The City of Bellingham has made roads safer for bicycles compared to many cities of its size, but this doesn’t mean drivers know how to negotiate bike traffic safely. When a bicycle and a car or truck collide, it almost always results in greater injury to the cyclist, and sometimes, those injuries are fatal.

No one wants to lose a loved one to an accident. But to lose someone because of the negligence or recklessness of another person makes the loss that much harder. Survivors often face anger and confusion in the aftermath of a wrongful death, and yet have so many decisions to make, from funeral arrangements to learning how to live without their loved ones. And making ends meet can be more pain on top of what feels insurmountable.

Call Bill Coats. It is simply unrealistic to think that the insurers from the negligent driver’s car company are going to offer compensation that fully covers your losses. Having a personal injury attorney on your side can make your financial recovery possible so that you can focus on the emotional healing. Bill Coats Law is located in downtown Bellingham, in Whatcom County, and is only a phone call away.

What is “Wrongful Death”?

If your loved one died because another driver was negligent or some other factor not in your loved one’s control was present, that is considered a “wrongful death”. Negligence is a necessary factor in wrongful death claims. If your claim does qualify, then you as the surviving spouse, child, parent, or other legally recognized heir of the victim may be eligible for money as compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced because of the accident.

Damages can cover medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income and loss of future income, and emotional losses. There are ways of calculating these kinds of claims, which the negligent driver’s insurance company will be guaranteed to be aware of, though it’s in their best interest to save their company as much money as possible. Don’t rely on insurers to give just compensation without having a lawyer who is tough and skilled at navigating the loopholes on  your side.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Known as a “statute of limitations” this is the deadline in which survivors have to file a claim against the party who was responsible for the death of your family member. In cases where a government entity is at fault, i.e. improper signage or poorly maintained roads that cause a bicycle to suddenly swerve into traffic, there are other requirements that have to be met in order to qualify as a wrongful death claim. The normal statute of limitations in the state of Washington is three years.  However, the sooner you can begin the process of filing a claim, the better, as memories and records are better intact. If you would like to talk to someone about this, call Bill Coats. He is here to help, and offers free consultations to discuss your particular case. Contact him here

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