A death has devastating effects on surviving loved ones, especially when the death is untimely. While those left behind are dealing with emotional grief, they must also struggle with the financial hardships that death brings. Funeral expenses, lost wages, and lost benefits can all impact a person’s financial stability.
If a death was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person or party, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed to seek compensation for resulting losses. The wrongful death lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC can assist those in Bellevue, WA, and surrounding areas in getting a wrongful death settlement that adequately covers the full extent of their damages.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim can be filed when the deliberate or negligent actions of another person or party directly results in a person’s death. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include car accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and slips and falls.
Each state has its own unique specifications on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Washington, a lawsuit must be filed by a single person who is appointed to represent the deceased’s estate, commonly referred to as the executor of the estate. The executor represents parties of interest who have suffered financial and emotional losses as a result of the death. Potential parties of interest in a wrongful death suit include:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Parents of the deceased
- Financial dependents
Settlement vs. Court
A wrongful death lawsuit can be settled through a court trial or in a pre-trial settlement. A settlement can prevent the need for a trial, provided that the claimant and defendant come to a settlement that is agreed on by both sides.
Settlements can be beneficial to both parties. Not only is this a faster method of settling a wrongful death case, but it can save the defendant the possible embarrassment of a public hearing, and it can save our clients from an emotionally draining trial.
Wrongful death settlements are settled through mediation or arbitration.
- Mediation: In mediation, a non-biased mediator communicates with both parties as they prepare and suggest an appropriate settlement. A mediator can make recommendations to each side, but they do not make any judgements.
- Arbitration: In arbitration, a judge or legal authority listens to each side’s case through a series of meetings. Based on the information provided, the arbiter makes a ruling in the case. If the arbitration is binding, neither side can appeal the ruling of the arbiter.
If a settlement is reached, there are two payment options for our Bellevue clients to consider. The most common option is for payment to be provided in a lump sum. Receiving the entire payout at once can be beneficial if costly medical bills were incurred before the death, if funeral expenses were high, or if there is debt that needs to be paid off.
Another payment option is a structured settlement. A structured settlement sets out a payment schedule. Depending on how the settlement is structured, the claimant receives monthly or yearly payments until the entire settlement is paid off. A structured settlement may be a good option for loved ones who need to replace a source of income, or those with a large financial debt, such as a mortgage.
Our attorneys have settled many wrongful death suits. We help our clients explore all of the options available to them so that they walk away with a settlement that is most beneficial to their unique situation.
If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal options, call (425) 576-8150 and schedule a personal consultation with one of our lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC.