If you lose a loved one, it could be one of the most traumatic times in your life. If another person’s negligence or wrongful act caused your loved one’s passing, this might become even harder to handle and understand. Fortunately, state law provides a cause of action to compensate surviving family members and hold parties responsible for their negligent actions.
Compensation cannot bring a family member back, but it might bring a sense of justice and provide financial assistance for you and your family. A Lynnwood wrongful death lawyer understands the complexities of a wrongful death lawsuit. Allow a skilled personal injury attorney to help evaluate your claim to determine your legal options.
How Do Lynnwood Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work?
A wrongful death results when a person passes away because of the negligent actions or inactions of another party. If a negligent death occurs, certain family members might be entitled to file a legal action against the parties responsible for the death. Generally, recoverable damages are meant to compensate surviving loved ones for what the decedent might have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
Calculating the compensation that surviving family members might receive in these types of claims is a challenging and complex process. The compensation available to a surviving loved one can be broken down into two categories. The first is compensation for the injuries the deceased individual experienced before death and because of the death. The second is compensation for family members’ damages associated with the loss of a close loved one.
Types of Damages
Typical damages that might be compensable in a fatal accident action include the following:
- Medical bills for treatment and care before death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before death
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Loss of consortium
- Negligent infliction of emotional distress to surviving close family members
- Loss of assistance and support
- Funeral and burial costs
This list of common damages that might be awarded as compensation in a lawsuit for negligent death is not exhaustive. The type and amount of damages that might be recoverable differ based on the specific circumstances of each claim. A well-versed wrongful death attorney in Lynnwood could evaluate a family’s claim to determine their legal options moving forward.
Who Could File a Fatal Injury Case?
Lawsuits for unjust deaths are controlled by the state statutes, which contain certain requirements that must be followed in these cases. Under Washington Revised Code § 4.20.010, the personal representative of the individual who passed away is permitted to bring an action in state court against the negligent party that caused the death. A personal representative is typically named in the deceased individual’s will. However, if there is no will, the deceased’s spouse, surviving children, or other close family members or dependents might be permitted to file a claim.
The dependents of an individual who passed away can include their stepchildren, parents, or others who were dependent on the deceased individual during their life. Although state law requires a personal representative to file the lawsuit in state court, the lawsuit seeks damages for the decedent’s beneficiaries and dependents. A Lynnwood fatal accident attorney could help ensure a claim is correctly filed under the state law requirements.
Contact a Lynnwood Negligent Death Attorney Today
If a loved one passes away, your life might change significantly and leave you with an uncertain future. A close loved one might have provided financial and emotional support, which is no longer available since their passing. A knowledgeable Lynnwood wrongful death lawyer could fight by your side to hold the at-fault parties responsible for the many damages that a loved one’s death results in for you and your family. Call our office today to get your wrongful death claim started with a case evaluation.