduct an independent and in-depth investigation into why the accident occurred and who is at fault. This research may provide you with the evidence you need to prove another person or business’s liability for your loved one’s death. It can support you and your family in pursuit of compensation through a Washington wrongful death claim.
Washington’s Wrongful Death Law Controls Your Ability to Seek Compensation
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.
To pursue compensation, your situation must adhere to the law. In RCW 4.20.010, the law states that when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default, then their personal representative may bring an action for compensation against the person who caused the death. You should speak with an attorney regarding whether there is evidence of another individual’s wrongful act, neglect, or default causing the fatal car crash.
It is important to note that only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file this type of legal claim. If you are the personal representative for the estate of someone who passed away in a car crash, you should speak with a Seattle fatal car accident lawyer right away. You may also be a relative of the decedent, though this is not required by law.
There is another step in determining whether you should file a wrongful death claim. RCW 4.20.020 states who may be able to obtain compensation. To benefit from a wrongful death claim, you must be the decedent’s surviving spouse, registered domestic partner, child, or stepchild. If the individual did not leave behind a spouse, partner, or child, then you may benefit as their surviving parent or sibling, if you were dependent upon your loved one for financial support. If you do not fit into one of these categories, you may not receive compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Pursuing Wrongful Death Compensation After a Fatal Auto Accident
If you or the personal representative for your loved one’s estate are prepared to file a wrongful death claim for the family’s benefit, then you should contact a Seattle fatal accident lawyer right away. The law allows a jury to decide the type and amount of compensation that is just. The jury has a great deal of discretion in how much they award your family and why, and because of this discretion, it is important to work with an attorney whom can convince the jury of your injuries and the compensation you deserve.
At Emerald City Law Group, our Seattle fatal car accident lawyers will help you fight to receive economic and non-economic damages related to your loved one’s death and your experience. This may include pursuing compensation for:
- 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
If you are the surviving spouse or child of someone killed in a fatal car crash, then you will receive a portion of any compensation obtained during a wrongful death claim. You do not need to prove that you were financially dependent on your loved one prior to their death.
Let a Seattle Fatal Car Crash Lawyer Help Your Family
A Seattle fatal car accident lawyer can be instrumental after losing a loved one in a car wreck. At Emerald City Law Group, most family members we speak to are unsure of the best next steps. Understandably, they do not know whether they have a legal claim or not. A Seattle fatal car accident attorney can help determine when a wrongful death claim is appropriate.
By working with Emerald City Law Group, you gain a skilled and compassionate attorney who will thoroughly review the fatal auto accident. Based on the facts, we will provide you with an analysis of who was at fault, who is liable, and whether you have a wrongful death claim.
If the personal representative of your loved one’s estate has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, we can represent them in this matter. We will ensure all legal documents are accurately drafted and properly filed in court. We are well-versed in King County’s court rules and will adhere to all legal and court deadlines.
Once the lawsuit is filed, and the other party has been lawfully served, we will actively participate in the discovery process through which each side of a lawsuit requests information and evidence from the other. This process enables us to continue to investigate the crash and gather further evidence of the other party’s liability.
We may enter into settlement negotiations with the liable party’s insurance company. Insurers are businesses that want to protect their bottom line. They do not want to pay out on every claim they receive, and they will avoid paying the maximum settlement possible. We will vigorously fight for your family to obtain fair compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries.
At Emerald City Law Group, the goal of our Seattle car accident lawyers is to make this difficult time a little easier. We do not believe the burden of a lawsuit, and an insurance claim should fall on your shoulders only. Let us be your voice to the insurer and in court.
How a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
After any serious accident, there’s a lot to consider. But you don’t need to go through it alone.
At Emerald City Law Group, we know you are in pain and unsure about how to pay your bills. Even enjoying everyday activities can sometimes be taken away. This would be a lot for anyone and that’s why out personal injury attorneys are here to help with the burden you’re facing.
From dealing with insurance companies to helping determine liability, and all the way through a trial if necessary, we are prepared for whatever comes your way, so you get the financial security and peace of mind you need to properly recover. If you have been injured in an accident in King County, Washington or any surrounding area, you deserve justice and compensation. Contact Emerald City Law Group today at 206-973-0407.