It is hard to comprehend the grief and depression you feel when you lose a loved one due to the careless actions of another person. Still, besides the emotional anguish, you do experience other losses when the decedent is no longer in your life. While nothing can bring back him or her, you may have a claim to recover damages from the responsible party.
These cases are complicated because there are two separate statutes under Washington State law, providing two very distinct types of claims. Our lawyers at Kapuza Lighty, PLLC can assist in pursuing your right to compensation when the unthinkable happens.
Yakima, WA Car Wrongful Death Attorneys Put Your Family Needs First
Our wrongful death lawyers at Kapuza Lighty, PLLC represent clients in connection with the two categories of claims that arise when your loved one dies due to negligence. Both are akin to a personal injury lawsuit, only the victim died instead of only being injured. Therefore, the claimant must prove the existence of a legal duty, breach of that duty, and a link between the breach and the victim’s death.
The two causes of action are:
1. Wrongful Death Claims: Washington State’s wrongful death statute allows certain family members of the decedent to file a lawsuit when the death was caused by someone else’s negligent actions. If successful, family members can obtain compensation for the void left behind, including:
- Damages based upon the deceased’s income and other household contributions;
- Losses related to emotional support, companionship, guidance, and education; and,
- Similar damages.
Note that only certain relatives of the victim can recover in a wrongful death case. A surviving spouse and children are the first tier of individuals entitled to compensation; if there are none, parents and siblings can only recover if they were dependent for support upon the decedent.
2. Survival Actions: The state statute on survival actions provides a cause of action for the deceased victim’s losses. Even though he or she died, there is still a right of recovery for such economic damages as:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Medical costs to treat the victim before death;
- Loss of future earnings, as designated by law; and,
- Property damage.
For both wrongful death and survival actions, a personal representative must stand in the shoes of the decedent. This could be the individual appointed as executor in a will, or someone appointed by a probate court if there is no will.
Common Wrongful Death Scenarios
Our attorneys represent families who lose a loved one as a result of:
- A car or motorcycle accident;
- Truck collisions;
- Medical malpractice;
- Defective products;
- Slip and fall accidents, and other incidents due to dangerous conditions on property;
- Intentional acts and criminal offenses; and,
- Many other circumstances.
Dedicated, Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyers in Yakima, WA
Our attorneys at Kapuza Lighty, PLLC know that your life is forever changed after losing a family member, but we do want to assist you in bringing resolution to a wrongful death situation. Please contact us to schedule a case assessment at our Yakima, WA office.