How to Divide a Wrongful Death Settlement In Colorado

How to Divide a Wrongful Death Settlement In Colorado

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Death always feels wrong to surviving family members left behind but when a loved one’s death was preventable and occurred directly due to someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful actions, it’s considered a wrongful death under the law according to Washington RCW 4.20.010.

In Washington, close family members who suffer financial losses from the death as well as emotional grief and anguish can recover compensation through a Washington wrongful death claim. This type of legal action holds the at-fault party accountable and recovers financial compensation for tangible and intangible losses. A successful claim results in significant compensation.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?

Only a family representative may file a wrongful death claim in Washington. The representative is either the personal representative of the decedent named in their will or estate plan or one appointed by the court to represent the family. After the representative secures compensation through a settlement or court award for damages, they must divide the amount recovered among close family members. How does a representative divide a wrongful death settlement in Washington?

Dividing a Payout on a Wrongful Death Case in Washington

Washinton’s RCW 4.20.010 lists the beneficiaries who can recover compensation through all or a portion of a jury award for wrongful death or a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company. The law allows the following beneficiaries of a wrongful death case in Washington:

“The spouse, state registered domestic partner, child or children, including stepchildren, of the person whose death shall have been so caused. If there is no spouse, state-registered domestic partner, or such child or children, such action may be maintained for the benefit of the parents or siblings of the deceased.”

It can quickly become a daunting task for a decedent’s representative to divide a wrongful death settlement or jury award with the help of a Westminster wrongful death lawyer. Many family members may come forward hoping to receive compensation. Typically, this requires mediation or a hearing, for a judge to decide. Payouts on wrongful death cases in Washington serve the purpose of replacing the victim’s income or service for family members who depended on the victim.

It’s unlikely that a distant cousin depended on the wrongful death victim. A judge considers those who suffer financial losses from the death as the rightful recipients. A spouse, child, or parent are the first recipients considered in a wrongful death claim. Then siblings if the decedent leaves behind no living spouse or child. Siblings who depended on the victim’s income, such as disabled or impaired persons, may have a higher claim on a portion of the settlement.

What Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim for Compensation?

Most wrongful deaths leave significant financial losses for close family members. A successful claim recovers compensation for some or all of the following common damages:

  • Medical expenses from before the death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost income for the number of earning years the victim had left to them had they survived the injury
  • Loss of services like caring for the children, home, or yard
  • Loss of benefits like health insurance coverage and retirement contributions
  • Emotional grief and anguish

A successful claim helps those left behind after a wrongful death to move forward free of financial hardship so they can focus on recovering from the loss. Contact Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. today to get started with your potential claim.