The loss of a loved one is a challenging event to cope with. This is especially certain when a loved one is suddenly killed in a motor vehicle crash. No matter a person’s age or stage in life, the sudden death of a family member in a car accident is a traumatic event. It is likely that surviving loved ones are left with many questions and concerns, wondering what can be done following such a tragedy.
In the state of Washington, Chapter 4.20 § 1 of the state legislature states that a right of action is available for the wrongful death of a person if his or her death was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another person. In such matters, the personal representative of the deceased individual could maintain an action against the person or persons liable for the death, seeking economic and noneconomic damages arising from the decedent’s death.
Who may file this action?
At Chapter 4.20 § 2 of the state legislature, the beneficiaries of the action are defined. In other words, it details the individuals that have the right to file a wrongful death action. This includes the decedent’s spouse, state registered domestic partner and child or children, whether they are biological, adopted or stepchildren. If none of these beneficiaries exist, the parents or siblings of the deceased could maintain this action.
With regards to the damages sought in this action, no matter who is filing the action, he or she may seek any damages that seem just under the circumstances of the matter. This could include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, lost wages and other related losses.
While there is no way to bring back a loved one that was tragically killed in a car crash, it is possible to address the damages and losses caused by it. Surviving family members may be able to file a civil suit. A wrongful death action seeks to prove liability in the incident, helping one to recover losses suffered because of the wrongful death of a loved one.