Often when someone dies in an accident that should not have happened, there are a lot of questions the survivors need to ask. After the initial shock fades and it sets in that the loved one is gone, the effects of their loss start to sink in. If that person was a financial provider, it’s natural to wonder about how their income will be replaced. If there are expensive and unexpected funeral costs, the payment of those bills will have to come from somewhere. But where?
Wrongful death is a serious personal injury matter. It occurs when somebody dies as a result of a preventable action caused by another. There are a couple different scenarios in which wrongful death can occur: reckless behavior, negligence, or a deliberate act.
If someone you love died and it may have been as a result of another’s recklessness, negligence, or deliberate wrongdoing, you should seek legal advice immediately. Limitations exist on the time you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Washington, the statute of limitations is generally three years after the death occurred. Once that time is up, it’s gone. The court will not allow pursuance once the statute of limitations has expired.
There are some exceptions to this three-year rule. For example, if medical malpractice may have occurred but is discovered many years beyond the person’s death, or products used that were later found to be defective, the deceased’s survivors may pursue a wrongful death claim. Also, if information pertaining to someone’s death is deliberately hidden, a wrongful death suit may be filed beyond the statute of limitations.
Wrongful death claims are complicated matters that should be handled by a professional. Time is of the essence. If you suspect that a loved one died and it could have been prevented, call Bill Coats Law. We have many years experience handling wrongful death claims.
If someone you love died and you have questions, you may wonder if you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Washington State, only the personal representative is allowed to bring a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is either determined in the will of the person who died, or if the appointment wasn’t set forth in the will, state laws dictate who can bring a wrongful death claim. Usually it is the spouse of the person who died who can bring the wrongful death claim.
If this reading conjures more questions for you, call (360) 392-2833 or contact me here. Initial consultations are free, and you pay nothing until your case settles.