Snohomish County Wrongful Death Lawyers Providing Compassionate Legal Services to Grieving Families
Any preventable death causes unimaginable heartbreak for the family members left behind. When someone else’s negligence takes away a loved one, it causes not only emotional distress but often economic issues as well. If you’ve lost the companionship and financial support of someone close to you, a wrongful death attorney from Elsner Law Firm can help you seek justice and recover compensation from those responsible. Our skilled personal injury attorneys have assisted many families with filing wrongful death claims. We will compassionately and conscientiously handle your case and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation with a wrongful death attorney, contact our office today at 206-678-1427.
What Are the Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases?
There are, unfortunately, several different circumstances where wrongful deaths may occur. When someone dies as a direct result of the negligent actions of another, regardless of whether those actions were intentional or the result of an accident, then certain surviving family members are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In general, if the deceased individual would have been eligible to file a personal injury claim if they had survived, the family likely has a viable wrongful death case.
Even if a criminal case is pending against the negligent person who caused the decedent’s death, such as in cases of murder or vehicular manslaughter, a family can still bring a wrongful death lawsuit because they are separate legal actions. It is also possible to bring a successful wrongful death case against an individual who has been acquitted of criminal wrongdoing because the burden of proof is lower in civil court. Some of the cases most frequently handled by a wrongful death attorney include:
- Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- On-the-job accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective or malfunctioning product accidents
- Fatal accidents during a supervised activity
- Premises liability accidents
Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington State?
While many individuals may be financially affected by the untimely passing of a family member, under Washington state law, only certain people are able to file a wrongful death claim. In almost all cases, the wrongful death actions must be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate for the benefit of any of the decedent’s survivors impacted by the death. The personal representative is usually named in the victim’s will, or the court may appoint one if the victim died intestate. Typically, the survivors eligible to benefit from the wrongful death lawsuit are the victim’s spouse, domestic partner, children, or step-children. The compensation from a settlement usually goes directly to the estate instead of to a specific party.
If the deceased had no spouse, partner, or children, financially impacted parents or siblings may be able to file a wrongful death case and recover damages. This is most common in cases where the decedent was a minor. If you are uncertain whether you have a valid claim, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney for a case evaluation. Promptly filing a claim is crucial because the statute of limitations on most wrongful death lawsuits in Washington is set at three years from the decedent’s death.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?
While unexpectedly losing a loved one always exacts a heavy emotional toll on the survivors, it can also deliver a significant blow to the surviving family members’ finances. The situation could be especially dire if the decedent was the primary provider of financial support for the family. Recovering wrongful death damages does not heal the heartbreak of the loss. However, it can ensure that the family does not face unnecessary financial difficulties, such as losing their home or going into debt due to funeral expenses. Some compensation a wrongful death attorney may be able to secure includes:
- Funeral costs.
- Loss of consortium (the deprivation of family benefits experienced by the deceased’s spouse).
- Loss of inheritance.
- Loss of parental guidance, instruction, and companionship for children.
- Outstanding medical bills from the decedent’s accident.
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person between the accident and their passing.
- The value of any additional support or services the victim would have provided to the family (childcare, etc.).
How Can an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Help You?
If you are reeling from the loss of a family member, it can be difficult to think about taking legal action, but contacting a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the incident can be crucial. You must file a claim within three years of the decedent’s passing, or you will lose your right to seek compensation for your losses. Building a solid case can take time. Once you reach out to a personal injury attorney from Elsner Law Firm for a free case evaluation, we will begin investigating and gathering evidence before it is irretrievably lost or destroyed.
We believe you shouldn’t have to feel anxious about how you will provide for yourself and your loved ones after a tragedy. Those responsible for your losses ought to be held legally accountable. Contact Elsner Law Firm to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you find the closure and financial stability you need: 206-678-1427.