Wrongful death cases are often very emotional. A loved one is gone because of someone’s negligence. The lives of those left behind are changed forever.
The concept of a wrongful death case is simple to get just compensation for the death of a loved one. In one way or another, legal systems throughout history have addressed this situation. As is true today, the compensation owed to the survivor(s) varied greatly depending on who the deceased person was – peasant or king, rich or poor, young or old.
In practice, a wrongful death suit can be very complicated. The case is based upon the death being caused by the legal fault of someone else. A fatal accident is not usually cut-and-dried. If the accident was caused by a mechanical malfunction of some kind, did the person accused of being responsible for the death neglect routine maintenance? Or was it normal wear and tear? If two cars collide and someone dies, did the driver of the other car act in a way that a ‘reasonable person’ would not have, thus causing the accident and the death. Was this action negligent or intentional? Many factors come into play.
Who may sue because of someone’s death varies in different states. In Washington, a spouse, state registered domestic partner or children (including stepchildren) are able to file a wrongful death claim. The person handling the estate is also eligible to do so. Others who feel that they have a valid claim should consult an experienced attorney.
The number of those who can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit can range from a single individual to multiple persons or entities (such as the company that manufactured the faulty part that caused the accident). In a drunk driving case, the owner of the bar that served the drinks to the driver might be named in the suit as well as those who served the alcohol. However, some government agencies and their employees are immune and cannot be sued.
Otto Law Offices focuses on personal injury cases, including wrongful death cases. Anthony Otto is a Wrongful Death Attorney in Silverdale who has over 34 years of legal experience. Click here to browse the website and to schedule a free consultation with a Wrongful Death Attorney in Silverdale.
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