A Seattle wrongful death attorney discusses what lawyers must prove to a judge and jury when litigating a wrongful death case in Washington State.

Seattle Attorney: Proving Wrongful Death in Washington State

It is a very serious matter to point a finger at a person, company, or entity, and saying that they were at fault for the death of your loved one. In addition, filing a Washington State wrongful death claim can be stressful, time-consuming, and emotionally taxing. For both of these reasons, it is extremely important that you are able to prove your case through a preponderance of evidence. 

Before you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you should be able to prove that:

  • The person in question had a duty of care. That is, that they had a legal responsibility to take action or not take action to prevent the death of your loved one. For example, a driver has a legal responsibility to follow the rules of the road, while a doctor has a legal responsibility to meet a certain standard of care with their patients. 
  • The duty of care was breached. Next, you must prove that the person or entity was negligent – that they did not do something that they should have reasonably done, or that they did something that they should not have done. 
  • The breach of duty led to your loved one’s death. Unfortunately, proving negligence isn’t good enough to prove your wrongful death case, and negligence is often not a legal issue if it does not have consequences. You must prove that the person (or entity’s) negligence was a direct cause of your loved one’s death and that the death would not have taken place otherwise. 
  • The survivor suffered damages as a result of their loved one’s death. Proving that someone else was at fault for your loved one’s death is not enough to collect compensation. You must also prove that the death caused damages, such as loss of future income, hospital bills, loss of household contributions, and loss of companionship. Concrete monetary damages like lost wages are easier to prove than more abstract damages, such as loss of love. 

At the Andrew Kim Law Firm, we can help you collect evidence that proves the above points – and guide you through the process of filing your wrongful death claim. Even if you are not sure if you have a Washington wrongful death case, attorney Andrew Kim can help you analyze the available evidence and understand your best options for legal action. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 800-636-3676.