Different Types of Wrongful Death Cases

In the State of Washington, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person when it is caused by someone else’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. Under state law, surviving family members can hold the at-fault party accountable and recover financial compensation for a wrongful death by filing a civil lawsuit. Many different types of wrongful death cases can be filed in Vancouver.

Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident Cases

“Unintentional injuries” are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the leading causes of unintentional injury death is motor vehicle accidents. In 2023, Washington State Department of Transportation reported 698 fatal crashes and 773 fatalities.

Wrongful death claims in Vancouver may involve any of the following types of traffic accidents:

Fatal motor vehicle accidents can be caused by drivers breaking traffic laws, driving while distracted, drunk driving, speeding, and other dangerous mistakes. According to Washington’s fault law, whoever is at fault for causing a deadly car accident can be held financially responsible for related bills and losses.

Fatal Boating Accident Cases

In 2022, 636 victims died in boating accidents nationwide, according to the United States Coast Guard. Fatal boat accidents can occur due to operator error, such as speeding or boating under the influence of alcohol.

After a fatal Vancouver boating accident, a wrongful death claim could potentially be filed against the owner or operator of the vessel. There’s also the potential for third-party liability, such as the boat manufacturers, boat passengers, rental companies, boat tour companies and government entities.

Premises Liability Lawsuits

In Washington, property owners have a legal obligation to ensure the reasonable safety of their premises. Negligent property care, maintenance or usage could result in hazards and defects that prove deadly to visitors. A premises liability wrongful death claim could involve incidents such as elevator and escalator accidents, dog attacks, catastrophic falls, structural collapses, fires, explosions, exposure to carbon monoxide, and negligent security.

Product Liability Claims for Consumer Deaths

A product liability case may be brought against the manufacturer or distributor that produced a dangerous or defective product if this item took a consumer’s life. If a product contained a design, manufacturing or marketing defect and caused the death of a consumer, the deceased victim’s surviving family members may be eligible for financial compensation through a strict product liability claim in Washington.

Claims for Fatal Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Every year, thousands of innocent workers lose their lives in fatal workplace accidents. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 104 fatal work injuries in Washington in 2022 – a 5.7 percent increase from 2021. Washington’s most dangerous jobs include transportation, warehousing, public safety, construction and agriculture.

After a fatal work accident, a family may qualify for death benefits through a workers’ compensation claim in Vancouver. This type of claim does not require evidence of someone else’s fault. A wrongful death lawsuit may also be an option if a worker died due to an employer’s or another party’s negligence.

Cases Involving Deadly Crimes

Violence is responsible for taking a high number of lives across the country. Violent crimes such as physical assault, battery, and assault with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon could fatally wound a victim.

While criminal charges can be filed against an individual who takes another person’s life, a wrongful death claim can also be brought against the individual. Unlike a criminal case, proving wrongful death does not require evidence of intent to injure or kill the victim.

If you believe you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim in Vancouver, schedule a free consultation with a Vancouver wrongful death lawyer at NW Injury Law Center. We will review your situation and provide legal advice at no cost or obligation.

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