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Average Settlements for Wrongful Death in WA

  1. Wrongful Death Laws in Washington State
  2. Factors Influencing Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts in Washington State
  3. Average Wrongful Death Settlements in Washington State
  4. How to Get Fair Compensation in a Washington Wrongful Death Claim Settlement
  5. Call Us Today About a Wrongful Death Settlement in Washington

Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, and when that loss happens because of someone else’s negligence or intentional act, it can be even more devastating. In such cases, the personal representative may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for surviving beneficiaries seeking compensation for their emotional and financial losses.

Because no amount of money can replace a loved one, there is no average settlement for wrongful death cases in Washington. If you are in this situation, a wrongful death attorney can explain potential compensation options you might have. They can also pursue damages while you take care of your loved one’s final arrangements.

Wrongful Death Laws in Washington State

In Washington State, wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of another party’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. Wrongful death claims aim to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and provide financial relief to the surviving family members who have suffered.

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Washington State is generally three years from the deceased person’s death date, per RCW § 4.16.070. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when medical malpractice causes a death. You can consult a personal injury attorney to understand the specific deadlines and requirements for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Factors Influencing Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts in Washington State

Several factors come into play when determining a proper wrongful death settlement. Each case is unique and involves different circumstances, so the settlement will vary based on the situation’s circumstances. 

Key factors that can influence the average settlement amounts in Washington State include:

  1. Liability: Establishing the defendant’s liability is crucial in any wrongful death case. If the responsible party’s negligence or intentional act is proven, it strengthens the case and could result in a settlement.
  2. Economic damages: These damages refer to the financial losses surviving family members suffered from the wrongful death. This may include medical expenses, funeral costs, burial expenses, lost income, potential future earnings, and other financial support the decedent would have provided.
  3. Non-economic damages: These losses, which include pain and suffering and lost companionship, can be harder to quantify. These damages include pain and suffering the victim incurred before they died.
  4. Comparative negligence: Washington State follows a comparative negligence system, which means the settlement amount may be reduced if the decedent’s actions contributed to their death. The court will determine the percentage of fault each party receives.
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Average Wrongful Death Settlements in Washington State

While we cannot give an exact average settlement amount for wrongful death cases in Washington State, notable cases can shed some light on the compensation beneficiaries could expect.

In a wrongful death case our firm handled, we secured a $500,000 settlement for the family of an individual who died due to dangerous property conditions. The settlement included compensatory economic losses and non-economic damages, reflecting the significant impact of the loss on the victim’s family.

However, not all settlements are as substantial as this one. Some wrongful death cases may result in settlements ranging from tens of thousands to several million dollars, depending on the case. Each case is unique, so our attorneys must evaluate each case’s merits.

How to Get Fair Compensation in a Washington Wrongful Death Claim Settlement

Losing a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or intentional act is unimaginable. Wrongful death lawsuits in Washington State aim to provide financial compensation to help surviving family members cope with such a loss’s emotional and financial burdens.

While it is impossible to determine an exact average settlement amount for wrongful death cases in Washington State, with the right approach and legal guidance, you can seek to recover a fair wrongful death payout for your loss.

Here are essential steps to follow when pursuing financial recovery for wrongful death in Washington State:

1. Consult a Wrongful Death Attorney

When you’re ready to take legal action, the first and most crucial step is to consult with a wrongful death lawyer. They can help you understand your legal rights, assess your case, and guide you through recovery. An attorney will protect your interests and fight for your financial compensation.

2. Gather Evidence and Documentation

Building a strong case requires collecting relevant evidence and documentation related to wrongful death. This may include police reports, medical records, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, and any other relevant evidence that supports your claim. Your attorney can help you obtain and organize this critical information.

3. Determine the Full Extent of Damages

To ensure fair compensation, assess the full extent of the damages surviving family members suffered. This includes economic and non-economic damages. Understanding the total impact of the loss is vital in negotiating a fair settlement.

4. Identify the Liable Parties in a Wrongful Death Case

Identifying all liable parties can ensure you hold the right individuals or entities accountable for the wrongful death. This may include negligent drivers, companies, manufacturers, or any other parties whose actions contributed to the fatal incident.

5. Negotiate Wisely

Negotiations with insurance companies can be complex. Approach the negotiation table with a well-prepared case and a willingness to engage in fair settlement discussions. Your attorney’s experience in negotiation could affect the outcome.

6. Prepare for Litigation if Necessary

If all attempts at negotiation and mediation fail to yield a fair settlement, you could take the case to court. Your attorney will represent your interests at trial and present the evidence while advocating for your fair compensation.

7. Be Mindful of the Washington State’s Statute of Limitations

Washington has a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death action. You must know the deadline and act promptly to file your case on time. We can take care of this for you if we handle your case.

8. Stay Informed and Involved

Stay informed and actively follow your case’s progress. Regular communication with your attorney and understanding the developments in your claim will empower you to make informed decisions.

Call Us Today About a Wrongful Death Settlement in Washington

Losing a loved one is a tragic experience, but you don’t have to navigate the legal process alone. At Herschensohn Law, our personal injury lawyers will support you every step of the way. 

Call us at (206) 588-4344 today to seek fair compensation for your loss. Let us help you and your family through this challenging time.

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