The death of a loved one is tragic. It can be especially hard if your spouse or parent died because of another’s negligent actions. You may be struggling to cope not only with your loss, but with medical bills and other expenses. If your loved one was the family breadwinner, you may be wondering about your financial future.
Help is out there. A Seattle wrongful death lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC may assist you with a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. You may be able to recover damages for your family member’s final expenses, as well as awards to compensate for your loss. We understand that you are grieving, and we want to help you without adding to the stress of an already difficult time. If you are seeking a legal advocate, call our offices at (800) 593-3443.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action against another person whose reckless or negligent behavior contributed to someone’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits are very similar to personal injury lawsuits, except that the injuries resulted in death, meaning the deceased’s family must bring legal action on their behalf.
In Washington, RCW 4.20.020 allows the deceased’s spouse, domestic partner, children, or stepchildren to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no spouse or children, action can be taken by the deceased’s parents or siblings.
Parents can bring wrongful death action for the loss of a minor child. Under RCW 4.24.010, parents can file suit only if they “regularly contributed” to the “emotional, psychological, or financial” support of the child.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Seattle, call (800) 593-3443
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
Any injury caused by another’s negligence that resulted in death may qualify for a wrongful death suit. Examples of accidents that may result in wrongful death include:
- Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents
- Medical malpractice, such as medication errors, surgical errors, and misdiagnosis
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injuries caused by a defective product
To win your case, you must show that your loved one suffered damages, and that their injuries and subsequent death were the fault of another’s wrongdoing.
It is important to understand that wrongful death lawsuits are different from criminal cases. Wrongful death cases are civil suits filed by the deceased’s family. In a wrongful death case, you can seek monetary compensation. Criminal cases are brought by the state and can result in punishments like fines or jail time.
If the person who caused your loved one’s death did so while committing a crime, such as drinking and driving, they may also face criminal charges. However, the criminal case and its outcome are separate from your civil case. Criminal actions do not prohibit you from pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Working with a Lawyer
Working with a Seattle wrongful death lawyer may give you a better chance of proving someone else was responsible for your family member’s death. A lawyer also can help you identify damages you are owed and fight for the best possible settlement.
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A lawyer can help you pursue both wrongful death benefits and take survival action under RCW 4.20.046. Wrongful death benefits seek compensation for your costs and losses, while wrongful death benefits compensate for the deceased’s suffering and losses.
Damages can be divided into two basic categories:
- Economic damages – These are quantifiable losses and may include things like medical bills, the costs of damaged property, and backpay your loved one may be owed. It may also include awards for funeral and burial expenses, and future earnings your loved one would have provided you had they lived.
- Non-economic damages – These damages are more subjective. These losses compensate for any suffering or pain your loved one endured because of their injuries. This may include awards for things like anxiety and mental anguish. Non-economic damages may also compensate you for the loss of your loved one’s companionship, love, and emotional support.
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A lawyer can help with seeking out evidence to support your lawsuit. Depending on the type of accident that led to your loved one’s death, there may be eyewitnesses who can testify on your behalf. There may be security footage, police reports, medical records, and other documentation that can help you prove your case. If your case involves insurance claims, a lawyer may be able to assist you with negotiations for a better payout.
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within three years or your family member’s death, according to RCW 4.16.080. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. In most instances, if you do not commence your case within the time frame, your case will likely be thrown out of court. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to start on your case within the time limits allowed by law.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC
During this sad and emotional time, you deserve to have someone who will stand by your side and fight for your rights. You should not be burdened by financial worry in addition to your grief.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC has helped families across the country through their period of mourning. We have even assisted in several high-profile wrongful death cases, including serving the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Your case may not have made headlines, but we will work just as hard to reach a favorable outcome for you and your family.
A Seattle wrongful death lawyer can assist in pursuing financial compensation to help provide you with security and peace of mind. Because we do not want our services to be another source of strain, we work on a contingency basis. We ask for no payment upfront or out of pocket. Our fees are paid only if we win your case.
Reach out to the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 593-3443. We are ready to assist you, starting with a risk-free, no-cost consultation.
Call or text (800) 593-3443 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form