Tacoma, WA Wrongful Death Attorney
As the county seat of Pierce County, WA, Tacoma sits on Puget Sound, 32 miles southwest of Seattle. Mount Rainier National Park is within an hour’s drive of Tacoma—the third-largest city in the state. With a population of about 220,000, Tacoma is known as the “City of Destiny,” as a result of being chosen to be the western final point of the Northern Pacific Railroad. This was a decision influenced by the fact that the railroad could be connected to Commencement Bay, leading to Tacoma’s motto, “When rails meet sails.”
Today’s Tacoma is well-known for the Museum of Glass which has works by renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly, including the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. Along with the beauty in Tacoma, tragedies can occur in this busy, diverse city. When an individual dies as the result of the negligence of another person or entity, a wrongful death has occurred. This means the family of the deceased can speak to a Tacoma wrongful death attorney to determine the compensation they are owed by the negligent party. The attorneys at Palace Law help those who have lost a loved one due to negligence.
Why Should You Choose a Palace Law Attorney as Your Attorney?
When a death occurs from an act of negligence, the resulting unnecessary death of a loved one can be a traumatic experience for family and loved ones. A wrongful death is generally one that is considered preventable, whether it is the result of a negligent car accident or any other type of negligent accident. At Palace Law, we believe we are the best Tacoma law firm to help you receive compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. With more than 1,500 positive reviews, Palace Law offers the following:
- A high level of experience, including four lawyers that have tried more than 200 cases each
- If you are unable to travel, we can come to you
- 24/7 availability
- A free initial consultation
- A comprehensive evaluation of your potential claim
- No fee unless we secure a wrongful death settlement on your behalf
- Assistance helping survivors recover from their loss
At Palace Law, we understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. Money can, however, make a difference for your future. If the deceased was the primary breadwinner for your family, we will seek future lost earnings on your behalf, as well as other damages. At Palace Law, we will assist you with your Tacoma wrongful death claim in a professional, compassionate manner, using all the resources at our disposal.
Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Tacoma, Washington?
In many states, a wrongful death claim is filed by the family members left behind. Washington state is a bit different; the executor (sometimes known as the personal representative), of the decedent’s estate generally brings a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent has an estate plan or a will, it is likely he or she named an executor or personal representative (which could be a family member). If the decedent had no will, then the court will appoint the personal representative (and might possibly appoint a family member). If the named personal representative cannot or does not want to serve, the court will name a personal representative. The personal representative will file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate, then the settlement will be distributed according to the decedent’s estate plan or according to state law. In other words, while the personal representative is responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, damages awarded are for the survivors.
There are special rules for wrongful deaths in the state of Washington involving a child under the age of 18 that dies as a result of negligence. Only the parent that regularly contributes to the support of the child has the right to file or to join a Washington wrongful death claim. Either parent is allowed to file the wrongful death claim—regardless of whether the parents are married, never married, divorced, or separated. The filing parent must serve the other parent with a copy of the complaint within 20 days of the date of filing, to allow the other parent to join the claim.
What is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Washington?
Statutes of limitations are set by each state, allowing a specific window of time in which to file a wrongful death claim. In the state of Washington, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the date of the decedent’s death. A wrongful death claim resulting from medical malpractice must also be filed within three years, but the difference here is that you may not have been aware of the injury until after the three-year statute. If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit after the three-year statute has elapsed, you must prove you were unaware of the medical error during that time and that you could not have reasonably been expected to discover that a medical error occurred during the three-year statute.
What are the Potential Damages in a Tacoma, WA Wrongful Death Claim?
A successful wrongful death claim will result in a settlement that is meant to cover a wide range of losses. The most commonly awarded damages include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- The last medical bills of the decedent
- Lost financial support that the decedent would have contributed to his or her family members
- Damages for loss of love, care, affection, companionship, and guidance from the decedent
Damages in a wrongful death claim are awarded to the surviving spouse or domestic partners, as well as children and stepchildren of the decedent. If there is no spouse, domestic partner, or children, damages will be awarded to the parents or siblings of the decedent. Parents or guardians of a deceased child may be awarded similar damages.
How a Tacoma Wrongful Death Attorney from Palace Law Can Help You with Your Claim
If you have lost a loved one as a direct result of negligence, you might want to consider filing a Washington wrongful death claim with the assistance of an experienced Tacoma wrongful death attorney from Palace Law. We are professional, highly-skilled, compassionate attorneys who will use every resource available to secure fair compensation in your wrongful death claim. Contact a Palace Law wrongful death attorney today for a comprehensive evaluation of your claim today.