There is no court award or settlement offer in the world big enough to fill the hole that someone’s unexpected death leaves in the lives of their loved ones. That said, civil compensation through a wrongful death claim can still be vital to preserving your family’s financial security in the years to come, as well as helping alleviate any of the personal losses experienced.

Defining recoverable damages in Bellevue wrongful death cases can be a deceptively tricky endeavor, since every case is unique—every case’s value is therefore different. Working with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney like Chong Ye can make it much easier for you to identify, accurately estimate, and proactively demand fair compensation for every compensable form of harm a premature death has and will cause.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages After a Wrongful Death

As opposed to a personal injury claim, in which the plaintiff may seek restitution for damages they suffered due to someone else’s misconduct, damages in Bellevue wrongful death cases are meant to compensate a decedent’s surviving family members for losses they have sustained and will sustain because of a loved one’s death caused by another person’s negligence. It is possible to seek damages for losses suffered by the decedent in the time in-between their accident and death through a separate claim called a “survival action.”

In most situations, only a decedent’s spouse or domestic partner and surviving children or stepchildren may recover for damages stemming from the fatal accident. If none of these parties survive to serve as beneficiaries, or if the decedent never married and/or had children, their parent(s), legal guardian(s), and/or sibling(s) may be eligible beneficiaries instead.

Recoverable damages can be economic or non-economic in nature and may include:

  • Medical expenses paid on the decedent’s behalf
  • Lost future financial support from the decedent
  • Funeral/burial expenses paid on the decedent’s behalf
  • Lost household services and assistance
  • Lost affection, companionship, care, and love
  • Pain and suffering or mental anguish

An experienced attorney can go into more detail during an initial conversation about what damages might be recoverable in a specific situation.

Special Damages Following a Child’s Wrongful Death

According to Revised Code of Washington §4.24.010, parents and guardians may recover for damages that may not be available in other cases following their child’s wrongful death. For example, if a minor loses their life prematurely in an accident, the parent or guardian may demand restitution for future losses of income, financial support, and/or household services their child likely would have provided.

Other recoverable losses in this type of claim may include healthcare costs, lost love and companionship, and the destruction of the parent-child relationship. Once again, legal counsel can clarify on a case-by-case basis what damages a particular claim might allow recovery for.

Allow an Attorney to Help Maximize Damages in a Bellevue Wrongful Death Case

“Recovery” following an unexpected loss is often a process that spans years and involves substantial financial, emotional, and psychological losses along the way. Financial compensation cannot erase the pain associated with these losses, but it can still help stabilize your family after a tragedy of this nature and ensure you do not bear the full brunt of someone else’s irresponsible or malicious actions.

An accomplished attorney such as Chong Ye at The Ye Law Firm can discuss damages in Bellevue wrongful death cases in more detail during a free—virtual or in-person—consultation. His dedicated team is available to visit so call now to schedule yours.