Bellingham is a city located in Whatcom County, Washington. During 2019, the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office performed 137 forensic death investigations. Seventy-five of the deaths in Whatcom County happened in Bellingham. And while 30 of the deaths in Whatcom County were natural, seven were homicides, 49 were suicides, five had undetermined causes, and 46 were accidental. If your loved one died through the fault of another, you should call the experienced Bellingham wrongful death lawyers of Walton Law to discuss whether you have a claim for damages.
Wrongful deaths occur when someone’s death is caused by another’s negligence, wrongful act, or default. They can be the result of car accidents, bicycle accidents slip and falls, medical malpractice, dog bites, and nursing home negligence.
The circumstances of the death will determine what our lawyers will need to prove in any given case. For example, many car accidents are the result of a negligent driver, and if that is the case, we will need to show it’s more likely than not the defendant owed a duty to use reasonable care, but failed to do so, thereby causing the death of the decedent.
Or if death is the result of a failure to diagnose cancer or another serious disease, we may be able to pursue damages in a wrongful death lawsuit when we can show medical malpractice, or a health care provider’s failure to abide by the professional standard of care.
For another example, if the decedent died because of rotten framing on a balcony, we would need to show: (1) the property owner either created or permitted to exist a dangerous condition, (2) the dangerous condition caused the decedent’s death, and (3) damages.
Filing a Lawsuit
Our wrongful death lawyers based in Bellingham can represent the personal representative of a decedent’s estate in a wrongful death suit. When a decedent dies after executing a will, there may be a personal representative already named, and that person can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if no valid will was drafted or the representative specified is unable to carry out tasks, the court has the authority to appoint another person. The damages that the personal representative can recover are for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors. First in line for damages are a decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, and any children. When a decedent did not leave a spouse, domestic partner, or children, the damages can be recovered from the decedent’s parents, brothers, or sisters.
Damages Our Bellingham Lawyers May Be Able to Recover
While nothing can truly make up for the loss of a loved one, in a wrongful death lawsuit, blame is expressed in monetary damages. A wrongful death suit is independent of any criminal charges that could also be filed for homicide. Damages our Bellingham wrongful death lawyers may be able to obtain when we establish liability include both economic and noneconomic losses flowing from the decedent’s death, such as medical bills from the final injuries, lost financial support, loss of companionship and affection, the value of lost household services, and lost financial support.
If a decedent leaves behind parents or a deceased child’s guardian as survivors, damages can be recovered for the loss of a child’s services and financial support, along with the child’s companionship, love, and emotional support, as well as the loss of the parent-child relationship under Washington Revised Code section 4.24.010.
Consult Seasoned Lawyers About the Death of Your Loved One
It can be difficult to deal with the emotional and financial consequences of a loved one’s death. Those responsible for an untimely, preventable death should be held accountable. Walton Law’s wrongful death lawyers serving Bellingham may be able to fight for you and your family. If you lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, give us a call. Martindale Hubbell rates our founder Chris Walton with the highest possible rating (AV Preeminent). Our compassionate, results-oriented firm tailors our practice to ensure personalized service. Understanding you may not be able to meet with us during normal business hours, we provide both evening and weekend appointments. If you’re injured, we can come to you. Call our seasoned Washington personal injury lawyers at (866) 338-7079 or online to schedule a free consultation.