The most devastating of all personal injury claims are wrongful death claims. The suffering that follows the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult in any circumstance, but it can be made worse with the knowledge that the accident was due to the avoidable negligence of another.
At Russell and HIll, PLLC, our Spokane attorneys operate with your needs in mind. Our goal is to relieve as much of the stress as possible by keeping you informed, carefully handling your case, and understanding your emotional and physical situation so as to best represent you.As a surviving relative, it may be appropriate and reasonable for you to take action to receive compensation for such grievances. In the scenarios of a wrongful death, it is recommended that an understanding legal representative be sought to handle the situation with clarity and skill. Many families have benefited from having a Spokane attorney to help them as the cause of death and other variables of the accident are considered. They can also represent your loved one during legal proceedings and help to file a wrongful death personal injury claim.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is when immediate family or relatives of a deceased individual bring a wrongful death claim as a civil action against the party liable for causing the individual’s death.
What Happens When a Spokane Wrongful Death Claim is Filed?
If the accident that caused the individual’s death was the fault of another party, then the party at-fault is liable to make monetary compensation to the estate or legal beneficiaries of the deceased. The damages should be equitable to compensate the life lost and any expenses inurred as a result.
The at-fault party is expected to compensate the family or the estate’s financial injury that resulted due to the accident and wrongful death. The damages for which compensation may sought include the pain and suffering of the victim up to the time of death, medical expenses, lost future earnings, loss of consortium for loved ones, and funeral and burial expenses.
Formulating a substantive and persuasive claim can be a difficult task. A Spokane wrongful death attorney from Russell and Hill, PLLC can help to formulate a claim and hold the guilty party accountable for the compensation they owe.
Who is Qualified to Claim Damages as a Beneficiary?
The state of Washington has a wrongful death statute that determines which actions can be taken by surviving members or relatives of a deceased family member. There is a two tier system for beneficiaries looking to gain compensation for the wrongful death of a family member.
First Tier Beneficiaries
First tier beneficiaries include direct or immediate family members. Spouses, registered domestic partners, and children, are all part of the first tier. Spouses and domestic partners must be legally recognized as such at the time of the individual’s death in order to be legally recognized. Even if first and second tier parties exist, only first tier members can receive direct benefit from the deceased individual’s estate.
Second Tier Beneficiaries
The compensation rights drop to members of the second tier only if there are no beneficiaries in the first tier. This tier includes only parents and siblings of the deceased. In order for second-tier beneficiaries to be able to seek compensation, they must prove financial dependence upon the deceased at the point of the accident.
Carrying on after experiencing the death of a loved one is difficult and painful task. One of our Spokane wrongful death attorneys can help provide information about your situation and provide the experience necessary to assist in the filing and settling of your wrongful death personal injury claim.
To learn more, feel free to contact us. Call toll-free at 800-529-0842, or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.