Issaquah Wrongful Death Attorney
We are all on this Earth for a limited time, but when that time is cut short by the careless and negligent acts of others it can be particularly devastating to the loved ones left behind. At a time when survivors are crippled by grief over a sudden and unexpected loss, it can seem an insurmountable task to try and hold the at-fault parties responsible. And what does justice even look like when a death is involved? How do you even start down this path?
Washington law does hold out some answers in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit that can be used to achieve some measure of justice for a loved one taken away by the negligence of another. A wrongful death case can bring a sense of closure and also provide badly needed financial assistance when a family is struggling to cover funeral costs, pay final medical bills, make up for a lost income, and is fighting to regain a sense of normalcy and move forward after a tragedy that blindsided the whole family.
When you feel the time is right, ILG attorneys are ready to champion your wrongful death case with compassion, sensitivity and a dogged determination to see justice is done, so you can begin the process of healing.
How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work in Washington State
Washington state law authorizes the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate to bring a civil action when the person’s death was caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another person. The beneficiaries of any monies recovered in the action include:
- State registered domestic partner
- Child or children, including stepchildren
- Parents or siblings if there is no spouse, state registered domestic partner, child or children
If successful in the lawsuit, the personal representative can recover compensation for the economic and noneconomic damages sustained by the beneficiaries listed above. These damages might include the loss of income and benefits the deceased would have provided, along with the love, companionship and guidance they have lost. The statute directs the juries in these cases to award however much they think is just under the circumstances.
To be successful in a wrongful death case, the personal representative needs to prove the case like any other personal injury case. This means proving through the weight of the evidence that the defendant was negligent in some way – such as by causing an auto accident – and this negligence is the reason that the death occurred. The plaintiff must also prove the nature and extent of the damages the personal representative is asking the jury to award. Like personal injury cases, wrongful death cases can be decided by the judge and jury, or they can be settled out of court if the parties can agree on what is a fair settlement amount.
Washington law goes even further to recognize that had the person who was killed only been injured and not died, they would have had a valid personal injury claim against the other party. The law says that this action “survives” the deceased and can also be brought by the estate’s personal representative. This allows the representative to recover damages for the pain and suffering, anxiety, emotional distress or personal humiliation suffered by the deceased due to the accident. These monies recovered will also go to the beneficiaries listed above, helping to further ease their financial burdens and extend the justice and accountability of the negligent actor.
Help Is Available After a Wrongful Death
If you lost a loved one to the negligence of another, you can trust the attorneys at Injury Law Group NW to approach your case with sensitivity and compassion, combined with an iron will to see that justice is done and that you and your family receive the financial help you need to deal with the expenses and challenges this loss has brought upon you. Call our office in Washington for a no-cost, confidential consultation to discuss your potential claims. We serve clients in communities throughout King County, including Bellevue, Renton, Redmond, Sammamish, Seattle and others.