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Personal injury lawsuits include wrongful death claims

No one leaves their house in the morning expecting it to be the last time they will do so. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for a person in Washington to be killed in a car wreck, pass away due to a medical mistake, die in a workplace accident or die while participating in a supervised activity. Sometimes, these deaths are simply unavoidable accidents. Unfortunately, many times these types of deaths are due to the negligence of another individual.

When a person's death is caused by another's negligent acts, the victim's survivors may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. To succeed, the following elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. First, a person must have died. Second, that death must have been caused by someone else's negligence or intent. Third, the victim's survivors must have incurred financial damages due to the death. Finally, in some states, a personal representative must be appointed to the estate.

Damages sought in a wrongful death claim can be pecuniary in nature. This means they are meant to compensate for the financial damages the victim's loved one's suffered. However, in very serious or malicious actions, it may also be possible to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party or deter similar incidents from happening in the future.

In the end, while no amount of money can bring back a loved one, a wrongful death claim can give families grieving the compensation they need to get by financially, as well as a sense that justice has been done. However, no two cases are alike, and the outcome of one wrongful death lawsuit may be different than the outcome of another. Thus, the information in this post cannot serve as a substitute for the advice of a personal injury attorney.

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