Changes of the Washington State’s wrongful death law and how it affects you
By definition, wrongful death is a legal term for somebody who has died and naturally, due to the negligence of somebody else, typically resulting from an accident or injury. If you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death, you should reach out to a wrongful death lawyer, to discuss your case.
Washington’s wrongful deaths all recently changed in 2019, due to the Washington state House of Representatives passing of a bill with a 61 to 37 vote. The billing question that went to vote changed the provision of Washington state law that cost parents to be unable to bring forth wrongful death claims for their adult children. This particular bill also removed a requirement that parents or family had to live in the United States to be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
How the new wrongful death law works
You may be wondering just what this means for this law, so let’s look at the old law first. The only way that parents could previously bring forth a wrongful death claim for their child once he turned 18 years of age was if they were able to prove that the child was fully and completely financially dependent upon the parent.
So, in this example, a 16-year-old child in his 19-year-old sibling earned a car wreck with their parents. The parents survive, but the children do not. Under the old law, the parents would only be able to file a wrongful death claim for the 16-year-old child.
So even after a 19-year-old child was completely financially dependent upon the parents, they would only be able to file a claim for the 16-year-old child. And under the new law, when parents did approach children over 18 that died in a wrongful death accident, they typically stated that Washington state law has really limited provisions for adult death claims.
However, under the new Washington state’s wrongful death law, the parents would be able to bring a claim for damages for both children lost in the car accident. In the history of the old wrongful death law, which was written in 1909, it was actually created out of a purposefully unjust focus. In 1909, wrongful death law was made to block lawsuits for Chinese workers who were dying in factories.
Talk to your wrongful death lawyer today about the changes to the Washington state law, and see what can be done for you if you’ve lost a loved one in an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence. The new law allows for parents of adult children to receive wrongful death compensation for their child’s death, regardless of the age of the child at the time that they died. However, there could be other circumstances that you should talk to a lawyer about the wrongful death of the child over the age of 18, especially if the child was married. Typically, only the next of kin or the spouse would be able to file.