Car accidents are a leading cause of personal injury across the nation. At their worst, car accidents can lead to the loss of life. If a person is killed in a car accident that is caused by another person’s reckless or negligent actions, it can be classified as wrongful death.
Surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to seek financial compensation for damages stemming from a loved one’s death. The wrongful death lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, will fight to get our Kirkland, WA, clients the damages they are due following a car accident resulting in wrongful death.
Demonstrating Wrongful Death in a Car Accident
In the state of Washington, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person that is caused by “the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” Under these terms, if a person is killed in a car accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, as long as it can be shown that:
- Another person or party was at fault for the accident (whether or not the accident was the direct result of reckless or negligent actions)
- The car accident was directly responsible for the deceased’s death
- The deceased has surviving beneficiaries who have suffered monetary or non-monetary losses as the result of the death
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death laws vary slightly from one state to another. In the state of Washington, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the personal representative (or the executor) of the deceased’s estate. The personal representative may be a family member, friend, or loved one of the deceased; or any other responsible party who has been appointed by the court to represent the estate.
A wrongful death claim may be filed on behalf of the estate, and also on behalf of a surviving spouse or state-registered domestic partner, or surviving children or step-children. In the event that the deceased does not have a surviving spouse or children, damages can be sought on behalf of the deceased person’s parents or siblings.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, our Kirkland lawyers will consider all potential avenues of compensation. Wrongful death suits generally cover many areas of loss because the personal representative of the estate is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased, as well as on behalf of surviving beneficiaries. Damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death suit involving a car accident include:
- Any medical bills associated with accident injuries
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased as a result of injuries
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income or benefits
- Costs of damaged property
- Loss of consortium, or loss of care and companionship, for surviving loved ones
In Washington, any wrongful death damages will be paid to the deceased’s estate. The value of the estate will then be paid out to beneficiaries per the probate court.
Contact Our Practice
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be due significant financial compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal options regarding a wrongful death lawsuit, contact our Kirkland legal practice, Quick Law Group, PLLC, online or call (425) 576-8150 to set up a personal consultation.