If a loved one died due to another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death action. Learn the causes of these claims and who may be liable.

Causes of Accidents That Result in Fatalities and the Filing of Wrongful Death Claims

In Washington, a wrongful death action can be brought when a party’s wrongful act, neglect, or default causes the death of another. While it does not reduce the heartache or bring back a loved one, this type of claim allows family members of the accident victim to obtain compensation for the loss of their loved one. However, they will need the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney to hold the liable parties accountable.

What Are the Common Causes of a Wrongful Death Action?

Wrongful deaths are different from other fatalities that are caused due to natural causes, illnesses, or true accidents where no one was to blame. A wrongful death claim is based on the tragic death of a person based on someone’s negligence and is a type of personal injury claim. Common causes of these accidents include:

  • Car accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents are one of the most common reasons that families of victims file wrongful death actions. Distracted driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and intoxication are a few of the negligent actions of drivers that lead to fatalities.
  • Truck accidents. Truck accidents caused by negligent truckers and trucking companies are another leading cause of wrongful death actions. When truckers speed, drive when fatigued, talk on a cellphone or text, or engage in other negligent behaviors, victims sadly pay the price with their lives. Families can often also hold the trucking company responsible for the negligent trucker’s actions under vicarious liability laws.
  • Medical malpractice. When a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider breaches the applicable standard of care, their mistakes can not only lead to the patient’s condition worsening but also to his death. Medical malpractice claims are extremely complicated, and retaining an attorney experienced in handling this type of claim is essential to obtaining the compensation that a family may deserve.
  • Products liability. When an unsafe product causes a person’s death, the manufacturer, supplier, retailer, and more could be responsible for compensating the victim’s family in a wrongful death action.
  • Workplace accident. Many workers are killed on the job due to an employer’s failure to provide safe working conditions. Falls, exposure to toxic chemicals, electrocution, and fires are just a few of the reasons that employees die at work, leaving family members devastated and needing to file a wrongful death action claim for compensation.

Who Can Be Liable in a Wrongful Death Action?

The party or parties that you will need to sue will depend on the cause of your loved one’s death. However, possible liable parties include:

  • Driver
  • Trucker and trucking company
  • Manufacturer, supplier, and retailer of dangerous products
  • Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers
  • Employers
  • Property owners
  • Businesses
  • Landlords
  • Municipality
  • Bar, restaurant, or other seller of alcoholic beverages or social host that provided alcohol to an intoxicated person who caused a drunk driving wreck

If you must file a wrongful death action, you need the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney to investigate your loved one’s accident, build a strong case of negligence against any liable parties, and to negotiate a settlement for you. To learn how we can assist you in fighting for the compensation that you are entitled to, call our Bellevue office to schedule your free consultation.