When an adult dies in the state of Washington, and those that loved that adult believe that someone else's actions were responsible for that person's death, a wrongful death suit may be considered. However, your ability in the state of Washington to file a wrongful death claim in the event that a loved one passes away depending upon your relationship to the deceased. Here is a quick guide to who can file a wrongful death lawsuit when an adult dies in the state of Washington. Remember though, this is just a guide and you should always consult with a qualified wrongful death attorney if you have suspensions about a loved one's death.
When The Deceased Wasn't Married & Have Children
If the deceased was not married or in a registered domestic partnership and also did not have any children, who can file a lawsuit on the deceased behalf is limited. If the deceased had parents or siblings who live in the United States, they may have grounds to file a lawsuit. If their parents or siblings depending on them for financial support at the time they died, their parents and siblings can bring a lawsuit for pre-death pain of the deceased as well as suffering, in addition to economic and survival damages.
If the deceased parents and siblings did not depend upon them for financial support, their legal standing to go forward with a wrongful death lawsuit is very limited. You maybe be able to seek compensation for economic damages, but that is about it.
If the parents and siblings do not live in the United States, that could make the case harder to prove as well.
When The Deceased Was Married Or Had Children
It is much easier to file a wrongful death lawsuit when the deceased was either married, in a common-law marriage or domestic partnership or had children. The children do not even have to be biologically related to the deceased to file a wrongful death claim; step-children may also file a wrongful death lawsuit. The children can also be minors or adults.
In the case that the deceased was married, had children or both, their spouse and children can file for survival action, pre-death pain, emotional suffering, as well as the loss of future economic benefits.
If an adult loved one passed away, consult with a Washington state wrongful death attorney to determine if you, or anyone, has legal grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. A qualified lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and determine who has the biggest chance from the survivors of the deceased in successfully pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.