Wrongful Death Laws in Washington
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A death of a loved one is always a tragedy, especially if the death was a result of another party’s negligence or misconduct. Though no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, we at Zinda Law Group wish to help you seek damages in the event of a wrongful death. If you or your loved one seeks to file a wrongful death claim, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 314-6671 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Washington?
In Washington, a wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s wrongful act or neglect. A wrongful death lawsuit is available if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury claim if he or she had survived. However, because the deceased person cannot file a lawsuit, another person must file in his or her place.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington?
Only family members and personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had an estate plan, he or she may have appointed a personal representative. If the deceased had no plan, a court may appoint a personal representative to manage the deceased’s estate.
Generally, family members only include spouse, domestic partner, child, and stepchild. However, if the deceased had none of the above, the deceased person’s parents, sisters, or brothers may file the claim.
What Damages Are Available in a Washington Wrongful Death Claim?
Two general categories of damages are available in a wrongful death claim:
- damages suffered by family members
- damages suffered by the deceased person’s estate.
The first category includes monetary compensation for:
- the loss of companionship and the like
- the value of financial support family members would have received if the deceased was still alive
- the value of household services the deceased would have contributed to if he or she was still alive.
The second category includes monetary compensation for:
- the medical expenses related to the deceased’s death
- funeral and burial expenses
- lost wages and benefits.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington?
Washington’s statute of limitations states that a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the deceased person’s death. Therefore, a court will unlikely entertain a wrongful death claim that is not filed within three years of the deceased’s death.
Whether or not the state pursues a criminal case based on the wrongful death does not affect the statute of limitations.
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with wrongful death claims nationwide. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build the strongest case possible and recover the maximum amount of damages.
We at Zinda Law Group sympathize with our clients who have lost loved ones due to a wrongful act or neglect of another. No amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, but you can be sure that Zinda Law Group will help you seek the maximum amount of damages from your wrongful death claim.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.