Seeking Justice For Families Of Fatal Injury Victims
If your loved one died in an accident, our law firm can help
Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be especially difficult if that death was the result of someone else's negligence. Unfortunately, accidents claim far too many lives in Washington and nationwide every year. You depended on your loved one for support, companionship and care. In the wake of the accident, you face an uncertain future.
The last thing you probably want to do is get an attorney involved - but for many families, that's exactly what the next step should be. No amount of money can bring your lost loved one back. However, through a wrongful death claim, you can recover compensation for the income, support and companionship your loved one would have provided had he or she lived, meaning the people left behind can move forward with the same financial security and quality of life.
Reach out to NLE Law today. We would be honored to help your family by filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of your lost loved one. Cases involving a wrongful death are always long and complex. Our accomplished personal injury attorneys have decades of experience and know how to retain experts who can show just how much your case is worth.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
In essence, a wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim that cannot be filed because the plaintiff has passed away. Instead, someone else needs to file the claim on behalf of the deceased person. Under Washington law, the following people are eligible to file a civil suit of wrongful death:
- The personal representative of the deceased person's estate
- The spouse or domestic partner of the deceased person.
- The child, children or stepchildren of the deceased person.
In cases where there is no spouse, domestic partner, child or stepchild, wrongful death claims can also be filed by a parent or sibling of the deceased person. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years from the date of death.
Depending on the circumstances of the death, there may also be criminal charges filed. For instance, if your loved one died in a car accident, the State of Washington may prosecute the person who caused the accident for vehicular homicide. However, that is a separate legal case from your wrongful death claim. You may be able to recover damages (financial compensation) in civil court even if the person who caused the death is acquitted of criminal charges.
What can be recovered in a wrongful death claim?
Damages awarded in wrongful death cases fall into two categories. The first are losses sustained by the decedent (the person who died) prior to, or as a result of, his or her death. These damages are awarded to the decedent's estate, which means they will be subject to the estate tax.
- Medical bills for the decedent's final illness
- Funeral expenses
- The decedent's pain and suffering or emotional trauma prior to death
- Lost wages and lost future earnings
- Costs related to damaged or destroyed property
The second category includes losses sustained by family members due to the death, including:
- Loss of household services such as childcare
- Loss of intangible benefits such as care, companionship and guidance
- Emotional trauma suffered as a result of the death
These damages are awarded directly to the family members filing the wrongful death claim, which means they are exempt from taxes.
While you're mourning the death of a loved one, the last thing you need to worry about is dealing with an insurance company to get compensation. Your tragedy is their opportunity to save money. We won't let them get away with treating your family like another number in a file. Our attorneys will be on your side every step of the way.
We're the attorneys Seattle trusts to handle accidental death cases. Contact us today to discuss your case and your legal rights. There will be no charge for the initial consultation. Call (206) 623-7520.