By Pendergast Law on September 2, 2015
Hundreds of people die in Washington State car accidents each year. While each traffic death is tragic for the victim’s family, not all car accident fatalities involve a wrongful death under the law. “Wrongful death” is a legal phrase that means the injuries that led to someone dying were caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person. Whenever someone is killed in a Seattle car accident, it must be determined who was responsible for the crash and if their negligence contributed to the crash.
Careless and reckless drivers who cause fatal crashes can be held accountable for the damages they cause. It is a form of negligence to cause a crash while speeding, intoxicated, tired or distracted. Drivers can also face liability issues for causing a death by running through a red light, swerving into oncoming traffic, changing lanes without looking, failing to stop at a crosswalk and for turning left without properly yielding to the right of way.
Families who have lost someone in a Seattle car accident would be well advised to stay in touch with the official investigation. Often, officials are able to determine the cause of the crash and report who was responsible. Car accident wrongful death claims are filed by immediate, surviving family members of the victim, like their spouse, children, parents or siblings. Wrongful death claims may also be filed by anyone who was financially dependent on the victim.
Wrongful death claims seek compensation for damages such as:
- Medical bills resulting from the crash
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages the victim would have earned for the family
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, guidance, inheritance and benefits
- Other related damages
While no amount of support can replace the life of a loved one, a Seattle wrongful death claim can help a family recover financially as they grieve. If you have lost a loved one, make sure you understand your legal options and seek out guidance to make sure you get the support you need. Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help. Contact us at 888-539-9211.