Did someone you love die in an accident? Was it because of another person’s negligence or carelessness? If so, contact the Washington personal injury attorneys of Tamaki Law to find out whether we can represent you. You might have an opportunity to pursue the compensation you need to cover the losses you suffered as a result of your loved one’s death.
Losing a relative is devastating. You’re trying to grieve but also have to pay for their burial, funeral, and other costs. It’s emotionally and financially draining. If you can’t afford these expenses, you could face debt.
At Tamaki Law, our Washington wrongful death attorneys know the burden you’re facing. Losing someone you care about can upend your entire life. You shouldn’t be forced to pay out of pocket for any of the costs you incurred from the fatal accident. The at-fault party should be held liable for their wrongdoing.
We understand that no amount of money can bring your family member back or make up for what happened, but we know it could provide some economic relief. If you want to learn more about how we can help, call Tamaki Law at (800) 801-9564 for your free consultation.
Did someone you love die in an accident? Was it because of another person’s negligence or carelessness? If so, contact the Washington personal injury attorneys of Tamaki Law.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases Tamaki Law Can Pursue
Wrongful death happens when someone’s neglect, wrongful act, or default causes another person’s death. Different scenarios could result in a fatal injury or accident. If a person, business, or another party was responsible for your loved one’s death, you might be able to hold them accountable and seek the compensation you deserve from them. The most common types of wrongful death cases the Washington wrongful death attorneys of Tamaki Law can take on are:
Motor vehicle accidents – Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles can become involved in a crash, injuring the occupants inside. In many instances, fatalities occur. According to estimates from the National Safety Council, there were 42,060 traffic-related deaths in 2020. That’s a significant increase from the previous year that saw 39,107 fatalities. The most common causes of motor vehicle accidents that can lead to a person’s death are:
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
Product liability – Manufacturing companies must assemble all products according to specific safety guidelines. They must also test the final product for potential issues before releasing it to the public. If there are potential hazards, they should include warning labels, so users understand the risks. Unfortunately, inherent dangers can exist due to a design error, manufacturing defect, or marketing problem. Examples of products that can cause fatal injuries are:
- Medical devices
- Baby and children’s toys
- Motor vehicles
- Prescription and over the counter drugs
- Kitchen appliances
Medical malpractice – A patient can die during surgery, from an undiagnosed or incorrectly diagnosed illness, and from various other errors made by a healthcare professional. The most common causes of patient death include:
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Failing to sterilize surgical tools
- Anesthesia errors
- Prescribing the incorrect medication
- Providing inadequate pre or post-surgical care
Construction accidents – Construction workers face hazards each time they set foot on the job site. They encounter heavy machinery, toxic chemicals, and other potentially deadly scenarios. Fatalities are common in this particular industry. In 2019, there were 1,061 construction-related deaths. The “fatal four” account for more than 60 percent of all fatalities in the construction industry. They are:
- Struck by objects
- Stuck in or in between objects
Defective medical devices – Hip implants, pacemakers, and other devices can contain defects that cause injury, illness, or death to the patient. Sometimes, the manufacturer makes an error while designing the product, making it inherently unsafe. Other times, the company will use the wrong materials or incorrectly assemble the product, making it dangerous for the user. The three main types of defects that can exist are:
- Design defect
- Manufacturing defect
- Failure to warn
Nursing home abuse – Unfortunately, nursing home patients are vulnerable to all forms of abuse. That’s because many have a physical disability, cognitive illness, or don’t have family checking in on them regularly. They may require assistance grooming, showering, and walking to the bathroom. Many don’t have the physical strength to defend themselves when a nurse, administrator, or even another resident attacks them. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect are common reasons for nursing home patient deaths.
Premises liability – Business owners, property owners, and homeowners must adequately maintain the interior and exterior areas of their properties. If they notice damage, they should repair it promptly. If there are hazards in hallways and on walkways, they should remove them or place warning signs. Fatalities can occur under various circumstances, such as:
- Malfunctioning elevators and escalators
- Collapsed balconies
- Defective staircases
- Swimming pool accidents
- Faulty electrical wires
- Exposure to substances that lead to diseases, such as asbestos
Dog bites – Most people survive after a dog bites them. However, some suffer fatal injuries or develop an infection that causes their organs to shut down and result in death. Children are especially susceptible to fatalities because they can’t fight off an aggressive dog, and they have more fragile bodies than adults. If your child or another family member died from a dog attack, you might be able to hold the owner liable.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Washington
There’s a statute of limitations you must adhere to if you want to sue the negligent party for the death of your loved one. Generally, Washington has a three-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. That means you must initiate the lawsuit within three years from the date your family member died if you want to pursue compensation. Every claim should be analyzed on a case by case basis regarding the statute of limitations because there are exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations.
There’s a significant difference between a civil lawsuit and a criminal case. When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you’re not seeking a criminal penalty against the defendant, such as a fine or jail time. Instead, you’re trying to recover the monetary value of the losses you suffered due to the fatal injury or accident. You can hold the at-fault party liable for the expenses incurred from the accident and the impact it had on your life.
Only specific individuals can file a lawsuit for wrongful death in this order of availability:
- The personal representative of your loved one’s estate;
- A surviving spouse or domestic partner; or
- A child, children, or stepchildren.
If none of these relatives are alive or willing to pursue a case, the parents or siblings of the deceased can file the lawsuit.
If an accident resulted in the death of a child under 18 years old, you and the other parent must have regularly contributed to supporting them until the date they died if you want to sue the at-fault party. One or both of you can file the lawsuit even if you never married or are separated or divorced.
At Tamaki Law, our Washington wrongful death attorneys understand the trauma you’ve experienced. When you’re already grieving the loss of a close family member, the last thing you probably want to do is deal with a legal case. You can depend on us to take on the responsibility and complete each step of the process on your behalf.
Recovered from large utility company in wrongful death claim
Recovered from utility company that failed to consider traffic safety in utility pole construction
Recovered for death in fire caused by a faulty heater
Recovered for death in rear-end collision caused by truck driver
Recovered from logging company for failure to train employee resulting in death
Recovered from psychiatric hospital for patient’s escape resulting in death
Possible Compensation You Could Recover in a Wrongful Death Case
The estate holds the financial award recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit for the surviving family members. The compensation you receive could cover the various losses you suffered due to your loved one’s death, including:
- Lost income your relative could have earned if they survived the accident
- Medical bills associated with the fatal injury or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim before their death
- Financial costs related to damaged personal property
- Loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits the deceased provided to surviving relatives
These losses are specific to the person filing the lawsuit. For example, the personal representative of the estate can’t seek compensation for loss of care, but a surviving spouse or child can.
Since 1994, the Washington wrongful death attorneys of Tamaki Law have been fighting for individuals wronged by other people and businesses. When you hire us, you’ll receive personalized attention from start to finish of your case. Our legal team cares about our clients and will treat you as a priority.
You can depend on us to be your advocate and work hard to seek the justice you deserve. You have a right to hold the at-fault party liable for the harm they caused. They should face the consequences of their actions and compensate you for the losses you suffered.
At Tamaki Law, we know the financial burden you can face following the death of a loved one. Additional expenses could lead to debt and force you to give up on pursuing a lawsuit. We take most cases on contingency, meaning you won’t owe us any upfront fees or costs. We don’t expect payment unless we win.
If your family member died in an accident due to someone else’s misconduct, do not hesitate to contact Tamaki Law. One of our Washington wrongful death attorneys will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case. We have three conveniently located offices in Washington, so you won’t have to travel far to see us. Call us now at (800) 801-9564 or contact us online.