A wrongful death is a preventable death caused by someone else’s negligence or maliciousness. If this has happened to a family member, under Washington State law, you may be able to file a claim. Common situations include victims of drunk drivers and medical malpractice.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is for dependent family members to seek a settlement. In other words, it’s a civil action. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the guilty party may also face criminal charges. But this is a separate legal action.
Some of the benefits of pursuing a settlement include:
- Compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost income
- Sense of justice
- Deters others from doing something similar
What Must You Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?
There are a few elements that you must prove in order to prevail and win a settlement in a wrongful death case.
Thinking about your own situation, see if you can answer “yes” to each of the following questions:
- Did the defendant owe your loved one a duty of care? In other words, were they responsible to keep your loved one safe in some way?
- Did the defendant break this duty?
- Can you show that the defendant’s careless or malicious actions caused your loved one’s death, either directly or indirectly?
- Can you demonstrate that your loved one’s death caused damages to your family? (Damages can include both financial and intangible losses such as loss of support and companionship.)
Involving an Attorney in your Case
It’s best to call a personal injury attorney who accepts wrongful death cases for help.
It’s always free for an initial consultation with the attorneys at Ladenburg Law. Plus, they’ll only charge a fee if they’re able to win your family a settlement. In other words, there’s nothing to pay upfront.
Give us a call today to see if we can help your family.