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After The Wrongful Death Of A Loved One, Call Pendergast Law

Fatal auto accidents cause devastation in such a short amount of time. In just a flash, victims are lost forever, and the lives of loved ones are irrevocably altered. What makes these incidents especially tragic is that, for the most part, they are preventable. Driving is inherently a dangerous activity that requires focus, discipline, and good decision-making skills. Those who choose not to strictly follow road rules and regulations put not only themselves but others at risk of being injured, or worse, killed. Such reckless and/or negligent people can be held liable if their actions have resulted in injuries and losses for others.

Washington Auto Accident Wrongful Death Recoveries

  • $1,925,000 recovery in a wrongful death claim for fatal head-on accident outside of Duvall.
  • $1,625,000 recovery in a wrongful death claim for the family of a man killed as the result of a highway design defect.
  • $460,695 recovery in a wrongful death claim for fatal traffic accident in Woodinville.

View more Case Results here.

If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, you should consult with the compassionate Seattle attorneys at Pendergast Law. We will take care of your legal matters, fighting hard to help you get a fair settlement that will pay for medical and funeral expenses, make up for lost income, and compensate you for your pain and suffering

Let us handle everything so you can concentrate on your emotional recovery. For a FREE comprehensive consultation, call us today at 888-539-9211.

I was devastated when I lost my husband in a car accident, there was just so much to deal with. Gratefully, a friend referred me to Pendergast Law. Mr. Pendergast came to Oregon to meet with me and handled everything, with such care and concern, even referring me to other business and estate attorneys that I needed. I don’t know what I would have done without their wonderful help and still talk to them often.
– Billie M. from Google

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death involves the loss of life due to the negligent, reckless, and/or deliberate behavior of another party. In order for an attorney to establish a valid Washington wrongful death claim, he or she has to prove the following points in court:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the victim
  • The defendant’s actions or lack thereof constituted a breach of that duty
  • The defendant’s breach of duty contributed directly to the victim’s death
  • The death occurred in this incident

In a fatal vehicle accident case, the claimant would have to establish that the defendant failed to drive in a safe and reasonable manner and consequently caused the crash that led to the death of the victim.

Examples Of Driver Negligence

The state of Washington defines negligence as the failure to use ordinary care, which simply means how a reasonably careful person would act in the same situation. If you can prove that the person who caused the death of your loved one was behaving in a reckless or dangerous way, they can be required to pay compensation for your loss. Examples of driver negligence include:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, eating, talking, applying makeup, changing the radio, and talking on the cellphone are all activities that can lead to a fatal accident.
  • Driving without a valid license – This demonstrates a lack of concern for state law, and it could also be an indication that the driver’s privileges have been revoked for previous infractions.
  • Failure to yield – Running a red light or a stop sign is a major cause of intersection accidents in Washington.
  • Speeding or aggressive driving – Speed limits are set based on safety issues, the presence of children, and other factors to keep us all safe. When drivers ignore these laws, they put everyone around them at risk.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Alcohol and other controlled substances such as sedatives, sleeping pills, opioids such as fentanyl, and marijuana impair the driver’s judgment, perception, and reaction time, making it far more likely that an accident will occur.
  • Hit-and-run accidents – This is the obvious example where the driver violates the duty of care standard by not even waiting around to see what happened to the other driver or trying to get help.

Who Can File A Claim After A Deadly Crash?

The first thing you should know when it comes to your wrongful death case is if you qualify under state requirements. According to Washington state law, the following parties may file a wrongful death claim:

  • The representative of the victim’s estate
  • The spouse or officially recognized domestic partner of the victim
  • The child, children, or stepchildren of the victim.

If none of these parties are present, the victim’s parents or siblings may file a wrongful death claim.

Recovering Damages In Your Wrongful Death Claim

The damages, along with their recipients, are determined by the court based on a number of factors, such as the relationship between the recipient and the victim, the victim’s net income available to the recipient, the value of the victim’s services, and the life expectancy of all parties.

  • Spouse: The surviving spouse of the victim may receive compensation for the loss of companionship and protection as well as for pain and suffering.
  • Children: The minor children of the victim may receive compensation for the loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance, along with pain and suffering.
  • Parent: Both parents of a deceased minor child may seek compensation for pain and suffering.
  • All: Economic damages, such as medical costs, funeral expenses, and loss of support and services, may be recovered.

However, Washington is one of the few states in the nation that does not recognize punitive damages.

Proving Fault In Washington

A car accident that took the life of a loved one may have many causes. To determine liability for the car accident, competent and skilled Seattle wrongful death lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation. Even if fault appears obvious, you will still need to prove liability through preserving evidence and building an effective case.

Whatever the causes of the accident that claimed the life of a loved one, you may be entitled to financial compensation for you and your family from one or more responsible parties, which may include:

  • The driver of the car your loved one was traveling in if they were a passenger
  • The driver of the car which caused the accident
  • Public or private officials responsible for maintaining a safe roadway that is free of hazards and debris
  • A mechanic responsible for poorly functioning brakes, steering, lights, or other safety features
  • Manufacturers of faulty parts or equipment that led to the crash

We’re On Your Side

Having a Seattle car accident lawyer by your side will help alleviate the strain of dealing with insurance companies that often delay or deny rightful claims or offer low settlement amounts that require you to fight back.

With the assistance of the experienced Seattle auto accident legal team at Pendergast Law, you can start putting your life back together. For more information about our firm and the services we provide, call 888-539-9211 today for your confidential free consultation.

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