Wrongful death lawsuits are the most serious type of personal injury claim that can be filed in a Washington court. Each state has specific parameters regarding what may or may not be claimed in a wrongful death action as well as who actually has the standing to bring suit. All wrongful death claim elements are typically consistent unless there are specific additional expenses to be included.
Loss of consortium
The first element of a wrongful death claim is loss of consortium when the designated plaintiff is a spouse. Loss of consortium is financial compensation intended for loss of a marital relationship along other claim elements that may apply more to other parties such as dependent minor children.
Loss of future support
Loss of future support is also a standard claim element in wrongful death lawsuits legal actions when the decedent had minor dependent children. This compensation is pecuniary recovery for lack of future support as the children are reaching adulthood, including potential loss of inheritance in some cases. Certain factors such as the number of dependent children and their ages at the time can impact total award amounts.
Funeral expense recovery
Many times the family will endure the burial expense for the decedent in certain situations. In these cases, funeral expenses and associated costs may also be determined as valid claim elements.
Washington state is also one of the states that does allow parents of children to file wrongful death actions when they had no spouse or dependent minor children. Additionally, parents of minor children who die needlessly due to the gross negligence of another party may be also be assigned standing to sue for similar mental anguish and funeral expense issues.