Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death Case in Washington
December 15, 2023 | Wrongful death
If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, understanding who can be held liable is perhaps the most crucial element involved in the process. However, liability is not always straightforward. In some cases, yes, there may be one other obvious party who is liable for a wrongful death. However, the nuances of these claims often mean that there are other liable parties that plaintiffs may not even be aware of before speaking to an attorney.
We strongly encourage anybody who believes they have a wrongful death claim to contact an attorney as soon as possible so they can receive the legal assistance needed to get through this claim.
An Investigation Will Uncover Liable Parties
An investigation into a potential wrongful death in Washington will be a complex process. These are incredibly serious incidents, and a civil claim is designed to help families and estates recover compensation for an untimely loss caused by the negligence of another party.
Investigations into these incidents can take time, and we strongly encourage the family and the estate of a deceased individual to enlist assistance from an attorney with the resources needed to conduct a thorough investigation. There will need to be evidence gathered from the scene of the incident, as well as additional types of evidence, and an attorney may need to work with accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and financial experts to help determine total losses.
Possible Liable Parties for a Wrongful Death in Washington
There may be various parties who could be held liable for a wrongful death in Washington. Any investigation into a wrongful death claim is designed to determine negligence, which has a specific meaning encompassing four elements:
- The defendant (the person alleged to have caused the incident) owed a duty of care to the deceased individual.
- The defendant breached their legal duty of care in some way through their negligence.
- The negligent breach of duty resulted in the death of the victim.
- The victim’s loved ones or estate suffered monetary damages as a result of the death.
The possible liable parties for a wrongful death will vary depending on the situation related to the incident. For example, if a person lost their life due to the actions of a negligent drunk driver, then the driver is the obvious liable party, but there could be other parties held liable, including individuals or companies who supplied the drunk driver with alcohol in the hours leading up to the incident.
Each wrongful death claim must be examined independently in order to determine liable parties. For example, a wrongful death that occurred in the workplace could have liable parties ranging from an employer or another employee or even third party and contractors. Wrongful deaths caused by defective products may have different liable parties altogether, including companies, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
Wrongful Death Legal Assistance in Washington
If you have lost somebody you care about due to the negligent actions of others, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately. A wrongful death lawyer in Seattle can examine the facts of your case and help determine what steps you should take next. In Washington, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate is responsible for bringing most wrongful death claims, so family members and the personal representative should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to get the process started.