The untimely death of a loved one is never easy. It can be especially difficult when the death was due to the negligence of someone else. The law in Washington provides you with the chance for some recourse through a wrongful death claim. You may file a lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for the death of your loved one and receive financial compensation if you win the case.
The law is strict on wrongful death cases, though. The Washington State Legislature explains that you may not have the right to file a lawsuit in every situation where a loved one dies due to the wrongful actions of someone else. There are very specific rules outlining who can and cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a loved one.
You are in the best situation if you were married to the person or were a legal domestic partner. You get the first chance to file a lawsuit. If the person was not married, you may file if you are a child or step-child of the person. Partners and children have the primary right to file a suit.
If the person had no partner or children, then you may be able to file a lawsuit if you are the person's parent or sibling. The only other way you could possibly file a wrongful death lawsuit is if you are someone who was financially dependent upon the person who died. If you fall into this secondary tier, you must have been a resident of the United States when the person died to have rights to go to court. This information is for education and is not legal advice.