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Wrongful deaths are heartbreaking personal injury cases, mostly because they are unforeseeable. To lose someone close to you as a result of an accident or someone else’s negligence is an extremely painful and difficult event. Words can’t describe the suffering and heartbreak that come from the death of a family member, especially if it comes to light that the death could have been prevented or avoided.

Surviving relatives usually feel the duty to take action for such a grievance. Your loved one would make an effort to establish justice and hold the right party accountable if it was the other way around, so this brings us to the big question: What do you do next?

Wrongful death situations are emotionally overwhelming, so having legal representation can be extremely beneficial to your case. Wrongful death claims take into consideration the cause of death, as well as other variables that may have influenced the accident. Having an understanding, skilled attorney on your side to represent your loved one during the legal process will make the process easier to handle, and will help you find the responsible party.

At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we always have our client’s best interests in mind. We understand the emotional aspect of the situation, and we handle your case with care. Our team of experienced attorneys will keep you informed every step of the way, and will do everything in their power to reduce the amount of work you’ll have during the process.

What are Wrongful Death Claims?

A wrongful death claim can be filed against a party that is responsible for an individual’s death. Immediate family or relatives of the deceased person’s estate can bring the claim as a civil action against the party or individual who is liable for the accident. Wrongful death claims can be filed for an array of different scenarios. If you think you may qualify for a wrongful death claim in Snohomish, contact your local attorney for a consultation now.

How to Handle a Wrongful Death Claim in Snohomish

When an accident is not caused by the deceased person, but rather as a result of someone else’s negligence, the at-fault party can be held legally responsible. This means that the responsible party is liable to compensate the family of the deceased individual with monetary compensation. The monetary compensation is meant to compensate the deceased individual’s family for both the life that was lost, and the expenses that came as a result.

Filing a claim for a wrongful death personal injury means that we’re requesting the at-fault party to compensate the deceased individual’s family for the pecuniary (financial injury) that result from that person’s death. Pecuniary damages include pain and suffering compensation, medical expenses, loss of future earnings, punitive damages, loss of life’s enjoyment, and funeral and burial expenses as well. Other non-monetary damages may also be awarded in some cases.

A Snohomish wrongful death attorney can help put together a substantiated and persuasive claim, which will hold the responsible party accountable for due compensation. Together, you and your attorney can pursue justice for the life that was taken as a result of the accident.

Who Can Claim Compensation for a Wrongful Death?

Snohomish County is governed by Washington State laws, which follows a general wrongful death statute that governs the actions the deceased individual’s family or other relatives may take. In essence, surviving relatives (also called “statutory beneficiaries”) can petition for recompense for their loved one’s passing. Statutory beneficiaries can follow up a claim in the same way that the deceased individual would have done is they had survived the accident.

Wrongful Death Claims in Snohomish

1st Tier Beneficiaries

Washington State has a “two-tiered” system for beneficiaries that hope to get compensation for a wrongful death suffered. The first tier includes the deceased’s immediate family members: registered domestic partner, spouses, and/or children. Spouses must be legally married to the deceased individual at the time of death, and domestic partners must be legally recognized as such.

If there are both first-tier and second-tier beneficiaries, only first-tier beneficiaries will be able to claim compensation for the deceased individual’s estate.

2nd Tier Beneficiaries

In case there are no first-tier beneficiaries, the rights to receive compensation move to the second-tier beneficiaries. This includes surviving parents and siblings. However, if parents or siblings want to qualify to receive compensation as a result of their loved one’s death, they need to prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased when the accident occurred.

This means that a wrongful death claim can’t be filed for individuals who did not have children, were not married, and were not supporting any family members at the time of their death. Unfortunately, in this case, surviving relatives will not be able to claim any compensation for the wrongful death.

Get the Justice You Deserve

At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we help pursue the compensation that is rightfully yours following the death of a loved one. Our team of qualified attorneys have years of experience working wrongful death cases and will help you through this tough time.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you file a wrongful death claim, contact us now. We offer no-obligation consultations at no cost, which you can schedule according to your availability. You can give us a call at 360-245-6417 or fill out our online contact form today. Contact us now!

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