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The most devastating of all personal injury claims are wrongful death claims. The suffering that follows the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult in any circumstance, but it can be made worse with the knowledge that the accident was due to the avoidable negligence of another.

At Russell and HIll, PLLC, our Spokane attorneys operate with your needs in mind. Our goal is to relieve as much of the stress as possible by keeping you informed, carefully handling your case, and understanding you’re emotional and physical situation so as to best represent you.As a surviving relative, it may be appropriate and reasonable for you to take action to receive compensation for such grievances.

In the scenarios of a wrongful death, it is recommended that an understanding legal representative be sought to handle the situation with clarity and skill. Many families have benefited from having a Spokane attorney to help them as the cause of death and other variables of the accident are considered. They can also represent your loved one during legal proceedings and help to file a wrongful death personal injury claim.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is when immediate family or relatives of a deceased individual bring a wrongful death claim as a civil action against the party liable for causing the individual’s death.

What Happens When a Spokane Wrongful Death Claim is Filed?

If the accident that caused the individual’s death was the fault of another party, then the party at fault is liable to make monetary compensation to the estate or legal beneficiaries of the deceased. The damages should be equitable to compensate the life lost and any expenses inurred as a result.

The at-fault party is expected to compensate the family or the estate’s financial injury that resulted due to the accident and wrongful death. The damages for which compensation may sought include the pain and suffering of the victim up to the time of death, medical expenses, lost future earnings, loss of consortium for loved ones, and funeral and burial expenses.

Formulating a substantive and persuasive claim can be a difficult task. A Spokane wrongful death attorney from Russell and Hill, PLLC can help to formulate a claim and hold the guilty party accountable for the compensation they owe.

Who is Qualified to Claim Damages as a Beneficiary?

The state of Washington has a wrongful death statute that determines which actions can be taken by surviving members or relatives of a deceased family member. There is a two-tier system for beneficiaries looking to gain compensation for the wrongful death of a family member.

First Tier Beneficiaries

First-tier beneficiaries include direct or immediate family members. Spouses, registered domestic partners, and children, are all part of the first tier. Spouses and domestic partners must be legally recognized as such at the time of the individual’s death in order to be legally recognized. Even if first and second tier parties exist, only first tier members can receive direct benefit from the deceased individual’s estate.

Second Tier Beneficiaries

The compensation rights drop to members of the second tier only if there are no beneficiaries in the first tier. This tier includes only parents and siblings of the deceased. In order for second-tier beneficiaries to be able to seek compensation, they must prove financial dependence upon the deceased at the point of the accident.

Carrying on after experiencing the death of a loved one is difficult and painful task. One of our Spokane wrongful death attorneys can help provide information about your situation and provide the experience necessary to assist in the filing and settling of your wrongful death personal injury claim.

To learn more, feel free to contact us. Call toll-free at 509-204-9701, or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

The loss of a family member is one of the most heart-wrenching and distressing things a person can go through in life. When your loved one is killed due to the fault of another individual, it makes sense to pursue a wrongful death claim to get compensated for all the damages and losses.

In Washington state, you may have a right to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages only if your case meets certain legal requirements. Our Spokane wrongful death attorney from Russell & Hill, PLLC, is going to answer some of the most common questions about pursuing compensation when your loved one’s life ended due to a negligent, reckless, or a wrongful act on the part of someone else.

What Do You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims in Washington State?

  • What is wrongful death? According to Washington state law, wrongful death is defined as the death caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another individual.
  • Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim? In Washington state, the primary beneficiaries in a wrongful death lawsuit are the deceased’s spouse (wife or husband), state-registered domestic partner, children, and stepchildren. “If there are no spouses, domestic partners, and children, then the deceased’s parents and siblings (sisters and brothers) will be eligible to recover damages,” explains our experienced wrongful death lawyer in Spokane.
  • What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Washington state? The time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Spokane or another city in our state is three years from the date of death.

How to Know If You’re Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Washington state, your wrongful death case needs to meet the following criteria to make you eligible to seek compensation along with other beneficiaries:

  • Fault. When bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to establish the liable parties. Whose fault caused or contributed to your loved one’s death? You may want to consult with our Spokane wrongful death lawyer from Russell & Hill, PLLC, to determine fault in your case.
  • Duty of care. When the at-fault party is established, it is important to find evidence that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care or had a duty to take precautions that would have prevented the wrongful death.
  • Breach of duty. Then, your lawyer should look for evidence proving that the at-fault party acted in a way that breached the duty of care (which we have established above). Generally, the at-fault party’s negligence can be proven by showing that any other reasonably prudent person in the same capacity and under similar circumstances would have done differently.
  • Causation. Our experienced wrongful death attorney in Spokane warns that establishing the duty of care and that this duty was breached is not enough to recover damages, as the plaintiff will also have to prove that the defendant’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongful act was the cause of the death.
  • Damages. After establishing causation, your lawyer will help you determine the types of economic and non-economic damages available in your particular case. The calculation of the damages depends on a variety of factors, including the deceased’s age, occupation, salary, number of children, the age of the children, life expectancy, etc.

Why Should You Hire a Spokane Wrongful Death Attorney?

There are quite a few benefits of hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Spokane or elsewhere in Washington state, including but not limited to:

  • A lawyer understands the legal process
  • A lawyer can speed up the process of seeking compensation
  • A lawyer can save your time and money
  • A lawyer can alleviate the stress associated with having to handle the legal matters on your own
  • A lawyer can calculate the value of your wrongful death claim
  • If necessary, a lawyer can take your case to trial and win it with dignity

Speak to our best wrongful death lawyers in Washington state by contacting Russell & Hill, PLLC. Call our legal offices at 800-529-0842 or 509-204-9701 for a free case evaluation.

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