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A wrongful death occurs when a loved one passes on due to the negligent or intentional act of another person. The loss of a loved one is a hard enough cross to bear; knowing that the person passed away prematurely because of someone else’s foolhardy action makes it even harder to cope. The loss can be profound, to say the least. Loved ones are left with a deep grief that they will never recover from—and to add insult to injury, their finances often suffer with the loss of income contributions from the decedent. Russell and Hill has handled many wrongful death claims in the past. You have a right to seek out compensation from the person who caused your loved one’s early demise, and our Kirkland wrongful death attorney can help.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Under the law, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the decedent’s survivors. Typically, a spouse files the claim, although it can be the decedent’s children, parents or other relative or dependent/beneficiary who lodges the wrongful death claim.

How is Wrongful Death Proven?

Claimants in wrongful death claims must show that the defendant in the case did something to cause the death due to their negligent or reckless behavior or their intentional, mindful and deliberate act. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common source of wrongful death claims in Washington State, including accidents involving passenger cars, motorcycles and commercial trucks, big rigs and tractor-trailers. Oftentimes, these types of wrongful death claims feature a drunk driving component to prove the negligent behavior.

Slip and fall accidents, dog bite attacks and other premises liability issues are sometimes the basis of wrongful death suits. Medical malpractice, including negligence due to medical or surgical errors, are also often brought to court as a wrongful death claim.

Civil Versus Criminal Court

It is many times true that the defendant in a wrongful death claim is also the defendant in a criminal case related to the death too. For example, a defendant may be charged criminally in a death if he was driving drunk and caused the death of another person as a result. It is important to note that even if the person is not ultimately found guilty of the criminal charge related to the wrongful death, he or she can still be held accountable in civil court by the family or survivors of the deceased. The at-fault party may be held accountable for all financial losses relate to the premature death, including medical bills, lost wages, future lost income, loss of consortium and love, and more.

Filing Your Wrongful Death Claim

In Washington, there is a limited amount of time for you to file a claim of wrongful death in the civil courts. You have just three years to file your claim following the death of your loved one. Discuss your case with our Kirkland wrongful death attorney now to determine the best course of action moving forward with your claim. Set up your no-cost case review with our compassionate legal team now.

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