An 18-month-old toddler was tragically killed when a truck struck her in a church parking lot Tuesday night in Parkland.
According to KOMO, the driver of a Chevrolet Avalanche truck was parked at the Lamb of God Christian Community Church talking to a relative. When their conversation was over, the driver – a 35-year-old woman – pulled forward to exit the parking lot when she heard a commotion behind her.
The driver noticed a small child laying on the ground and the child’s father running from the church toward the child. The toddler’s mother arrived shortly after, and the driver began driving toward a nearby hospital, calling 911 on the way. The dispatcher told them to pull over and wait for an ambulance.
The toddler was transported to the hospital, where she died shortly after arriving. Pierce County deputies said the driver returned to the scene of the accident and fully cooperated with detectives. She showed no signs of impairment. No witnesses saw the toddler get hit or know how she got into the parking lot.
"Our hearts go out to everyone involved in what appears to be a very unfortunate accident," the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said.
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
While all signs in the case above point towards a tragic accident, that doesn’t mean a wrongful death claim cannot be explored. When drivers don’t take proper safety measures and check the areas around their vehicle, situations such as these are possible.
Vehicles – particularly SUVs and trucks – are getting larger every year. Blind spots on these big cars and trucks are growing, meaning more attention must be paid to a driver’s surroundings. Far too many preventable accidents occur every day when the operator of a vehicle doesn’t take a few extra seconds to survey the area before beginning to drive.
Regardless of whether the driver in the case above is charged criminally, the toddler’s family retains the right to file a claim for wrongful death. State laws vary on who may bring wrongful death lawsuits, but one thing is clear: in all states, close family members like spouses, children and parents can bring wrongful death actions.
Nearly all wrongful death claims involved some type of negligence, like that in a personal injury claim where there are non-fatal injuries. The damages, however, are different. Here are some of the available damages in a wrongful death claim:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of the victim’s future earnings
- Loss of inheritance
- Damages for pain and suffering of the surviving family
- Loss of care, nurturing and companionship of the surviving family
These damages are calculated by an experienced economist, and the factors at play are numerous. They include family situation, earning potential, health and character all come into play when determining how much a wrongful death claim is worth. Cases such as these can become extremely complex, and it’s wise to contact a wrongful death attorney to evaluate your case and help you navigate the process.
Attorney Chris Davis and the legal team at the Davis Law Group, P.S., can assist you in your wrongful death case. If you have lost a loved due to a wrongful death accident in Washington State, call us at (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free legal consultation.