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When a loved one has died due to the negligence of another party, then those responsible should be held accountable. The family or other close figures should be able to grieve without the additional stresses of financial burdens, such as funeral expenses or a loss of income.

While receiving compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring their loved one back, it can, at the very least, alleviate some of the economic pain points that they may have to deal with following the death of someone they hold dear.

What is wrongful death? (With examples)

By definition, a wrongful death claim may occur when “the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” Examples of incidents that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Washington?

Like most civil cases, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years. In this case, it is three years from the actual passing of the deceased, rather than whatever accident may have caused it.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Washington?

According to the state of Washington, there are several parties that may file a wrongful death claim including the representative of the deceased’s estate, the state-registered partner of the deceased, and the children or step-children of the deceased. If those parties do not exist, then the deceased’s parents or siblings may also file a wrongful death claim.

If the deceased is a minor, then only parents who have “regularly contributed” to the support of that child may file or join a wrongful death claim. If only one parent starts a suit, then they are also required to officially notify the other parent of the case within twenty days of filing by serving them a copy of the complaint.

Common damages in a wrongful death lawsuit

Damages in a wrongful death case may include the following:

  • Medical expenses from right before death
  • Damages for pain and suffering the deceased person experienced
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Damaged property costs
  • Loss of income or wages
  • Loss of support
  • Loss of consortium

Ultimately, the damages obtained in a wrongful death case depend on who is pursuing the claim and what damages apply to the plaintiff.

If you have made the decision to file a wrongful death claim, you’ll need a team of empathetic and experienced attorneys to ensure those responsible for the death of your loved one are held accountable and that you obtain the compensation you need to help you deal with the aftermath of the tragedy.

Serving the Seattle and Seattle Metropolitan area, the legal experts at Gosanko, O’Halloran, Lepore PLLC are here to support and represent you during this difficult time. Give us a call soon at 206-275-0700.