There are many people who will feel the effects of losing someone unexpectedly. Obviously, close family members will have the most intense grief and most significant personal consequences from a sudden death. Close friends, employers and even coworkers will also suffer significant losses, from non-refundable deposits on group vacations to a project left unfinished.
There are many parties who made want justice when someone dies because of misconduct or negligence on the part of another person or a business. Although Washington state law does allow people to pursue wrongful death lawsuits, there are strict limits on who can do so.
Who can bring a claim related to someone’s unexpected death?
The representative of the estate files the lawsuit
In Washington, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is an option for the executor or personal representative of someone’s estate. They can choose to bring a claim on behalf of any interested parties or simply on behalf of the deceased because of their unfair demise.
A successful wrongful death claim might lead to the courts awarding damages that include someone’s lost future wages, the loss of their services around the home and any medical or funeral bills generated by their death. After the representative of the estate pays for certain expenses, they will be able to distribute the proceeds of the lawsuit among the surviving dependent family members.
Who can benefit from a wrongful death wishing lawsuit?
Obviously, a successful wrongful death claim is beneficial for creditors owed money at the time of someone’s death, including healthcare providers, as the recovery of certain expenses will give the estate the resources necessary to pay its obligations.
Typically, close family members are also likely to benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit, with spouses and children typically being the main beneficiaries. More distant family members can receive proceeds from the lawsuit when the person who died had neither a spouse nor children. Especially if the state did not prosecute anyone in relation to the death, family members may view a lawsuit as the surest means of securing Justice for the tragic loss of someone they love.
Educating yourself about wrongful death lawsuits can help you determine if they might be the right solution for your family.