Wrongful Death Attorney in Seattle, Washington
Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things you can deal with. It is much worse when you lose a loved one due to an accident, negligence, or malpractice. These circumstances only add to the anguish, and suffering you are going through. Not only that, you may be wondering how to provide for your family and how to cover funeral costs, hospital bills, and so much more.
No matter the circumstances, it’s important for you and your family to get the compensation you deserve due to wrongful death. As an empathetic wrongful death attorney, I’m prepared to help you fight for the compensation you deserve, and help guide you to focus on what’s really important: healing. If you’re in Seattle, Washington, or the surrounding areas of Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, or throughout western Washington, reach out today for skilled guidance and advocacy.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
In essence, wrongful death is when a person dies in a situation that could have been avoided due to negligence. For instance, losing a loved one in a traffic accident may constitute a wrongful death when the accident could have been avoided. Drunk drivers or people playing on their phones while driving, for example, are perfectly avoidable by behaving responsibly.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Many people believe that filing a wrongful death lawsuit will not solve anything. After all, filing a wrongful death claim will not bring your loved one back. However, holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions can help you heal, give you financial support, and make sure the responsible party doesn’t become a repeat offender. Accountability is especially important when there is criminal negligence involved.
Also, filing a wrongful death claim can help provide much-needed financial support to cover expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs, loss of wages, and emotional anguish. A wrongful death is not about “profiting.” It is about getting the fair compensation you deserve.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Washington State?
Washington law considers wrongful death as a death caused by neglect or wrongful acts from someone. In other words, a wrongful death occurs in the following ways:
Traffic accidents (i.e., drunk or reckless driving)
Medical malpractice (such as during surgery or treatment)
Unsafe workplaces (for instance, accidents or improper equipment maintenance)
Dangerous buildings (i.e., falling down stairs, unsafe elevators, fire hazards)
Criminal activity (such as improper handling of a firearm)
These are situations that could have been avoided. As a result, the responsible parties are liable for their negligent activity, allowing victims to file a wrongful death claim for reparations and damages.
Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Claim
Please note that the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Washington State is three years. In other words, you have three years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. At my firm, I have had the unfortunate experience of seeing people get their claims dismissed because they filed after the three-year period.
If you are considering legal action, I would highly advise you to contact a wrongful death attorney at once. The last thing you want is to have the statute of limitations ruin your chances of getting the fair compensation you deserve.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington?
Next of kin (parents, siblings, spouse, children), guardians, and legal representatives can file a wrongful death claim in Washington. Generally speaking, next of kin must file wrongful death claims through a trusted wrongful death or a personal injury attorney. I strongly recommend you consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to determine who must officially file the claim.
What Needs Be Proven to Constitute Wrongful Death?
Proving wrongful death is the crux of the matter. In essence, you must prove that the circumstances causing your loved one’s death could have been avoided. Cases such as drunk driving are not difficult to prove. However, medical malpractice cases can be complex to prove. Such cases require expert testimony and documentary evidence to support claims. Other cases, such as workplace accidents, may require an extensive investigation.
I recommend my clients in the Seattle, Washington, area talk to their insurance companies. Insurance companies conduct thorough investigations before assessing liability. Insurance companies have evidence that can help you support your wrongful death claim. However, an attorney can help you know if the investigation is correct.
What Damages Can You Claim in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Here is a list of the damages you can claim in a wrongful death lawsuit in Washington (Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett, and Puget Sound):
Lost wages or income
Medical bills and expenses
Funeral and burial costs
Mental and emotional anguish
Outstanding debts such as personal loans, mortgages, and credit card bills
Dependent children’s expenses (education or healthcare)
Please note that the court may bring your total claim amount down after factoring in insurance payouts.
Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Seattle, Washington
If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, I want you to know I’m on your side. At the Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I prioritize getting you the help you need. You have enough on your plate, so let us take some of the burden off your shoulders. I am ready to become your wrongful death attorney. My team and I have the experience and expertise you need to get the fair compensation you deserve, and you can focus on what’s most important.