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Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P.

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where wrongs are made right


Office Location

4701 S 19th St #300,
Tacoma, WA 98405

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitation for Washington State

Plaintiffs must file suit within the time allotted or forever lose their rights

Your right to sue a negligent party for compensation is only good for a limited time, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Since 1959, Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. has helped injured parties fight for the compensation they deserve. We have the experience to help safeguard your right to sue for damages so your claim is not barred by the statute of limitations or any other regulation governing Washington state court procedure.

What is the statute of limitations in Washington for wrongful death lawsuits?

The Revised Code of Washington does not specifically address wrongful death actions, but it addresses such cases in Section 4.16.080, which covers actions at law that are limited to three years. Section 4.16.080(2) reads:

“An action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not hereinafter enumerated;” (emphasis added)

Wrongful death is an injury to the person who suffers the loss of a loved one.

Public policy justifies the imposition of a statute of limitations

It may seem harsh for a law to permanently bar an injured party from seeking compensation for losses, but the statute of limitations is necessary for several reasons:

  • It promotes a swift adjudication of legal claims — When plaintiffs understand they have a limited time to initiate legal action, the process begins in a timely fashion.
  • It promotes accuracy in the adjudication of claims — As time passes, the evidence necessary to get at the truth of a legal matter erodes. Memories fade, witnesses become unavailable and evidence is destroyed. Timely actions are more likely to produce accurate results.
  • It protects the due process rights of defendants — If there were no statute of limitations, the plaintiff would be in complete control of an action and could wait to bring suit until conditions favored the plaintiff, such as after the death of a key defense witness.

Contact our Tacoma wrongful death attorneys to start your legal action

If someone’s negligence has claimed the life of a loved one, you have a limited time in which to seek compensation. Talk to a seasoned trial attorney at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. To schedule a free consultation and wrongful death case evaluation, call us at 253.250.4516 or contact our office online.