More information for surviving families of wrongful death

We have added a lot of great new information about Washington State wrongful death law to our firm's online legal resource library.  Here is a little bit of information about some of the new articles that are now available.

Children as Wrongful Death Beneficiaries
Summary: If the deceased has minor children, then they are considered beneficiaries of the estate and a wrongful death action is pursued on behalf of the children. When minor children are involved, they will have a claim for expected contributions that the deceased parent would have made to them until age 18 – the age of majority in Washington state.

Wrongful Death Action Brought by Personal Representative
Summary: To bring a wrongful death case, a person called a “Personal Representative” (PR) must first be appointed by the court on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. The PR is the only person who can file and prosecute a wrongful death action. A separate document (called a petition) must be filed in court which asks the judge to specifically appoint the PR. Oftentimes, the PR may also be a wrongful death beneficiary, like a surviving spouse or adult child. If the court accepts the person designated as the PR, then an order is entered giving that person all of the rights and obligations that come with this position.
Washington State Wrongful Death Law: Civil vs. Criminal Responsibility
Summary: A person who causes a wrongful death in Washington State may be criminally responsible. For this to occur, the wrongdoer’s conduct must be worse than ordinary negligence. Usually, the wrongdoer must act intentionally or recklessly to be guilty of a crime. If criminal liability exists, the wrongdoer is punished with jail time and/or fines.

Mischelle Davis
Davis Law Group's Director of Operations & Client Communications
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