Getting into a car and driving seems so innocuous. Many people drive all of the time without even a thought. Intersections are particularly dangerous with many drivers turning or impatiently waiting for the light to change. Being cautious is not always enough, and accidents do occur.
On the morning of May 26th, there was an accident in Grant County. Two cars smashed into each other at the intersection of One Northwest Road and Beverly-Burke Road NW. One of the vehicles ended up in an irrigation canal. Two adults died at the scene, and two children later died at the hospital. In the other car, the woman was taken to the hospital with injuries.
When a person dies due to the wrongdoing of another, the legal claim of wrongful death can arise. A legal claim is brought by the deceased person’s family, also called the distributees. A distributee is often the husband, wife, child or even parent of the deceased. One member of the family takes on the additional role of personal representative of the deceased’s estate in a legal proceeding.
In Washington, there are two laws that apply to wrongful death. One has to do with the death of an adult, and the other has to do with the death of a child. Both laws stress that the death has to have been caused by an act akin to a felony. The law also states additional parties can be personal representatives under Washington law, including domestic partners and step-children. Both statutes give the jury the power to decide damages.
Fatal car accidents are tragic. The loved ones of the deceased have not only emotional loss, but future financial losses. When there is wrongdoing that caused the death, sometimes a wrongful death claim can be filed. Knowing your rights in a wrongful death claim can help recover some of the financial loss and ease some of the pain and suffering.
Source: KING 5 News, “Two adults, two children dead in Grant Co crash,” May 26, 2013.