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 and a loss of income. If your loved one died because of another person’s negligence, you may understandably feel a great deal of anger. Nothing can ever replace the person you’ve lost. But you may have legal options to win significant compensation from the responsible party for your losses.
At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we believe in holding accountable those who end lives through their wrongful actions. With over sixty years of serving residents of:
We have stood by numerous families. We’ve fought for the compensation they needed and deserved to recover from their losses. 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 encompassing any accident in which one party’s behavior kills another person. Here are some of the most common types of accidents resulting in wrongful death cases:
- Car accidents. Many of us drive daily, 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, other drivers on the road often 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, they can easily kill a pedestrian.
- Premises liability. When you’re on someone else’s property, they are legally responsible for your safety. Falling objects, dangerous surfaces, and other property 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 at 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 wonder if you can recover damages in a wrongful death claim. Under Washington law, only certain parties can benefit from a wrongful death claim. The people with priority in wrongful death cases are the following relatives of the deceased person:
- State-registered domestic partner
- Children or stepchildren
The law allows a victim’s parents or siblings to benefit from a wrongful death claim if the victim wasn’t married and had no partner or children. An officially designated representative of the deceased person’s estate can also always bring a wrongful death claim.
To learn more about your ability to bring a claim, contact the Lakewood, Washington, wrongful death attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs. We 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 must bring a wrongful death claim after the victim dies. Under Washington State law, the time limit for a wrongful death lawsuit is three years. This means you have three years to bring a wrongful death claim from when your loved one dies (not necessarily from the time of the accident). However, this does not mean that you should wait three years.
Like any other personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim is best fought and most easily won when the plaintiff acts quickly. It is easiest to gather evidence and preserve documentation if you start immediately. If your loved one died in a preventable accident, and you are considering legal action, contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your options.
Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Losing a loved one can impact every area of your life, from your well-being 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 could recover:
- 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 from before 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 and emotional pain and suffering led up to their death. You could obtain compensation for this non-economic loss on your loved one’s behalf in a settlement or award from a jury.
- Your 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 includes the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles and any other property that sustained damage in the accident.
- Lost income the deceased person would have earned if you are their partner or dependent. A loss of 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 with 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. This includes mileage for doctor’s visits or at-home care if your loved one’s injuries require it.
Some of these damages depend on your relationship with the victim and what receipts and other records you can produce. Whatever the circumstances of your loss, the Lakewood, Washington lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs can help. We’ll determine which damages to seek in your case and fight aggressively to recover them.
How Could a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
When someone close passes away in an accident, you could lose the support and care you rely on daily. The experience is painful and can feel overwhelming. This is especially true when you have a wrongful death claim against those responsible. From your initial consultation to the conclusion of your case, a wrongful death lawyer from The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs can help with everything your 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 possible following an accident for the legal support and care 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, it would be best if you considered 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, we will support you every step of the way. Our attorneys have the experience and know-how to fight effectively for our clients in any wrongful death case.