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Bellingham Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is a painful experience, especially if the death occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You and your family may grapple with severe emotional harm, as well as find yourselves struggling with final medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, and a loss of financial support.
You can claim compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death through a lawsuit in Washington civil court, and Colburn Law can help. Our firm has assisted thousands of clients across Washington state in their legal actions, including wrongful death cases.
- Our personal injury attorneys are just as comfortable in the courtroom as they are at the negotiating table. We will not hesitate to move your case to trial when necessary.
- We understand that legal fees can be expensive — which is why we operate on a contingency fee basis. You do not have to pay legal fees unless we secure a settlement on your behalf.
- Our firm has significant experience assisting Washington clients with many different types of lawsuits, including wrongful death litigation. We understand how the court system works and can guide you through each step of the lawsuit process.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death?
Washington state law considers a death to be a wrongful death if someone else’s negligence, wrongful act, or default caused the deceased to pass away. One way you can determine if the death of your loved one was wrongful is if he or she would have had grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived the incident.
Many different accidents and acts of violence can lead to wrongful deaths, including motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, abuse and neglect, and slip and fall cases. If you are still unsure if your case qualifies for a claim, speak to a Bellingham wrongful death attorney at Colburn Law today.
Under Washington state law, only certain individuals with a relationship to the deceased can file a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf. To file, you will need to be one of the following individuals.
- A personal representative of the estate of the deceased
- The spouse or registered domestic partner of the deceased
- One of the deceased’s children or stepchildren
- A parent, grandparent, or sibling of the deceased if none of the above individuals exist
How Can You Recover Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
By successfully proving that the at-fault party’s negligence or recklessness led to the death of your loved one, you can claim the compensation you and your family needs to recover. You can only claim certain types of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, and the damages can be economic out of pocket costs and non-economic emotional and intangible impacts. Common types of damages in Washington wrongful death cases include the following.
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs related to the deceased’s final injury
- Lost wages and loss of financial support and income
- Property damage
- Final pain and suffering of the deceased
- Loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits
Do You Have Grounds to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
To successfully prove a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to establish that the person you are holding liable in the claim breached his or her duty of care to your loved one. You and your attorney will work together to establish the following four points.
- Duty of care: The person responsible for the wrongful death must have owed a duty of care to your loved one at the time of the incident. This will depend on the circumstances of your case.
- Breach of care: The at-fault party must have breached his or her duty of care to your loved one at the time of his or her death. This element will also depend on the circumstances of your case.
- Direct causation: The at-fault party’s breach of care must have directly caused your loved one’s death. You may need to provide medical records and expert testimony to prove this element.
- Damages: Your loved one and your family must suffer from damages you can collect in the lawsuit as a result of the negligence. As discussed above, these damages can be economic and non-economic.
Contact Colburn Law Today
If you are struggling with the aftermath of a loved one’s wrongful death, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a lawsuit in Washington civil court. Colburn Law is here to help guide you through the process and claim the damages you and your family need to recover. Contact Colburn Law today to discuss your legal options and to begin your next steps.