After losing a family member to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, pursuing civil litigation may be the last thing on your mind. However, in situations like this, demanding the compensation you deserve from the person or entity responsible for your incalculable loss could be vital to protecting your entire family’s best interests, both now and for years to come.

Filing a Bellevue wrongful death action can be a complicated and emotionally exhausting process—which is why assistance from a seasoned wrongful death attorney such as Chong Ye is crucial to achieving a successful case result. By working with the compassionate legal team at The Ye Law Firm, you can significantly improve your odds of getting through this process and achieving fair compensation.

How Long After a Wrongful Death Is Litigation Possible?

Just like with personal injury claims filed after non-fatal accidents, wrongful death actions are subject to a “statute of limitations” which sets a time limit on filing a lawsuit. In fact, the Revised Code of Washington §4.16.080 sets the same general filing period for both personal injury claims and wrongful death actions: three years at most from the date a “cause of action” accrues.

It should be emphasized, though, that accrual of a cause of action for wrongful death does not begin on the date of the initial accident like it does for personal injury litigation, but rather on the date of the decedent’s death. This provides the family members of someone who loses their life in an accident slightly more time to prepare a comprehensive claim, but it is still vital when filing a wrongful death action in Bellevue to seek legal representation sooner rather than later.

Restrictions on the Right to File a Wrongful Death Action

In some states, individual beneficiaries can independently file wrongful death actions themselves. However, in Washington, the right to file a wrongful death action belongs exclusively to a deceased person’s “personal representative” in most situations, in accordance with RCW §4.20.010.

There are a few exceptional situations where someone other than the representative designated in the decedent’s will or nominated through a court order may file a wrongful death action in Bellevue. Most notably, RCW §4.24.010 allows an individual parent or legal guardian to file such a claim on behalf of their deceased child, if:

  • They contributed regularly to financially supporting that child prior to their death
  • They had “significant involvement in that child’s life”—defined under state law as provision of substantial financial, psychological, and/or emotional support—at or reasonably near the time of their death

Speak with an Attorney About Filing a Bellevue Wrongful Death Action

It can be difficult to enforce your legal right to financial recovery after a family member’s wrongful death—especially if you lost your child due to someone else’s negligent or malicious conduct. You should know assistance is available from dedicated legal professionals at The Ye Law Firm who understand how devastating this experience is. We work tirelessly on your behalf to demand fair compensation while minimizing additional stress and heartache.

Scheduling a conversation with a lawyer like Chong Ye prior to filing a Bellevue wrongful death action could provide much-needed clarification about your legal options and rights. Call today to schedule a free, remote or in-person, consultation.