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Seattle Car Accident Wrongful Death FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions, Answered by a Washington Fatal Auto Accident Attorney

Losing a loved one in a car accident is a difficult thing, emotionally, mentally and financially. What makes such loss even harder is when it could have been prevented. Operating a motor vehicle is a great responsibility with possibly dangerous results if proper care is not taken. Drivers who ignore safe driving habits may end up injuring or possibly killing a fellow driver, pedestrian or passenger. If you’ve lost a relative, spouse, or partner in an auto accident in Washington, please contact the experienced and compassionate Seattle wrongful death attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. to find out what recourse may be available to you. At such a difficult time in your life, it is vital that you seek competent legal advice. Call (888) 228-3860 for a free, comprehensive consultation.

1. What constitutes wrongful death?

2. Who can file a car accident wrongful death claim in Washington?

3. Who can be sued for a fatal auto accident?

4. What kind of damages may I recover?

5. What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit?

6. What is the first step in filing a car accident wrongful death claim?


Q: What constitutes wrongful death?

A: In the State of Washington, "wrongful death" is when "the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another." This doesn’t mean that every accident that occurs can be considered a case of wrongful death. In order to prove such a claim, surviving family members and their legal team would need to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent in their behavior and disregarded basic standards of safety.

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Q: Who can file a car accident wrongful death claim in Washington?

A: In Washington State, anyone of the following individuals may file a wrongful death claim:

  • The spouse or partner of the victim
  • The children and step children of the victim
  • The parents and siblings of the victim
  • A representative of the victim’s estate

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Q: Who can be sued for a fatal auto accident?

A: Whomever the negligent party or parties are that caused or contributed to the fatality can be held accountable.

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Q: What kind of damages may I recover?

A: The damages may include, but are not limited to:

  • All economic damages, such as medical bills and funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship and care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and income of the victim
  • Damages to property
  • For children and step children, loss of instruction and guidance, as well as loss of companionship and pain and suffering

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Q: What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit?

A: In the state of Washington, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the date of the death. For this reason, it is important to contact an attorney immediately.

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Q: What is the first step in filing a car accident wrongful death claim?

A: The first step is consulting a competent attorney with expertise in the area of wrongful death law. The Seattle law firm of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. has years of experience with Washington wrongful death claims. Our Seattle wrongful death car accident lawyers are compassionate and understanding, and will work diligently for the best outcome possible. For a free consultation, call (888) 228-3860 today.

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