Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Washington State?
When a person was killed due to the negligence or criminal behavior of another, they may have suffered a wrongful death. Common wrongful death cases include people killed by:
- A drunk driver
- Physical assault
- A long-haul truck driver high on drugs
- Medical malpractice
- Exposure to toxic chemicals on the job
- A defective product
- Nursing home abuse
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed on behalf of the family who has been wrongfully deprived of a loved one through the negligence or criminal act of another. These lawsuits seek to ease the financial burden of the survivors who are now dealing with unexpected expenses and lost wages. A successful claim will recover for a variety of financial damages including funeral expenses, lost services such as childcare, medical expenses, lost earning potential and inheritance.
A wrongful death lawyer can discuss legal rights and place a value on your claim. The settlement amount is determined by a jury based on the age, character and condition of the deceased and the quality of the relationship with the plaintiff, his/her earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence, as well as the circumstances of the beneficiaries of the estate.
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death situation, please contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible as there is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims.
Who may file a wrongful death lawsuit in WA State?
Wrongful death lawsuits seek to compensate family members or the estate for the wrongful death of their family member. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the spouse, registered domestic partner or dependents of a person who has died as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another person or entity. Every state, including Washington, has wrongful death laws to compensate family members who suffer the wrongful death of a loved one.
In Washington State, “Wrongful Death” and “Survival of Actions” statutes define the permitted actions and permitted beneficiaries in claims on behalf of the aggrieved family and loved ones. The action is brought by the “personal representative” of the decedent’s estate. Along with the family, the personal representative is entrusted to hire a wrongful death lawyer on behalf of the estate.
Washington State law allows the following parties to file a wrongful death claim:
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- The spouse or state registered domestic partner of the deceased person
- The child, children, or step-children of the deceased person
Note: If the deceased person had no spouse, state registered domestic partner, children, or step-children; the deceased person’s parents, sisters, or brothers may file a wrongful death claim.
Contact a wrongful death lawyer to determine whether you are eligible to bring a wrongful death suit and what damages you may be able to recover.
Seek the help of a wrongful death lawyer
If you lost a loved one due to a preventable medical error or the reckless/negligent behavior of another, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced wrongful death attorney fight for justice on your behalf. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a wrongful death lawyer. Call the most experienced practicing wrongful death attorneys Bellingham has at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing grieving family members in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!