The statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim in Washington State is three years from the date of death. Meaning that you must either file your claim in court or have settled your case within this time frame or the case will no longer be valid. There are also certain situations where the statute of limitations may be shorter. If your loved one survived for a period of time after being injured the claim may need to be filed within three years from the date that the negligence was committed.
Due to the sensitivity of the issue a wrongful death claim should be investigated immediately following the person’s death, because the insurance company will always launch an immediate investigation for their defense. Gathering evidence can include getting witness statements, performing an accident reconstruction, obtaining a private autopsy, and hiring experts if necessary. In most cases doing these things will significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Wrongful death cases can be very confusing and many laws may be difficult to understand. It is important to contact a Washington wrongful death lawyer as soon as you can to find help determine whether or not you need an attorney to fight your case for you.