Compassionate Representation For Bereaved Families In Tacoma
Wrongful death is a civil action in which damages are sought against a party for causing someone’s death. While no amount of money can compensate you for your loss, a wrongful death claim is a way to seek justice for your loved one and help provide for your family’s future. In the state of Washington, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim for the benefit of surviving family members, which can include parents, spouses, children, and any other dependents.
If someone else caused the death of your loved one through negligence, please reach out to the Tacoma wrongful death attorneys at Pendergast Law. Our legal team has been filing claims for Washington residents after tragic events for nearly 30 years and can provide compassionate and understanding legal advice during a difficult time. Call us toll-free at 888-539-9211 to discuss your case.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought in a civil court when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person, according to the state of Washington’s wrongful death laws. A representative of the deceased estate can file a claim to award damages to a surviving spouse, registered domestic partner, and children (including stepchildren) of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse, state-registered domestic partner, child, or stepchild, a wrongful death claim can benefit the parents or siblings of the deceased. Compensation sought in such a claim may include economic and non-economic damages suffered by the beneficiaries.
When Can You File A Wrongful Death Claim In Washington?
Wrongful death claims are often the result of a serious accident that cost an individual their life. The cases are often filed under the same basis as which a personal injury claim would have been filed if the deceased had survived. To be eligible to file a claim, the deceased party must have suffered an injury as a result of another individual who acted negligently, recklessly, or carelessly, and that injury must have led to the deceased’s passing.
A family member can file a wrongful death claim in cases that include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boat accidents
Damages In A Wrongful Death Claim
Damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim can vary depending on the facts in the case, but they may include:
- Final medical expenses of the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages or income the deceased would have been likely to earn had he or she survived
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person as a result of the final injury or illness
- Property damage costs
- Loss of companionship, care and other intangible benefits family members would have received from the deceased person had he or she survived
Under state law, there are special rules for the wrongful death of a child, according to RCW 4.24.010. Only a parent or legal guardian who has regularly contributed to the support of a minor child or had significant involvement in the life of an adult child can file a claim for death or injury of that child. Damages that may be sought in such an action may include:
- The child’s healthcare expenses
- Loss of the child’s financial support
- Loss of the child’s services
- Loss of the child’s emotional support
- Loss of love and companionship of the child
- Injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship
Pursuing Compensation After A Tragic Event
After the loss of a loved one, you need time to grieve and deal with matters such as funeral arrangements and handling the deceased person’s estate. Our Tacoma personal injury lawyers at Pendergast Law can provide compassionate representation and handle your wrongful death claim while you focus on recovering from your loss.
Our firm has nearly 30 years in practice, and our founding attorney is a member of both the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. With our skill and expertise, we can launch an in-depth investigation into your case and advocate for the compensation that you and your family deserve. If you have lost a loved one through someone else’s negligence, contact us toll-free at 888-539-9211 to arrange for a consultation to discuss a civil claim for wrongful death.