A Washington wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by immediate family members as well as any personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Learn more here.

Who Legally Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Washington After a Fatal Accident?

When someone dies tragically, a wide number of friends, relatives, and loved ones are affected and grieved by the loss. Some are affected more than others, such as those who were financially dependent on the victim, those who cared for the victim, and those who lived with the victim. But, who legally is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Washington, and who isn’t? 

Generally speaking, anyone who is a representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim in Washington if they believe the death was caused by negligence or should have been prevented by someone else. A representative could include:

  • Parents: mothers, fathers, and legal guardians (including step-parents, step-mothers, and step-fathers)
  • Grandparents: grandmothers and grandfathers
  • Grandchildren
  • Spouses: wives, husbands, and domestic partners
  • Children: sons, daughters, step-children, and adopted children
  • Siblings: brothers, and sisters
  • In some cases, other dependents

Keep in mind that who can file a Washington wrongful death lawsuit depends on the situation. Nontraditional families are common, and you may be able to file a wrongful death claim under certain circumstances even if you are not specifically listed above.

How can you tell if you have the authority to bring a wrongful death claim? Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does anyone have priority over me to file the wrongful death claim? (Usually, spouses, parents, and children have priority.)
  • How was I affected emotionally by the death of my loved one? (Did you lose a lifelong companion? Have you experienced pain and suffering?)
  • How was I affected financially by the death of my loved one? (Did you lose a person who supported you? Where you dependent upon the person?) 

The single best way to determine whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit is to speak with a Seattle wrongful death attorney. At the Andrew Kim Law Firm, we offer free, private consultations to families who want answers in the wake of a serious accident or death. We can discuss your case, review the evidence, and let you know your best options for legal action and possible compensation. Call us today at 800-636-3637 to schedule your meeting.