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Understanding Wrongful Death Claims: RCW 4.20.010

The aftermath of losing a loved one can be an emotionally taxing experience. The sheer weight of responsibilities coupled with grief can overwhelm even the most resilient individuals. 

Here are some key points to help you navigate wrongful death claims. 

What is Wrongful Death?

RCW 4.20.010 defines a wrongful death as: “when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person, his or her personal representative may maintain an action against the person causing the death for the economic and non-economic damages sustained by the beneficiaries.”

In other words, a wrongful death claim is a lawsuit typically initiated by a family member on behalf of a deceased individual, whose death resulted from the negligence or intentional actions of another party. This could encompass scenarios like car accidents, fire and burn victims, trucking collisions, nursing home abuse, or construction incidents.

Types of Damages 

Wrongful death claims typically include damages that account for economic support and potential future lost wages. Additionally, family members can seek non-economic damages for emotional toll, encompassing grief, and the profound impact the fatality had on the family.

Who Can Make a Claim

For wrongful death claims, spouses, state-registered domestic partners, their child, or children, including stepchildren may file the claim. If the deceased does not have a partner or child, the parents and siblings of the deceased can file the claim. 

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim

For wrongful death claims, you can only file a claim up to three years after the date of death.

GLP Attorneys Support Families of Victims of Wrongful Deaths

It’s important to understand wrongful death claims to effectively navigate the legal landscape surrounding the loss of a loved one. It ensures that justice is sought comprehensively, addressing both the immediate repercussions of the death and the lasting effects. 

GLP Attorneys’ personal injury lawyers have extensive experience with wrongful death claims. Our lawyers stand ready to help you with your case today.

If your loved one has been fatally injured in an accident, call GLP Attorneys at 800.273.5005 or email us at for a free lawyer consultation to ensure that any potential claims you may have been properly addressed.

If you have been involved in an accident, please call or email our attorneys for a free consultation