Russell & Hill, PLLC

Understanding The Spokane Wrongful Death Act

Posted on March 6, 2020Posted By Denis Zilberberg

Losing a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity is incredibly difficult. When this happens, loved ones of the deceased are often able to secure compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we understand all of the laws surrounding wrongful death claims in Spokane and are ready to secure the compensation you are entitled to.


It is important to understand that there are two types of claims that can be made when a person is killed due to the negligent actions of somebody else. This includes the following:

  • Survival actions: These claims are brought by the personal representatives of the decedent’s estate. The representatives can pursue damages that the decedent could have claimed for a personal injury lawsuit had they survived the incident. This includes compensation for medical expenses and lost wages as well as general damages the victim suffered between the period that they were injured and the time of death.
  • Wrongful death claim: A wrongful death claim allows for any beneficiaries of the decedent to claim losses such as lost family income that the decedent provided as well as other intangible losses such as the decedent’s companionship, support, and love.

The wrongful death laws in Washington say that beneficiaries are as follows:

  • Primary beneficiaries are the decedent’s spouse, registered domestic partner, and children.
  • Secondary beneficiaries include the decedent’s parents and siblings. Secondary beneficiaries may only recover compensation if there are no primary beneficiaries.
  • Parents of minor children will be a beneficiary if they are able to demonstrate “significant involvement” of a financial, emotional, or psychological nature anytime near the death of the child.


In Washington state, there are time limits in which surviving beneficiaries have to pursue a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Washington is three years from the date of the incident that caused the death. Any claims made after this three-year period will be dismissed. Because of this strict time limit, it is vital to seek assistance from a skilled Spokane wrongful death attorney who can fully assess your case and ensure all claims are filed on time.


If you have lost a loved one due to the reckless or negligent actions of somebody else, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our knowledgeable and experienced team is ready to get to work investigating your claim in order to secure the compensation you need. This can include:

  • Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
  • Cost of pre-death medical care
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of companionship damages
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Possible punitive damages against those responsible

If you need a wrongful death attorney in Spokane, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-529-0842.

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