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? 


As a personal injury lawyer here in Bellingham, WA, I’m often asked this question, “Who is allowed to bring a wrongful death claim?” I created this video to answer it. 

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.

There are state laws that dictate who can bring forth this claim. It’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you through this process. Like any legal action, civil or criminal, there are many laws that come into play, and even something as simple as the kind of paper a document is printed on can matter. 

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a death that occurred because of someone else’s mistake, don’t try to go it alone. Talk to me about your case, and together we can discuss your options and the best way forward. 

– Bill Coats

Bill Coats is a lawyer in Bellingham, WA experienced with wrongful death and other accident injury claims. All initial consultations are free, and he offers a no fee guarantee to his clients. This means that you don’t pay a dime for legal representation until your settlement pays you. Contact him here for more information and to talk about your case.

For more information on Washington wrongful death claims

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