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When a loved one dies, the pain of grief and the feeling of loss experienced by the family can be overwhelming. It is all the more painful when the death could have been prevented—but  carelessness paved the way for tragedy. The untimely death of a loved one can come as a shock, and if you suspect that negligence played a role in your family member’s death you should be aware of your legal options under the law. If you believe your loved one was a wrongful death victim, contact Russell & Hill, PLLC to get informed about your family’s rights and to discuss taking legal action.

What is wrongful death?

A death is determined to be wrongful if an act of negligence contributed to the death taking place. Negligence comes in many forms—it could be an overt act that results in a fatal injury, or it could be a lack of action that ultimately results in death. Either way, the negligent party could be considered legally responsible for the death that resulted from their negligence.

Negligence and liability in wrongful death suits

When someone’s negligence results in wrongful death, the negligent party is liable for the damages that occurred as a result of that death. This means that the negligent party and their insurer can be compelled to pay out financial compensation to the grieving family members of the deceased. The amount of damages awarded under the law is determined by taking various factors into account, such as the cost of the victim’s medical treatment, the pain and suffering endured by the deceased prior to death, economic loss to the victim’s estate, and the value of the lost relationship with certain family members.

Examples of wrongful death situations

Unfortunately, wrongful death can come about in multiple ways. Some examples of wrongful death situations include:

  • Surgeon using unsanitary practices while performing surgery, resulting in a fatal infection
  • Nursing home abuse resulting in fatal injuries to a resident
  • Skilled care facility staff neglect resulting in bedsores that become infected and result in fatal sepsis
  • Fatal car accident
  • Employer negligence resulting in fatal workplace injuries
  • Defective appliance resulting in injuries (product liability)

We represent the families of wrongful death victims in court

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and need a wrongful death attorney in Seattle and the surrounding communities, contact the legal experts at Russell & Hill, PLLC to discuss your legal options. We help grieving families recover damages after the untimely loss of a loved one. We believe that families deserve to see justice done in the civil courts in order to get closure after losing someone they loved, and by making sure that liable parties are held legally accountable for the horrible results of their negligence. Your family could be qualified to receive cash compensation, which can be used to cover funerary costs and other expenses that tend to pile up after a death in the family. Call us today for a free consultation.

Are Washington wrongful death claims only for intentional acts that cause a fatality?

Wrongful death claims are not only for intentional acts that cause the death of another person. Wrongful death cases arise when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful or negligent act of another. Our Seattle wrongful death lawyers commonly deal with the following causes:

These cases can be brought by survivors of the deceased person, including:

  • A personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
  • The spouse of the deceased person
  • The children or stepchildren of the deceased person
  • Parents of a deceased child under the age of 18

Does there have to be a criminal case before a wrongful death case can be made?

No, there does not have to be a criminal case for there to be a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases, separate from criminal cases. In many cases, there is both a criminal case or investigation at the same time there is a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the deceased person’s family.

Even if a person is found not guilty of a person’s death in a particular matter, they could still face a wrongful death lawsuit.

Can companies be held liable for wrongful death?

There are various entities that can be held responsible for wrongful death aside from individuals. Your Seattle wrongful death lawyers will be able to help you with these matters.

If the case revolves around a workplace incident, the employer or third-party contractor could be held accountable. If the death was caused by a defective product, the company or manufacturer may be on the line for damages. Many wrongful deaths are caused by commercial vehicle crashes. In those cases, a wrongful death claim could be brought against the driver, the company, or both.

Is there a statute of limitations for a Washington wrongful death claim?

Washington wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of death. Any claims made after that will almost certainly not be heard. This can be confusing because the statute of limitations for many criminal charges in wrongful death may be longer than three years. A criminal statute of limitations does not change the three-year limit for wrongful death claims.

What kind of damages can my family receive for a wrongful death claim in Washington?

The Seattle wrongful death attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC are ready to help you recover the full compensation you deserve. This can include:

  • The deceased person’s medical bills
  • Loss of support from the earning capacity of the deceased
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of prospective inheritance from the deceased
  • Pain and suffering incurred by the surviving spouse, children, or parents
  • Loss of care and companionship to the deceased person’s family members

We are ready to step in and help you today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-529-0842.

P
Patrick & Jennifer Edwards via Google+
Date published: 2018-07-26
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