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Wrongful Death

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is when someone dies due to the fault of another person or entity, like a company. People, companies, and government agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently, for failing to act as a reasonable person would have acted, and for intentional acts that cause harm.

A wrongful death claim is a special kind of personal injury lawsuit that is made when a person is killed due to another party’s negligence. This type of lawsuit seeks financial compensation for the survivors’ losses including lost wages from the deceased person, expenses including funeral and burial expenses, and lost companionship.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors who have suffered damages from the death. These survivors can be:

  • Immediate family members including adopted children and parents of unmarried children;
  • Life partners and financial dependents;
  • In some states, distant family members like siblings and grandparents;
  • In some states, any person who suffers a financial loss from the death.

Who may be sued for a wrongful death?

Many people, companies, and agencies can be named in a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on their roles in the fatal incident. These can include:

  • The at-fault driver in a car crash;
  • The person or company that sold alcohol to a drunk driver who caused a collision;
  • The parole officer who should have been supervising a parolee who drove drunk;
  • The government agency that designed a dangerous roadway that contributed to a crash.

To successfully complete a wrongful death suit, the plaintiffs, (the deceased person’s survivors) must prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the deceased, and that they failed in that duty which was the cause of the death, and that the death caused the damages that the plaintiffs are attempting to recover.

Wrongful death claims are complicated and emotionally difficult for the surviving family members. It is always advisable to find an experienced personal injury attorney to handle a wrongful death claim, so that families can focus on healing and moving forward in life as best they can.

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Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

How Does a Minor’s Case Get Settled?

Because the minor lacks the capacity to enter into a legal contract, how can a minor accept a settlement offer? Can the parents accept the settlement on behalf of the child? Does the money simply then go to the parent? Go here to get answers to these important questions about Texas car accidents and minor settlements.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Catastrophic car accidents and wrongful death - what survivors need to know

Bill Coats Law specializes in wrongful death cases in devastating car accidents. With empathy and grit, our lawyers walk survivors through the complicated process of financial recovery. Click here for this guide to basic questions answered about damages recoverable in wrongful death cases. 

Everett-Bellingham WA

Uninsured motorist coverage and wrongful death claims

It can be yet another devastating blow to learn that the person who killed someone you love in a car accident doesn't have a high enough policy to cover the wages your family will lose. But don't despair. There is a way to seek these damages. Click to learn more about uninsured motorist coverage in wrongful death claims

Everett-Bellingham WA

An accident resulting in death brings up many questions for survivors. We have answers.

After an automobile accident, especially when someone has died, it's natural to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what happens next. Bill Coats Law, in Bellingham Washington, has put together a YouTube Channel to answer some common question in hopes to help accident victims start on the right path to full financial recovery. Click here to get the answers you need.