Written by Stryder Wegener
Coping with the death of a loved one can be especially difficult when the loss was the result of someone else’s negligence. By filing a wrongful death claim, surviving family members may be able to ease the financial burden their loss has left them with, and begin to move forward with their lives.
If your loved one’s life was tragically taken because of another party’s negligent actions, contact our experienced Seattle wrongful death lawyers at Emerald City Law Group. We can determine whether you are eligible to file a claim, and guide you through the process every step of the way.
Wrongful Death Claims in Washington
The legal action against an individual, business, or municipality that is liable for an individual’s death is referred to as a wrongful death claim. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Section 4.20.010 states that when someone’s death caused by the negligent acts of another, then the personal representative of the deceased can file a lawsuit and pursue compensation on behalf of the individual’s surviving family members.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to Washington law, a decedent’s personal representative may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal representative may be a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. If you are unsure of whether you or a personal representative and can file a wrongful death claim, consult a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of Wrongful Death Damages
RCW 4.20.020 explains that the personal representative may recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages in a wrongful death claim can be calculated concretely. Non-economic damages, however, cannot be easily quantified, and are more subjective than economic damages. The most common types of economic and non-economic damages in wrongful death claims include:
- Remaining health care expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the decedent’s retirement benefits
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship
- A spouse’s loss of an intimate relationship
Situation That May Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
There are a number of accidents or instances that may cause wrongful death in Washington. At Emerald City Law Group, we have filed wrongful death claims on behalf of those who have lost a loved one as a result of a:
- Car accident – If a driver who was careless, distracted, or drunk caused a car accident that took your loved one’s life, you might be able to collect compensation from them.
- Truck accident – Since trucks are larger and heavier than cars, truck accidents are more likely to result in fatalities. If your loved one passed away in a truck accident that was not their fault, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim.
- Product liability – Sadly, not all products on the market are safe and free of defects. If a faulty product led to your loved one’s death, contact an attorney from our firm to learn more about your legal options.
- Premises liability – Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their public and private properties safe. You may pursue compensation against a property owner that breached this obligation and caused your loved one to pass away as a result.
- Medical malpractice – Although we trust doctors and other medical professionals to help when we’re ill or injured, they may act negligently and cause a fatality. If a negligent medical professional caused your loved one’s death, call us today.
When Can Wrongful Death Claims be Filed?
In Washington, personal representatives usually have three years to file a wrongful death claim. This three-year period typically begins on the date your loved one passed away. However, if you did not find out about your loved one’s death on the day they lost their life, you may be able to file a claim on the date you learned of this news.
For Help With a Wrongful Death Claim, Contact Us Today
If you have lost someone you love due to the negligence of another individual or party, it is in your best interest to consult the Seattle wrongful death lawyers at Emerald City Law Group. Call us at 206-973-0407 today to find out if you can file a claim and determine what types of damages you may be able to recover. We can also be reached via our online form.