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

Categories: Wrongful Death

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Wrongful Death Lawyer 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 Washington 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 a personal injury and wrongful death lawyer 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 personal injury 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 a Personal Injury Lawyer in Washington 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 Washington wrongful death attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, 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.

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Matt Conner

Matt Conner, a distinguished attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, brings a unique blend of financial and legal expertise to his practice. Graduating with a double major in mathematics and economics from Willamette University, he initially honed his analytical skills as an economist for the State of Oregon. Specializing in personal injury law, Matt is adept at handling a wide array of cases, including multiparty litigation against large entities, and claims involving gun violence, sexual and police misconduct, car accidents, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death. Admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2014, he is known for his tenacious advocacy and deep compassion for clients facing life-altering challenges. His approach is not just about legal representation; it’s about restoring lives.