It is impossible to prepare for the sudden loss of a loved family member. The loss can be even more devastating if it occurs because of another person’s reckless or negligent actions. After such a traumatic event, it can feel impossible to make sound decisions.
While civil action may be the last thing on your mind at this time, financial recourse could provide your family with financial security during this difficult time. In these overwhelming times, the family should reach out to an experienced Kirkland wrongful death lawyer to help them through the process. Our compassionate attorneys are here for you and personally understand how difficult this situation can be.
Which Surviving Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The Revised Code of Washington §4.20.010 states that beneficiaries may sue to recover losses when an individual causes the wrongful death of another through unlawful, wrongful, or negligent actions. The total award would cover surviving family members’ economic and non-economic losses. Under the RCW §4.20.020, only the following survivors may file a wrongful death action:
- Spouse or state-registered domestic partner
- Children, including step-children
- Parents or siblings of the spouse (in cases where there is no living spouse or children)
Additionally, parents or legal guardians could file a wrongful death civil action if the deceased were a minor. A caring lawyer in Kirkland could help prepare the wrongful death claim and ensure they file within state statute’s guidelines.
Time Frame to File a Wrongful Death Civil Claim
Per the RCW §4.16.080, the survivors in a wrongful death claim must file the action within three years of the injuries and resulting death. If they do not file the civil case within the statute’s guidelines, they may lose the opportunity to recover damages for losses.
Recoverable Damages in an Untimely Passing Lawsuit
When the court awards compensation in wrongful death claims, they consider the surviving family members’ total losses. A judge will consider out-of-pocket financial and non-economic losses when calculating the total award amount. They will also consider the age of the deceased and the circumstances around their accident and injuries. A seasoned Kirkland wrongful death compensation attorney could help the family get all the documentation they need to establish damages for the court.
Medical Bills and Expenses for the Deceased
If the deceased received treatment prior to their untimely death, the surviving family could seek compensation for the resulting medical bills.
Lost wages and Future Earning Capacity
In cases where surviving family members relied on the income or other benefits of the deceased, the court would calculate the total financial amount for the support they lost. A judge would calculate the award amount for current and future damages using paystubs and financial documentation.
Funerals and burial costs are expensive, and a court will award compensation to cover these damages. The surviving members should not have to foot the bill when they lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligent actions.
Non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit could cover the surviving family members’ intangible losses because of the death. A court may award compensation for pain, suffering, mental anguish, companionship, loss of guidance, etc.
Call a Seasoned Wrongful Death Attorney in Kirkland Today
Unexpectedly losing a loved one because of another person’s reckless or careless actions can be confusing and heart wrenching. Our experienced Kirkland wrongful death lawyers could answer your questions and handle the legal work necessary to file the action so you can focus on grieving your loved one. Call our office today to book your initial consultation.