Receive the Compassionate Support You Deserve
A death due to wrongful conduct that could have been avoided is a tragedy to all. While there is nothing that can replace the life of a lost loved one, most clients who are the survivors of a wrongful death simply want to see that whatever negligence occurred will not happen again. One way to ensure this is to hold the defendant responsible for their misconduct through financial compensation for the loss. Our attorneys will aggressively represent you and your family to make certain you get your questions answered and concerns addressed, as well as compensation for your loss.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
Individuals who can bring a wrongful death claim include spouses, domestic partners, children, stepchildren, parents, and other family members such as siblings. RCW 4.20.010. When death has occurred due to a negligent act, a person’s personal representative may maintain an action against the person or entity that caused the death. Recoverable damages include economic (financial) and noneconomic (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.) losses.
Some Rules that Apply
Special rules apply for filing a wrongful death claim. For instance, in the case of a minor child’s death, the parents may maintain an action if they regularly contributed to the child’s support. If the child is 18 years or older, a parent of legal guardian may file a wrongful death lawsuit or join an action if they had “significant involvement” in the life of their adult child. Significant involvement under Washington law means giving or receiving emotional, psychological, or financial support at or reasonably near the time of death or the incident causing the death.
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim
The deadline or “statute of limitations” set by Washington law to file a wrongful death lawsuit is three years from the date of the person’s death. If the case is not filed within this three year time frame, the claim will likely be dismissed. RCW 4.16.080(2).
Types of Incidents Resulting in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Car and truck crashes
When another person or a corporation negligently takes the life of a loved one, our compassionate and skilled attorneys will help you through the process to hold the defendant accountable. As a seasoned law firm, we will investigate and get answers to your questions as to why your loved one has died. We prepare each case thoroughly from beginning to end because we are always prepared to go to trial.
Case Example: Drowning Death of A Child
An 11 year old boy had participated in a church summer camp when the adult supervisors took the children to a dangerous sand bar area along a river in Oregon to play on a hot day. Life jackets were available for the children to wear, but the supervisors failed to ensure they were worn. Both the location of the sandbar and the lack of life jackets led to the drowning death of the boy when the edge of the sandbar gave way. The insurer for the church attempted to limit compensation for the tragic loss by telling the family that Oregon law applied because a wrongful death cap is in place in Oregon, but not in Washington. They were not being truthful because Washington law applied in this scenario.
Attorneys William McGonagle and Colleen Mriglot fought hard to hold the wrongdoers accountable and showed that Washington law applied.
Contact Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano & Lind’s Bainbridge Island Office to schedule your free case evaluation. We are honored to speak for and represent wrongful death victims and their families throughout Washington State.