A 72-year-old woman died in early May, 2017 after a vehicle crashed into an assisted living home, according to Patch.com.
The accident happened around 11 a.m. about a week prior to the woman’s death. The location of the home was in the Meadowbrook neighborhood, just south of Lake City. She died of blunt force trauma to her chest with compressive asphyxia. The coroner ruled her death accidental.
At the time of the accident, the woman sat in a recliner in her bedroom. The driver of the vehicle, an 88-year-old woman, crashed the vehicle through the wall. The 72-year-old woman was underneath.
Seattle police did evaluate driver at the scene, but did not find any evidence she was intoxicated. The article did not mention if the victim’s family planned to file a wrongful death claim against the driver or if criminal charges would be filed.
What is considered a Wrongful Death Claim in Seattle?
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit where a person died because of someone’s negligence. In Seattle, there are two types of negligence: survival and general claims. Survival claims compensates the victim’s estate for their death. General claims compensates any relatives of the victim. These relatives are called beneficiaries and are limited to:
- Any parent or sibling financially dependent of the victim
Taking Legal Action for a Wrongful Death that Occurs in Seattle
The first step in starting legal action against the individual or entity that cause a person’s death is naming a personal representative. This is typically for general claims. The estate’s executor is generally the personal representative.
After the lawsuit is filed, it can either be settled out of court or tried in court. To settle a case means both parties agree to a lump sum or periodic payments. The plaintiff, or personal representative, receives the money. In exchange, they agree to drop their lawsuit and never sue again for the loss of their loved one.
Showing Fault in a Wrongful Death Claim in Seattle
Regardless of whether a claim is settled or goes to trial, the family must show how the defendant is responsible. Seattle has a guide called elements to help plaintiffs prove their case. They are:
- The defendant had a duty to protect the loved one from harm.
- Breach of duty. The defendant failed to protect the loved one from harm.
- The defendant was the actual or proximate cause of the loved one’s death
- The family is owed damages, or money, to compensate for the loved one’s death. This includes funeral and burial expenses.
Contact Gosanko & O’Halloran for Legal Represent for Your Seattle Wrongful Death Claim
You will never completely recover from your loved one’s death. We understand that. However, you need a law firm ready to fight to get you the financial compensation you need to cover your expensive. Let us fight for you. Contact Gosanko & O’Halloran.