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Wrongful Death Law in Washington State

Wrongful death occurs almost daily in Washington State. Negligent drivers, dangerous workplaces, defective products, and careless property owners could all cause preventable fatal accidents. Few things will compare to the emotional impact of losing a loved one. What can make it harder for surviving family members to carry on, however, is when another’s negligence or misconduct leads to the loss. Apart from the emotional trauma you may experience, it can be stressful dealing with other pressing issues such as expenses related to the death and sudden loss of income. Washington's statutory  provisions restricts who is entitled to file a claim for wrongful death. The statutory beneficiaries eligible to file a wrongful death claim are limited to the following class of individuals:

  • Surviving spouse

  • Surviving registered domestic partner

  • Child or children, including stepchildren of decedent

Where no statutory beneficiary exists, under the wrongful death statute, and depending on statutory criteria, a wrongful death action may still go forward benefiting relatives including parents and siblings of the decedent. 

If someone’s negligence claimed the life of your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. If you recently lost someone close to you in any type of accident, we offer compassionate legal representation. If you are planning to pursue legal action, schedule a free consultation and case evaluation by calling

PLATIS LAW GROUP at (425) 776-3888. We understand during these trying times, you need the support of someone who can guide you through through the legal system and discuss a possible resolution.

In cases of gross negligence, a court may also award punitive damages. Your wrongful death attorney is tasked with helping the jury understand the depth of your loss. Finally, there may be an opportunity for a personal representative of the deceased to pursue a survival lawsuit.

Certain survivors of persons killed at sea may recover damages from those who caused the death. Those who may be eligible to sue include surviving spouses, children, parents, and next of kin and/or dependent relatives. There are competing laws, the application of which depends on who was killed, where they were killed, how they were killed and who killed them. Eligible survivors of those killed at sea may have differing rights to recover damages under the Death on the High Seas Act, general maritime law, the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, depending on which laws apply and in what combinations they apply.

Contact our Tacoma wrongful death attorneys to learn about your rights

If someone’s negligence claimed the life of your loved one, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, call us at 253-383-5388 or contact our office online.

If a negligent act caused your family member’s death, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit in Snohomish County. It is essential to understand that a civil suit is different from criminal prosecution. During a wrongful death case, compensation for the loss of a loved one is the priority. Family members can recover certain damages depending on the circumstances of the case.

On the other hand, a criminal case seeks to penalize the offender. The focus is more on the guilty party’s misconduct and not on paying money damages. Punishment can include prison time and payment of government fines.



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