According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the fourth leading cause of death in Washington is accidents, following on the heels of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Of course, not all of these accidents are caused by the negligence of others, but when they are – for instance, in a vehicular accident, during a crime, or because of medical malpractice – the surviving family members can seek compensation for their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death law is complex, and cases require thorough investigation. It’s crucial to hire an accidental death lawyer in your area who knows all the local laws and procedures. In that way, you’re confident that you will receive representation that is trustworthy.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or criminal actions, and you’re located in Sumner or Puyallup, Washington, or throughout the counties of King, Pierce, and Thurston, contact the Terry Law Firm, P.S.
Attorney Scott Terry has been practicing law for more than three decades. With his in-depth knowledge and experience in the field, you can gain peace of mind knowing you’ve been put in good hands. Attorney Scott Terry has helped many clients dealing with wrongful death cases like yours before. When you hire him as your wrongful death lawyer, you will get a local professional who will not only answer all of your questions but also advise how you should proceed with your case.
Filing a lawsuit won’t bring your loved one back, but it will hold the responsible party accountable so that they may think twice about doing what they did again. It also can recover compensation for medical, funeral, and burial expenses, along with recompense for loss of income, loss of support, and loss of love and companionship.
Washington Revised Code 4.20.010 states that a wrongful death occurs when “the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” In a sense, a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit with the exception that the injured person didn’t survive. Wrongful death cases include:
Negligence-based incidents, such as car accidents
An intentional act, including the commission of a crime
You have three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In some states, the surviving spouse and family members can directly file wrongful death lawsuits, but in Washington, the personal representative named in the deceased’s will or trust must file the action on behalf of the surviving family members. If the deceased left no will or trust, the court will appoint a representative, often from among the surviving family members.
If the deceased is a child under 18, a parent or legal guardian can file the action, but only if the child has no surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children. If the child is 18 or older, the same restrictions apply, but the parent or legal guardian filing or joining in the action must have had a “significant involvement” in the life of the adult child. Significant involvement includes financial, emotional, and psychological support.
A wrongful death lawsuit can result in payment for losses and “damages” covering:
The deceased’s medical bills associated with the wrongful death
Funeral and burial expenses
Lost financial support resulting from the loved one’s early death
The value of lost household services the deceased would have provided if alive
The loss of love, care, affection, companionship, and training the deceased would have provided
Since wrongful death cases are complicated, it’s important to get the best representation possible. Attorney Scott Terry will help build your case and ensure that the fault in your loved one’s death is clear. The Terry Law Firm, P.S. serves clients through Sumner, Puyallup, Kent, and Auburn, and throughout the counties of King, Pierce, and Thurston. Contact him for an initial consultation if you’ve lost a loved one to the negligence of another.