If you recently lost a loved one, then you might be dealing with some very serious financial difficulties. Funeral costs, medical bills, and potential lost wages can add up to a lot of money. If your loved one passed away in unnatural circumstances, like in a car accident or due to some type of medical malpractice, one of your options for recouping those losses is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are some of the most crucial questions that you will need to ask yourself when it comes to filing a wrongful lawsuit in Washington:
Who can file?
Washington allows quite a bit of leeway in who can file a lawsuit, with somewhat of a hierarchy in place.
First, children of the deceased, the spouse/partner of the deceased, or personal representative of the deceased's estate may file. It's critical to understand that a boyfriend/girlfriend cannot file, and that the partner in question needs to be a state-registered domestic partner or a legal spouse.
If none of those parties elect to file, then siblings or parents of the deceased may file instead.
When can you file?
In Washington, the limit to file is generally 3 years. This means that you have 3 years from the date of the death to file your lawsuit, and if you fail to do so, then your chances of winning could be seriously jeopardized.
Who can receive compensation?
The recipient of the compensation will depend on whether the deceased was a minor or not. If the deceased was a minor, then the compensation will go to the parents.
If the deceased was not a minor, then the money will go to their estate. From there, the money will follow the will of the deceased or the state's laws of inheritance if there is no will or if the will does not cover compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit.
In other words, the money will be used to cover any funeral expenses and then will be distributed according to the will of the deceased. Portions of the money may go to children, partners, parents, siblings, or whoever the deceased wanted.
Significant portions of the compensation will likely go to the dependents of the deceased, particularly if the deceased was the sole source of income for their household. The compensation will need to cover lost wages, lost companionship, and the loss of a parental figure in the upbringing of their children. Although money cannot really rectify most of these problems, it can greatly reduce the economic burden of those that need time to grieve.
If you think you have a valid wrongful death case, contact an attorney from a company like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm.
What kind of injuries can you hold someone liable for? How severe do the injuries have to be? When my husband was injured by a faulty saw, we weren't sure what we were going to do. At that time, we didn't have any health insurance and had to try to come up with the money for emergency and long-term medial treatment. This created an impossible time for my family. My husband was out of work and we had medical bills piling up because a product that we paid a lot of money for malfunctioned and injured my husband. So, what can you do when this happens? Read through my blog.