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Fatal Car Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims 

Fatal Car Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims

In 2023, more than 770 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents across Washington. Although these accidents occur frequently in our state, preparing for their overwhelming consequences is impossible. Our wrongful death attorney in Seattle knows all too well the impact that fatal collisions have on families. For this reason, we are here to explain the importance of filing a wrongful death claim.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim after a Fatal Crash

When a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another party, their family members may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that seek financial compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the victim’s death. These claims can help cover some of the damages experienced by the surviving family members.

In Washington State, wrongful death actions are filed by the personal representative of the estate on behalf of certain family members. These include:

  • The surviving spouse of the decedent
  • The surviving domestic partner of the decedent
  • The surviving children of the decedent
  • The surviving family members of the decedent
  • The surviving siblings

The statute of limitations in Washington specifies that wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the fatal accident. It is essential to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Seattle who can guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected. Your attorney will help you understand your rights while navigating the legal process.

Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Various forms of compensation may be available to the surviving family members. These damages are designed to provide financial relief for the losses incurred due to their loved one’s passing. These include:

Economic Damages

Economic damages include expenses such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of income the deceased would have provided
  • Property damage
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Any other financial losses directly related to the death
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of benefits (such as health insurance or retirement benefits)

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages that can be recovered include:

  • Non-economic damages cover intangible losses like:
  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • Loss of love and affection
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
  • Pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of guidance or nurturing (especially for children)
  • Loss of consortium

Any other intangible losses experienced as a result of the death.

Proving Fault in a Fatal Car Accident

Determining fault in a fatal car accident is crucial in establishing a wrongful death claim. To prove fault, evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and expert opinions are essential.

The investigation may involve analyzing the crash scene, examining vehicle damage, and reviewing available surveillance footage. Additionally, obtaining medical records and conducting thorough interviews can help establish liability.

Factors like speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving, or drunk driving can all contribute to proving fault in a fatal car accident case. Furthermore, documenting any traffic violations or prior history of negligent behavior by the at-fault party can strengthen the claim.

Demonstrating negligence on the part of the responsible party is vital to holding them accountable for their actions. Seeking legal assistance from an experienced wrongful death attorney in Seattle can provide valuable support in navigating this complex process.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Help

Losing a loved one in a fatal car accident is a devastating experience that can leave families feeling overwhelmed and lost. Understanding your legal rights when it comes to wrongful death claims is crucial during such difficult times.

Seeking guidance from a wrongful death attorney in Seattle can provide you with the guidance and support needed to succeed. A Seattle car accident lawyer will work tirelessly to help you seek justice for your loved one and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Additionally, pursuing legal action can help hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Whether it’s a negligent driver, a faulty vehicle part, or unsafe road conditions, seeking justice can prevent similar tragedies from happening to others. Remember, proving fault in a fatal car accident requires thorough investigation and legal knowledge.

Call Our Seattle Car Accident Lawyer Today

Our Seattle wrongful death lawyers at Bernard Law Group are here to support you and guide you through the legal process. While no amount of money will ever replace your loved one, seeking compensation for their untimely death can help ease some of the financial burden and allow you to focus on healing and moving forward. Call our wrongful death attorney in Seattle today to determine your legal options.

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