Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death the grief can make it difficult to function; let alone seek justice. A wrongful death lawsuit – typically handled by a personal injury lawyer – seeks to rectify the loss of financial and emotional support that had been provided by the deceased person. Our team of Mount Vernon Wrongful Death Attorneys evaluates the circumstances around the death to determine the cause and build a case. In some instances the death is accidental like a tragic car accident but wrongful death can also be caused by medical malpractice (negligence) or even murder.

The dedicated Mount Vernon wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. have been helping parents, surviving spouses and dependent children recover damages for the loss of their loved one for more than 35 years. Recoverable damages fall into two categories; economic and non-economic. Economic damages are moneys meant to cover monetary expenses and losses such as funeral expenses and lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages are monies meant to cover losses including loss of ability to enjoy life and loss of emotional support.

We provide FREE case evaluations, home visits and no attorney fees unless you recover damages. Do not delay, contact the most experienced wrongful death lawyers Mount Vernon has! If there is a case for wrongful death, we can bring peace of mind and fair compensation for your tragic loss.

Experience Matters

Michael Tario opened the prominent Bellingham law firm Tario & Associates, P.S. in 1979, followed by the Mount Vernon office in 1988. In the decades since, the Mount Vernon Wrongful Death lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. have helped family members in Mount Vernon and throughout Whatcom County seek justice and fair compensation for the loss of their loved one.

We have the resources, experience and knowledge necessary to represent our clients; our network of well regarded specialists in medicine, accident reconstruction, psychology, and engineering serve as invaluable resources when determining liability and calculating the damages caused by the wrongful death. With the Tario & Associates, P.S. law team on your side, you will have the experience and knowledge you need to win and receive fair compensation for your loss.

How do I know whether I should pursue a wrongful death claim?

The only way to know if you have a case is to meet with one of our experienced personal injury associates for a FREE consultation. We will fully evaluate your situation and discuss your legal rights.

Do I really need to hire an attorney or should I handle my own wrongful death claim?

In complex personal injury claims such as wrongful death, hiring a personal injury attorney will almost always yield much better results for the victim. Remember that an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not you.

If an insurance company has already presented you with a proposed settlement you need to know whether it is fair, if your claim is worth more, or if you should hire an attorney to force the insurance company to pay you the fair and full compensation you deserve. It is not unusual for our attorneys to be able to achieve monetary recoveries five to twenty times what an insurance company has offered.

At Tario & Associates, P.S., we stand by our clients every step of the way!

How much do I have to pay to pursue a wrongful death claim?

There are no upfront costs or fees paid by our clients to pursue an injury claim; we provide representation on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases. While you will not incur any attorney fees if you do not win your case, Washington law requires clients to reimburse the law firm for out-of-pocket expenses.

Our firm advances out-of-pocket costs for our injury clients and does not require our clients to pay any of these costs up front. When cases are concluded with a monetary recovery, our firm is repaid for the out-of-pocket costs we have advanced with a percentage of the settlement.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is a civil cause of action brought by family members and dependents against individuals who caused the death of their loved one, either through an intentional act or negligence.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that seeks to hold accountable the person or entity responsible for the death of a loved one. A suit is brought by the executor or representative of a deceased person’s estate.

What is the difference between a civil and criminal case for a death?

When a person is killed as a result of another person, the defendant may be charged in both civil and criminal courts. A criminal case is brought by the government for the purpose of punishing the person through prison time or other measures while a civil case seeks justice for loved ones through a monetary settlement.

What types of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Typically, a wrongful death lawsuit seeks “pecuniary” or financial injury compensation for the loss of support, services, and potential inheritance of the deceased person. Other recoverable losses are pain and suffering and medical and funeral expenses of the lost relative. The amount of pecuniary loss is determined by a judge or jury based several factors including the age, character, and condition of the decedent. The individual’s earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence, as well as the circumstances of the beneficiaries of the estate are also taken into account.

Can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed for the loss of a fetus?

While not every state allows parents to bring wrongful death lawsuits for fetuses, Washington State does allow it if a medical expert can prove that the fetus was “viable.” Viability means that the fetus was healthy before the negligent action and would have been born healthy if it weren’t for the unfortunate incident. 

Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit for a child or elderly person?

Yes, a parent, child, or adult dependent may file a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a child or elderly person. Plaintiff’s should know that because the amount of any settlement awarded in a wrongful death action is determined by the value of the victim’s life to surviving dependents, the deceased person’s lost earning potential is an important factor. Because children and an elderly person past retirement age typically would not be earning income, it often means a much smaller settlement.

Can I bring a wrongful death action if my spouse was not earning an income?

Yes, other factors such as the services provided to the family would be used to calculate a reasonable settlement for a person who did not earn an income. A stay-at-home parent, for example, makes contributions to the family such as childcare that are quantifiable as “pecuniary losses” in a wrongful death claim.

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