Dealing with a wrongful death claim 

Wrongful death claims can be difficult. Learn the basics of what you need to know here. 

Death is always difficult to deal with. And when its sudden, unexpected, or even violent, it can be almost too much to bear. Survivors of loved ones who passed as the result of circumstances outside of their control like negligence, medical malpractice, or intentional action often have a difficult time adjusting and coming to terms with the loss. If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of one of these circumstances, we want to provide help on knowing your rights and what to expect during the difficult legal process.

When pursing a wrongful death claim it’s important to understand the types of damages that this sort of claim can cover. During a wrongful death case, survivors are nearly always entitled to financial compensation. Typically, there are two types of damage claims that can be pursued:

Economic damages included in wrongful death claims

Economic damages have to do with income loss or instability. If the deceased was a spouse or the main breadwinner of the household, their death can bring an onslaught of financial hardship due to a sudden inability to afford the lifestyle your family has become accustomed to. This can also include other expenses such as child care, housekeeping, and funeral costs.

Non-economic damages (including pain and suffering)

Non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering, deals with the emotional and personal side of your claim. For this part of your claim, you need to bring evidence of the mental tax, sorrow, grief, and suffering that this sudden death has brought upon your family. 

Who can file

Typically, any family member or dependent can file for a wrongful death claim, whether that person is a child, spouse, or other dependent. 

Filing a wrongful death claim for your child

If the deceased was a adult child,  under Wash. Rev. Code § 4.24.010, parents or legal guardians can only file a claim if that child had no surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children. 

If the child was a minor, a parent or legal guardian can file a lawsuit as long as they had regular contribution to that child’s support. 

Statute of limitations: When to file

In Washington state, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the date of the death. Unfortunately, cases filed after the statute of limitations has expired are unlikely to be heard by the court (Wash. Rev. Code § 4.16.080(2) 

If you’re filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Washington State, let our team at Evergreen Personal Injury Council represent you. Our experienced team has the care to be delicate while also possessing the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve.