VANCOUVER WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS
If you’ve lost a loved one due to the carelessness, recklessness, or intentional act of another you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Taking legal action will not bring your loved one back, but it may be the only recourse available when those responsible refuse to be held accountable. Taking action can also help ensure that changes are made so that future deaths never occur. To learn more about how our firm can assist you with a wrongful death claim, contact our personal injury attorneys at the The Scott Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below, are answers to frequently asked questions concerning wrongful death claims in the State of Washington.
What is a “wrongful death” claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil action seeking financial compensation on behalf of someone who was killed as the result of another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act. Examples include:
- Unsafe Motorists (Drunk Drivers, Speeding, Texting While Driving)
- Dangerous Products (Defective Children’s Products, Faulty Safety Equipment, Asbestos)
- Workplace Accidents (Negligently Operated Machinery, Failure to Follow Safety Rules)
- Medical Malpractice (Missed Diagnosis, Prescribing Wrong Medication)
- Intentional Acts (Criminal)
Who can file a wrongful death claim in the State of Washington?
- The Personal Representative of the Decedent’s Estate
- The Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner of the Decedent
- The Children or Stepchildren of the Decedent
What is the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in the State of Washington?
The time limit (referred to as the “statute of limitations”) is generally 3 years from the date of death, but may vary depending on the facts in your situation. Once the applicable statute of limitations expires, the claim is lost forever and you can no longer seek compensation from those responsible. Therefore, it is extremely important that you properly identify the applicable statute of limitations in your case.
What damages are available in wrongful death cases filed in the State of Washington?
- The Decedent’s Medical Bills
- Funeral & Burial Expenses
- Lost Wages & Income the Decedent Would Have Earned
- Pain & Suffering Endured by the Decedent
- Loss of Care, Comfort & Companionship (Available to Certain Relatives Including the Spouse and Children of the Decedent)
Is it possible to file a wrongful death claim if criminal charges were also filed?
Yes, if there are pending criminal charges against one or more defendants (such as a drunk driver), you may also pursue a civil wrongful death claim at the same time; however you must do so within the applicable statute of limitations.
What are the laws concerning wrongful death claims in the State of Washington?
The most common statutes are listed below. This is not a comprehensive list and not all statutes will apply in every case. Depending on the situation you are facing, additional laws may apply and should be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- RCW 4.20.010 (Right of Action)
- RCW 4.20.020 (Beneficiaries)
- RCW 4.20.046 (Special Survival Statute)
- RCW 4.20.060 (General Survival Statute)
- RCW 4.24.010 (Injury or Death of A Child)
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