A wrongful death claim is a type of civil lawsuit that may be available to surviving loved ones after the unexpected loss of a family member in a preventable accident. Specific laws and statutes apply to wrongful death cases in Washington State. One of the most important is the statute of limitations, which gives most claimants a maximum of three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline that applies to an individual’s ability to file a civil case. With only limited exceptions, if an individual waits too long and misses the filing deadline, the courts will refuse to hear the case and the claimant will give up the right to seek financial compensation forever. Strict statutes of limitations make it critical for anyone who believes they have grounds to file a wrongful death claim in Washington State to consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible before too much time has passed.
What Is the Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Washington?
According to the Revised Code of Washington, Section 4.16.080 – the state’s statute of limitations – most causes of action for wrongful death must be brought within no more than three years.
The Importance of Taking Prompt Legal Action
As stated above, missing your statute of limitations could lead to the courts barring you and your family from seeking a financial recovery for the wrongful death of a loved one. This is, however, not the only reason why a legal claim should be considered early on. Another potential risk of waiting is the loss of important evidence.
The longer you wait to file a wrongful death claim, the more likely it is for evidence to be destroyed or lost. Pursuing a legal claim as soon as possible, on the other hand, can allow your lawyer to make use of all available evidence, including witness accounts and paper documentation.
Get started with your wrongful death claim right away by contacting the NW Injury Law Center for a free consultation.