Lakewood Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one can be one of the most devastating moments in your life. In addition to the unspeakable grief, you may be suffering a heavy financial burden at the same time as a loss of income. If your loved one was killed because of another person’s negligence, you may be understandably feeling a great deal of anger as well. While nothing can ever replace the person you’ve lost, you may have legal options to win a significant amount of compensation from the responsible party to help with the costs you’ve borne.
At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we believe that those who end lives through their negligent or intentional actions should be held accountable for the immeasurable damage they do to the victim’s family. With over sixty years serving residents of Lakewood, Tacoma, Olympia, Puyallup, Chehalis, and Bremerton, we have stood by numerous families and fought for the compensation they needed and deserved to help recover from the loss of their loved ones. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, our Lakewood wrongful death lawyers are here to help. Contact us at (253) 588-6696.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death is a broad category of claims that encompasses any kind of accident in which one party’s negligent or intentional act killed another person. Here are some of the most common types of accidents resulting in wrongful death cases:
- Car accidents. We all drive every day, so it’s easy to forget how dangerous cars can be. Even the most careful driver can end up in a fatal accident through no fault of their own.
- Truck accidents. Semi-trucks are among the largest and most powerful vehicles on the road. When a truck driver makes a mistake, it can be other drivers on the road who pay.
- Bicycle accidents. Bikes are one of the most popular ways to get around, but they can come with risks when ridden on the road. The tiniest error by a car or truck driver can result in a wrongful and preventable death.
- Pedestrian accidents. The number of pedestrian deaths each year in Washington is staggering. When car and truck drivers are speeding, distracted, or driving while intoxicated, it’s easy for them to kill a pedestrian.
- Premises liability. If you’re on someone else’s property, they have a duty to keep you safe. Falling objects, dangerous surfaces, and many other hazards can take the lives of those we hold dear.
- Construction and other workplace accidents. Business owners and operators must follow strict rules to keep the workplace safe. But they don’t always do what they should. The result can be tragic and preventable accidents that take lives.
- Animal attacks. When dogs and other animals attack, the results can be fatal. Deep wounds can take a life, and even superficial wounds can result in lethal infections.
Whatever the cause of your loved one’s wrongful death, the Lakewood, Washington wrongful death lawyers The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are here to help. After a free consultation, we will help you explore your legal options.
Who Can Benefit from a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington State?
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be wondering if you are eligible to recover damages in a wrongful death claim. Under Washington law, there are certain guidelines as to who can benefit from a wrongful death claim. The people given priority in wrongful death cases are the following relatives of the deceased person:
- State-registered domestic partner
- Children or stepchildren
If the victim was unmarried and had no state-registered domestic partner, children, or stepchildren, the law allows their parents or siblings to benefit from a wrongful death claim. An officially designated representative of the deceased person’s estate can also always bring a wrongful death claim. If you were related to the person you lost in any of the above ways, or are confused as to how other family members’ relationships may impact your ability to bring a claim, the Lakewood, Washington wrongful death attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are happy to clear up any questions you might have.
The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Washington State
The law also states how long you have to bring a wrongful death claim after the victim has died. This is called the statute of limitations. Under Washington State law, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is three years. This means that from the time your loved one has died (not necessarily from the time of the accident), you have three years to bring a wrongful death claim. However, this does not mean that you should, in fact, wait three years.
A wrongful death claim, just like any other personal injury claim, is best fought and most easily won when the plaintiff acts quickly. It is easiest to gather evidence, including pictures of the scene of the accident and witness statements, as well as to produce medical receipts and other documentation, if you start as soon as possible. If your loved one has been killed in an accident and you are considering legal action, you should contact a lawyer right away to discuss your options.
Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Losing a loved one can impact every area of your life, from your own personal wellbeing to your finances. Fortunately, if you fight and win a wrongful death claim, you can recover damages for most of these costs in a settlement or court judgment. Here are the types of damages you might be awarded:
- Funeral and burial costs. Final expenses can easily become overwhelming for those left behind but filing a claim and obtaining a settlement could help.
- Medical bills leading up to the deceased person’s death. When someone is in an accident, they may need expensive surgeries and treatment. As part of a wrongful death claim, you may be able to seek compensation for these costs.
- The victim’s physical pain and emotional pain and suffering leading up to their death. You may be able to obtain compensation for this type of non-economic loss on your loved one’s behalf in a settlement or award from a jury.
- Your own emotional pain and suffering. When you lose someone close, you may be able to pursue compensation for what you endure when they pass.
- Any loss of or damage to property as a result of the accident. This could include the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles, personal items, and any other property of yours that was involved in the accident.
- Lost income the deceased person would have earned if you are their partner or dependent. The loss of an income can be devastating for family members. Through a wrongful death claim, you may be able to pursue compensation.
- Loss of care and companionship. Those close to us provide us the care and support we need every day. While a wrongful death claim can’t replace this, it could help you gain compensation for your loss.
- Other miscellaneous costs such as transportation. There may be other incidental expenses that don’t fall neatly into any other category, such as mileage for doctor visits, or care in the home, if your loved one’s injuries required it.
Some of these damages depend on your relationship to the victim and what receipts and other records you are able to produce. Whatever the circumstances of your loss, the Lakewood, Washington wrongful death lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs can help you decide which damages to seek in your particular case, and will immediately start to fight aggressively to help you recover those damages.
How Could a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
When someone close passes away in an accident, you could lose the support and care that you rely on every day. The experience is painful and can feel overwhelming, especially when you need to bring a wrongful death claim against those responsible. From an initial consultation to the conclusion of a case, a wrongful death lawyer from The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs can help with everything a claim needs. We can:
- Work with experts to understand what happened and who was at fault
- Gather evidence to build the strongest claim possible
- Answer your questions about your rights and the rights of the person who passed away
- File a wrongful death claim and pursue compensation under the law
- Negotiate with insurance companies and those responsible for the death for a settlement
- Bring a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible
These are only a few of the important ways we could help. Contact us at (253) 588-6696 as soon as you can following an accident for the legal support and care that you deserve.
At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, our compassion for our clients comes first. We understand that nothing can ever replace your loved one. However, as you go through this trying time, we are eager to do whatever we can to help alleviate the financial burden of your loss. As soon as you are ready, you should consider your legal options.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, the Lakewood, Washington wrongful death lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are here to help. From our first, free consultation to the conclusion of your case, whether in or out of court, we will take every step along the way with care for your family and fierce dedication to help you win the compensation you need and deserve. Over the course of more than sixty years, our firm has built the experience and know-how to fight effectively for our clients in any type of wrongful death case. Don’t hesitate. For more information on how we can help increase your chances of winning compensation, call us now at (253) 588-6696.