Proving Fault in a Wrongful Death Claim: What Do I Need?

Categories: Wrongful Death

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Wrongful Death Attorney Compassionately Serving Victim’s Families across Washington

The loss of a loved one can leave you feeling hopeless and confused. You know that someone is responsible, but holding him or her accountable for these negligent actions is not as simple as it sounds. You want justice, and you and your loved ones need compensation to help fill the financial gap associated with your loss.

After a loved one passes due to someone’s negligence, you may qualify for a wrongful death claim in Washington. However, it is best to consult with a wrongful death attorney to have your claim assessed and see if it meets the state’s specific criteria. Not all deaths, even those with negligence, will result in a wrongful death claim.

Even if you know who is responsible, the state requires that you prove such a claim through a preponderance of evidence.

When Can a Wrongful Death Claim be Filed?

In order to file a claim, the death must have been caused by negligence. Also, the situation should be one where, had the victim not passed away, he or she would qualify for filing a personal injury claim. These situations can include:

  • When the victim is intentionally killed.
  • When the victim dies due to malpractice.
  • When a car accident results in death, but was caused by negligence.

These are just a few examples of claims that may be eligible for a wrongful death suit. It is best to speak with an attorney to see if your case qualifies.

Proving Fault in a Wrongful Death Claim

The law requires that you prove that the defendant was negligent or responsible for the death of your loved one. In order to hold him or her liable, you must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have met to file a personal injury claim if he or she would have survived.

This includes showing that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, that the defendant breached this duty, and that the breach was the cause of the victim’s injuries and/or death. You must also show that actual damages resulted from the breach of duty; this latter criterion is usually clear-cut in a wrongful death case.

Most importantly, you must understand what compensation you can claim in a Washington wrongful death case. Your attorney will advise you as to what compensation you may qualify for, such as medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship, etc. Not all cases qualify for multiple types of compensation and the circumstances of the death will determine what compensation a family member may seek.

Contact an Attorney Today

If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, you may qualify for a wrongful death claim. You should first contact the attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown, PLLC to explore your options and see if you have a valid case. Schedule a free consultation by calling 800-925-1875 or requesting more information via our online contact form.