Wrongful death is when someone is fatally injured due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct. Families dealing with the wrongful death of their loved one can be severely affected. This type of death not only takes an emotional toll on families, but a financial one as well. Depending on the events leading up to the death, the State of Washington allows certain individuals who are related to the deceased to file wrongful death claims against those responsible. Personal injury lawyers often represent these family members, helping them get just compensation for what is a life-altering event.
When the Unthinkable Happens
Unfortunately, nothing can undo the past and bring back a deceased loved one who has suffered a fatal injury due to someone else’s mistake. Families must endure not only the shock that comes with the loss of their loved one; but also the many new problems resulting from their death, especially if that loved one contributed financially to the family, or had other important roles. When this happens, personal injury lawyers can be instrumental in helping families file claims against the responsible parties to help them survive the loss of their loved one. Wrongful death claims may not bring a person back; but for those entitled, any money awarded can help ease all the complications that occur after such a loss.
Who Can Recover Damages?
The State of Washington allows those closely who are closely related to the deceased to request damages in wrongful death claims as long as they meet the qualifications in one of the two categories referenced:
- Automatically Entitled - Certain individuals are automatically entitled to recover damages in wrongful death claims due to their close relationship to the deceased. Those automatically entitled include spouses and children of the deceased.
- Conditionally Entitled - Other individuals may file claims for damages based on their relationship with the deceased, and if they meet certain conditions, such as having been financially dependent on the deceased at the time of death. This may include parents and siblings. When the deceased is a child, parents and siblings may claim damages without the financial dependency qualification.
Based on these guidelines, Washington state law enables personal injury lawyers to help qualified family members collect damages, such as financial loss, funeral expenses, emotional loss, and other such damages. It is important for families to understand that the time period in which they must file wrongful death cases is relatively small. The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims in the state is only three years. Due to this limit, it is strongly recommended that any family member considering filing a wrongful death claim contact experienced personal injury lawyers as soon as they possibly can. Attorneys experienced in wrongful death claims can help families recover the damages they will need to carry on without their loved one in the most helpful and compassionate way.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. Many families do not know where to turn when it comes to recovering from the financial blow this loss can bring with it. Personal injury lawyers who are experts in the field of wrongful death claims can help families recover what they are entitled to based on the circumstances and who is at fault. To learn more about wrongful death claims and which relatives can file such a claim, family members are encouraged to discuss their case with any of the experienced personal injury lawyers available to help them!
Maurer Law, PLLC
505 West Riverside, Suite 400
Spokane WA 99201