Wrongful Death Settlements

Wrongful death settlement

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

If someone you love dies because of someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to sue for damages. The laws about who can sue and when vary from state to state.

In Washington State, the estate of the deceased person can sue for damages on their behalf by filing a wrongful death claim. If you are interested in filing a wrongful death claim, then it is important that you speak to an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A Washington State wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the person who is in charge of the estate of the person who died. This person is usually the same person who is in charge of the will.

Oftentimes, this person is a relative or someone close to the deceased person. This person should be trustworthy and moral and should not have any conflicting interests. They should also have enough time, be emotionally stable, and be interested in being the personal representative.

The personal representative is responsible for a lot of things, including finding and selecting a Washington wrongful death attorney, discussing settlement figures, and making case decisions.

The personal representative is responsible for deciding whether a case should be settled or go to trial. If you are a personal representative, then make sure that you confer with an experienced attorney before deciding whether to resolve a case or go to trial.

What Types of Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are several types of damages that are available to survivors of loved ones. Compensatory damages in the form of economic damages and noneconomic damages are the most commonly available as punitive damages are rarely awarded.

Some of the damages that may be available include:

  • Medical expenses/Medical bills
  • Funeral expenses/Burial expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of parenting/loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium

These are the main types of damages available to ensure fair compensation for the survivors of wrongful death victims. Your potential award will be determined by the facts and circumstances of your case. Make sure you minimize your financial losses by getting the money you deserve to compensate you for your loss.

How Do You Calculate Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Washington, courts typically calculate a claimant’s losses by using a shared method. The first step is to add up all the claimant’s economic damages. Economic damages include accident-related medical bills or funeral/burial expenses.

Then, these economic losses are multiplied by a number between one and five, according to the severity of the situation. The number that results from the multiplier determines noneconomic damages. Wrongful death cases often get higher multipliers, because of what surviving loved ones experience from the wrongful death.

For example, if the economic losses of an unexpected death amounted to $200,000 for a family, and the courts determined that five was a fair multiplier for noneconomic damages, the family would receive $1,000,000 in damages.

This number is often not the final amount as many variables can increase or decrease the final damage award.

What Factors Determine Your Damage Award?

Calculating the value of someone’s life is very difficult. However, there are several factors that are considered when trying to come up with a fair amount.

This includes the person’s age, earnings potential, state of health, and income at the time of death. The age and circumstances of any dependents are also taken into account as well as any education or training the deceased had.

Expenses that were incurred because of the death and any lost benefits (pensions and health insurance) are also considered. The circumstances surrounding the death (such as medical malpractice or intentional harm) can also affect the calculation.

To claim damages, you must have evidence to support the specific amounts. This means that the numbers you state must be based on facts, not just an estimate.

You can use economists and other experts to help you determine a fair amount for the deceased person’s situation. Any supporting documentation will be critical towards maximizing your award. Make sure you make your strongest case possible.

How An Experienced Attorney Can Help

If you are seeking to file a wrongful death case, then it is important to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney. Having an experienced wrongful death lawyer can be critical to being successful in your wrongful death claim. An attorney can speak with the opposing parties on your behalf, gather evidence to support your wrongful death claim, try to negotiate a fair resolution, and represent you in court where necessary. An experienced attorney can give insight into what a fair settlement is, and can help you get the financial relief that you need.

Don’t go it alone when experienced help is out there. Make sure that you have a seasoned attorney by your side as you recover physically, emotionally, and financially from the loss of your loved one. If you have legal questions, then call us today at the Law Office of Sofia Miguel so we can help!

Sofia’s No Fee Guarantee

Attorney Sofia K. Miguel guarantees that you will never write a check to our law firm under Sofia’s “no fee guarantee.” Consultations are free and if your case is selected, then Sofia will also cover all your court costs incurred during your personal injury case.

Sofia only gets paid when you do. Her services will cost you nothing out of pocket; simple as that. Let Sofia’s nearly twenty years of experience in helping people recover from their injuries get to work for you now.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an accident near Seattle, Puyallup, or Tacoma, WA, then contact us for an initial consultation with Sofia Miguel as she is ready to help you fight to get the money you deserve.

Call us at 253-200-4471, come visit our office right here in Puyallup at 702 S. Hill Park Dr. #207, or contact us online anytime. We are here for you.

Personal Injury Attorney Puyallup

Sofia K. Miguel, Attorney

Sofia K. Miguel has extensive litigation experience; she has tried or arbitrated hundreds of cases throughout Western Washington. She graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2000 and has 17 years’ experience representing injured people. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and an EAGLE member of the Washington State Association for Justice.

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