Dealing with a loved one’s death is tragic and difficult no matter the circumstances. However, you’ll have a much rougher time when you also have a legal battle on your hands.
There are close to 170,000 unintentional injury deaths each year. If you have a loved one who has died in one of these incidents and you’d like to prove fault, you can hire a lawyer that can help you recover damages.
What should you about these cases if you’re in Washinton? Do you qualify?
Here are some points that you need to know about handling wrongful death in Washington.
What Should I Know About Wrongful Death in Washington?
Like other areas of personal injury law, wrongful death cases are decided on the state level. Each state has different rules and qualifications for its wrongful death litigation.
Consider these tips when you’re putting together a wrongful death case in Washington:
1. Make Sure You qualify as a Person That Can File
Make certain that you’re one of the legal beneficiaries who can file a wrongful death case. In the state of Washington, the people who can recover damages from wrongful death cases include spouses, immediate family members, financial dependents, life partners, and people with business interests.
Parents who lose a baby wrongful can file a suit. When you know you’re eligible to receive wrongful death benefits you’ll be able to move forward with your case.
2. Understand the Baseline of What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Case in Washington
So now that you understand qualifiers, you should learn what constitutes a wrongful death case. Some examples of wrongful death situations include a situation where a person intentionally kills another, medical malpractice deaths, and accidental deaths that happened due to another person’s negligence.
Understand which category your case falls within so that you can respond accordingly.
3. Get to Know the Burdens of Proof
There are always burdens of proof you need to get to know when filing a case. The main burdens of proof you need to satisfy include naming the correct party, proving that they failed to show a reasonable duty of care, and that that they directly led to your loved one’s death.
Each of these matters will require you to scour the many details that will help to prove the case.
4. Schedule a Free Consult With a Lawyer to Get Their Expert Opinion
The most important thing that you need to do is find an attorney that can represent your interests. These attorneys should be skilled at wrongful death cases so that you get a settlement or win any contested case.
Start by getting some referrals so that you know you’re getting sound legal advice.
5. Research How Much You’re Owed for Your Case
Get to know every detail of the case so you can learn the dollar amount that you and your attorney firm should be pressing for. These cases can easily carry price tags of six or seven figures.
The clearer you are on how much your case is worth, the more prepared you will be to take action.
6. Assess the Case and What Kind of Damages Are Applicable
You and your lawyer need to research the many different kinds of damages that are present in your case.
In addition to the money that covers the price of the funeral, some examples of damages you might incur include your loved one’s lost income, pain and suffering, medical bill expenses, property damaged, and lost future earnings.
Each wrongful death case is different so you’ll need to thoroughly assess the details and take a long-term approach when considering the damages.
7. Know the Statute of Limitations
You always have to stay ahead of the statute of limitations in order to get the best outcome for your wrongful death case. The statute of limitations for wrongful death litigation in Washington is 3 years.
This means that you lose the right to a lawsuit or settlement if you wait any longer than 3 years from the day of the incident to file it. Your lawyer should stay abreast of this and have this clock at the forefront of their mind.
Keep in mind that once you file, you’ll still have plenty of time to acquire evidence that will resolve this case.
8. Don’t Jeopardize Your Case
Once you know that you’re going to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important that you limit any communication about the case to you and your lawyer. You might receive calls from the press regarding the situation. Refer any questions to your lawyer and never make a comment.
Refrain from posting about the issue on social media in any way that discusses legal implications. If the other party reaches out to you, limit the conversation at once and let them know that communication should happen through lawyers.
You have too much to lose in this situation, and the last thing you’d want to do is risk not getting what you deserve.
Put Together a Sound Wrongful Death Case
The tips above can help you file wrongful death in Washington when a situation arises. While filing a lawsuit or getting a settlement won’t take away the pain, it will help you get justice.
Most importantly, you’ll be compensated so that you can pick up the pieces from this tragedy without financial hardship.
Let the attorneys at Sweet Lawyers help you with your case. Take the time to chat with us online, or call or text us at 1-800-674-7854.