A wrongful death is usually sudden and unexpected – but affects surviving family and friends forevver

A wrongful death can happen in a variety of ways, from a car or truck accident to a medical procedure that goes tragically wrong. Regardless of the cause, a wrongful death is always heartbreaking, and the resulting claim takes a special kind of experience to handle effectively.

Bellingham personal injury attorney Bill Coats is focused on wrongful death claims

When a loved one dies as the result of negligence or recklessness, family members are overwhelmed with grief, anger, and confusion as to what to do next. Often the at-fault party will deny liability and will seek to place blame elsewhere, even on the victim. The legal process can be overwhelming for family members who are mourning and trying to come to terms with what has happened. see more at Bill Coats Wrongful Death page

An experienced attorney like Bill Coats handles the entire wrongful death claim from start to finish, allowing the family to begin healing. When a wrongful death happens, the legal stakes are higher and more challenging, the at-fault parties fight harder, and the process can be stressful for surviving family members. Lawyer Bill Coats has helped clients dealing with a wide variety with wrongful death claims, including:

  • $2.5M to the family of a teenager killed in a jet-ski accident while celebrating the holidays with a friend's family, entrusted with his safety and care.
  • $500,000 to the family of an 8-year old boy maliciously killed by a neighborhood teenager who was supposed to be on supervised probation.


What families need to know about recovery after a wrongful death

Families of wrongful death victims are awarded financial compensation for losses caused by their loved one’s death.

Four Washington State laws govern what is recoverable:

  •  Where the decedent is a child, parents may recover amounts for “… loss of love and companionship of the child and for injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship.” (RCW 4.24.010)
  •  Where there is a spouse or child, a “… jury may give such damages as, under all circumstances of the case, may to them be just.” (RCW 4.20.010)
  • Compensation for pain and suffering in anticipation of death if the deceased consciously knew death to be imminent. (RCW 4.20.010)
  • Loss of decedent’s anticipated future earnings. The deceased person’s estate is entitled to money to compensate for the lost future earnings over the decedent’s normal life expectancy. (RCW 4.20.046)
  • Medical, funeral, and burial expenses related to the death. All costs from medical care services should be repaid including ambulance, hospital, surgery, funeral, and doctors’ bills. Depending upon the type of insurance coverage available, the family may be entitled to receive payment of some of these bills regardless of who caused the accident. (RCW 4.20.060)

Only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim, and deadlines and Washington State statutes affect these cases. It is crucial to quickly find an experienced attorney to handle a wrongful death claim.

Contact Bill Coats to learn what an experienced wrongful death attorney can do to help immediately.

The majority of wrongful death claims stem from vehicle accidents in which one party commits an act of negligence. The most common causes of wrongful death claims in Bellingham and Whatcom County are:

One very common link between all types of accidents and injuries is the presence of a distracted driver. With the rise in the use of smart phones, hand-held devices, and other small electronics, the incidence of distracted driving accidents has risen sharply. If distracted driving was a factor in a wrongful death, go to this page to learn more.

Accidents that involve drunk drivers can be extremely scary and stressful. Often behaviors of drunk or drugged drivers such as running red lights, weaving into the path of oncoming traffic, wrong-way driving, speeding and tailgating have devastating consequences. Here is more information on what to do if drugs or alcohol were involved in a wrongful death. 

There is nothing more devastating than having a loved one die due to someone else’s negligence. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help by handling all legal issues while the family can focus on mourning and healing.

To get your questions answered, contact Bellingham personal injury attorney Bill Coats today by calling (360) 392-2833.

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Distracted Driving

Car Accident

Drunk Driving

Semi Tractor Trailer and Truck Accidents

Motorcycle Accident

Personal Injury