Find out here from a Washington state wrongful death attorney whether or not you have a valuable wrongful death case.

Who Is Immune from Washington Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Andrew Kim
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Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death and Catastrofic Injuries Attorney

When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, it is important to understand that state, as well as federal, laws prevent some families from suing certain entities for damages—even if those entities were negligent and responsible for the death of a loved one. 

Sovereign immunity

Federal and state laws hold some government entities as immune from wrongful death lawsuits—this is called sovereign immunity. For example, you may not be able to sue the federal government, a government employee, a city, a county, a school district, a fire department, or the military in your wrongful death case. 

However, over the years, many states—and in some cases, the federal government—have waived their sovereign immunity, or consented to lawsuits. In Washington State, the state government waived its sovereign immunity completely. For this reason, you should never assume that you cannot sue, even though the government was ultimately responsible for your loved one’s death. 

Family immunity

Some states have laws that prevent family members from suing other family members for wrongful death. These laws, which were meant to prevent family feuds and insurance fraud, have been eliminated in many states in recent years. 

Railroad collisions and medical device product liability

The defendants in railroad collision cases, and in medical device defective product cases are also immune from wrongful death lawsuits. This is a recent development and is part of federal law. Again, however, it is not wise to assume that you do not have a wrongful death lawsuit without first talking with a knowledgeable lawyer in your area. 

Seattle wrongful death attorney

As you can see, wrongful death law can be complex and confusing—and the answers to your wrongful death legal questions may not always be clear. In addition, what legal action you take after the death of your loved one depends heavily on the details of your individual case. For these reasons, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced Washington wrongful death attorney about your situation before assuming that you do or do not have a case. To schedule a free, private legal consultation with Andrew Kim, call our office today: 800.636.3676.