Survival Claim

Survival Claim

The law historically held that a person’s legal claim would cease to exist on that person’s death. But Washington statute has long provided that legal claims now survive the person’s passing. In that case, an “estate” is established as a legal entity that “stands in” for the deceased person, a personal representative is appointed to represent the estate, and the personal representative can bring a lawsuit against the person or entity that caused the death as though the deceased person had survived. Thus, it is a claim for injuries and losses the deceased person suffered. The estate, through the personal representative, is permitted to recover economic losses the person would have experienced in the form of lost wages and earnings. Further, the personal representative may also recover non-economic losses like pre-death pain and suffering, anxiety, and emotional distress.

While the deceased person suffered the injuries and the non-economic losses were personal to the deceased person, the estate’s personal representative recovers those losses for the benefit of certain surviving family members. By statute, this first includes the deceased person’s spouse, state registered domestic partner, and children and stepchildren. If no such family members exist, then the personal representative recovers the deceased person’s losses for the benefit of parents and siblings.

Talk To A Knowledgeable Plaintiff’s Attorney Before Making Any Decisions

Fury Duarte serves clients in the Seattle area and throughout Washington. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your case, and we encourage you to contact us for a complimentary consultation. You can reach our office in Bellevue by calling 425-643-1606.