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Is time running out on your wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating experience, particularly if someone’s negligent actions or misconduct caused that death. In Washington State, the law provides a means for the deceased’s family or estate representatives to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.

However, it is important to move quickly. What should you know about the time limit on these legal claims?

What is the statute of limitations?

State law sets the maximum time after an event within which someone can file a legal claim. This statute of limitations varies depending on the type of lawsuit. In the case of wrongful death in Washington State, the deceased’s representatives have three years to file a lawsuit against those believed to be responsible for the death.

Adhering to the statute of limitations is crucial. If nobody files a wrongful death claim within the three-year period, the surviving loved ones of the person who passed lose the opportunity to seek justice and compensation.

Can you file a wrongful death claim?

In addition to keeping these time limits in mind, people who have lost someone should also know that only specific people can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Washington State, these include:

  • The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
  • The spouse or state registered domestic partner of the deceased
  • The children or stepchildren of the deceased
  • The parents or siblings of the deceased

Knowing these legal limitations can help people understand their rights after the loss of a loved one. With the right knowledge and guidance, surviving loved ones can hold others accountable for their part in the death and get the financial support they need.