SPOKANE VALLEY, Washington—Albrecht Law, PLLC founder, Matthew Albrecht, presented at the American Bar Association’s The Next Generation and the Future of Business Litigation conference, held…
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When someone you love suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, it can turn your entire life upside down. What makes your situation even more tragic is knowing that your loved one might still be here if it weren’t for someone else’s negligence. At Albrecht Law PLLC, we understand that losing a loved one in a preventable accident is a family’s worst nightmare. Although nothing can take away the pain of your loss, we may be able to help you achieve some closure and financial stability by filing a wrongful death claim or pursuing a lawsuit against the negligent party. An experienced wrongful death attorney can guide you through this difficult time and help you seek appropriate compensation following the loss of your loved one.
A wrongful death claim is a civil action asserted by a deceased person’s family against a party whose negligence or misconduct led to the death of their loved one. The wrongful death statute in the state of Washington defines wrongful death as the “death of a person caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.”
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you navigate the process of filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit in state or federal court. To prove liability, Matt Albrecht and his legal team can provide the following services:
- Perform an accident reconstruction
- Gather and preserve evidence
- Collect witness statements
- Collect testimonies from various expert witnesses
- Request an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
A wrongful death settlement may include medical and funeral expenses, as well as financial compensation for various other types of damages suffered by a victim’s family because a wrongful death occurs.
Contact Albrecht Law PLLC today to schedule a free consultation and begin planning your case strategy in pursuit of a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Washington.
We Wrote The Book on Wrongful Death Cases in Washington
Providing Compassionate Support and Excellent Legal Representation for Grieving Families Throughout Central and Eastern Washington
We help people in these unfortunate situations every day, and we are prepared to guide you through every step of navigating this difficult time. Though we can’t help the loved one(s) you have lost, we can hold the appropriate parties responsible and seek monetary compensation for you and your family that can represent some degree of justice in the aftermath of a deadly accident. Contact us so we can answer your questions regarding the next steps.
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Spokane, Washington
A wrongful death claim can arise from a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to:
- Traffic accidents (car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents)
- Distracted driving (drunk driving accidents, speeding, etc.)
- Hit-and-Run Accidents
- ATV & UTV Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Train Accidents (Subway Accidents)
- Rideshare Accidents
- Aviation Accidents (including airplane and helicopter accidents)
- Other Public Transportation Accidents
- Defective Products
- Premises Liability Accidents
- Negligent Security
- Industrial Accidents
- Construction Site Accidents
- Work-Related Accidents (including occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances)
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Fires (Burn Injuries)
- Criminal Actions (including blatant violence, shootings, or stabbings)
Contact Albrecht Law PLLC today if you have lost a loved one due to another person’s carelessness in the state of Washington.
What Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case?
Surviving family members of the deceased may be able to seek “pecuniary” or financial injury compensation through a wrongful death action. A judge or jury will calculate the amount of financial loss by taking into account several factors including: the age, character and condition of the deceased person, his/her earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence, as well as the circumstances of the beneficiaries of the estate.
The following wrongful death damages may apply in your case:
- Lost wages and income that the deceased would likely have earned if death hadn’t occurred
- Medical expenses or property damage associated with the death
- Loss of love, affection, care, service, companionship, consortium and other intangible losses that decedent would have provided to the beneficiaries
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Children’s loss of a parental figure
- Pain and suffering
An attorney experienced in wrongful death actions can assess both economic and noneconomic damages that may be available under Washington state law.
Who is Eligible to Recover Wrongful Death Damages?
In Washington state, the “Wrongful Death” and “Survival” statutes outline certain family members who are eligible to recover for the wrongful death of a loved one. If the deceased was an adult, the first eligible tier of beneficiaries would be a surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, child or stepchild.
If there is no spouse or children who were left behind, a second tier of beneficiaries for wrongful death claims would become eligible which would include a parent or sibling who was financially dependent on the deceased. First and second tier beneficiaries have a cause of action for wrongful death as well as survival action with pre-death pain and suffering damages.
If the deceased was a child, you can recover under RCW 4.24 — which permits a parent to recover for the loss of a child.
An attorney experienced in Washington wrongful death cases can advise surviving family members regarding the steps to follow in order to pursue a wrongful death action and the damages they each may seek in accordance with state law in Washington.
The Role of the Personal Representative in a Wrongful Death
When someone dies in Washington state, the law requires that a personal representative is appointed to manage the deceased’s person’s estate. A personal representative may be a beneficiary of the estate but due to potential conflicts of interests. It is preferable for this person to be an “uninterested” third party that has no personal stake in the decision of the case.
A personal representative participates in a probate action or legal proceeding to make sure assets are collected and liabilities are paid for, and assets are distributed to beneficiaries according to instructions set forth in a will (if one exists) or Washington probate law. If the deceased was killed due to negligence, the personal representative is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s family.
The majority of wrongful death suits are settled without going to court, but if the negligent party is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, we will proceed to trial. Coordinate with your wrongful death attorney regarding matters involving the deceased person’s estate.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Washington Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim in Washington must be filed within three years of the date of the person’s death. If your claim is not filed or settled within this three-year statute of limitations, you will be prohibited from recovering compensation for your losses. The sooner you take legal action, the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case. If you wait too long, it will be harder to preserve evidence, and witnesses’ memories can fade over time.
More than one claim may be pursued in the same case. For instance, each surviving beneficiary in the victim’s family may seek to recover separate damages based on the relationship. A spouse may pursue damages for the destruction of the marital relationship while each surviving child may recover damages for the loss of the parent-child relationship.
We can guide you in assessing the range of claims you and your family members may bring if you are considering a Washington wrongful death lawsuit. You should begin pursuing a wrongful death claim very quickly following the victim’s death, as evidence is often fleeting, and this also to complete the necessary steps to file a wrongful death claim in advance of the time limit imposed by the statute of limitations.
Contact Albrecht Law PLLC in Spokane, Washington Today Regarding Your Wrongful Death Case
Our team of dedicated wrongful death attorneys has a strong track record of favorable settlements and jury verdicts for survivors of wrongful death victims in Grant County, Adams County, and Spokane County. You can count on us to fight tirelessly on your behalf to hold the negligent party accountable and secure justice for your family and your loved one.
Albrecht Law PLLC has the investigative capabilities and resources to prove liability and build a strong claim if you seek to file a wrongful death lawsuit. We can also protect you from an insurance company’s attempts to minimize your wrongful death claim or deny you a fair recovery.
Call us today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with one of our highly skilled wrongful death attorneys. After a careful evaluation of your wrongful death case, we will let you know what your legal options are and what to expect from the legal process. If you decide to hire us following your free consultation, you won’t be charged any upfront legal fees unless and until we collect compensation on your behalf — whether it be an out-of-court settlement or a successful recovery from a lawsuit.
Our offices are conveniently located in Spokane. Call Albrecht Law PLLC today at (509) 495-1246 (509) 495-1246, or send us a message through our online form, and we will be in touch with you shortly. We are here to serve you.
Albrecht Law PLLC — Our Clients Are More Than Just Cases