Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

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What if I Die Before My Case Settles?

Posted Friday, November 6, 2020 by Chris Thayer

When people are seriously hurt in accidents, one of the common concerns is how much money they will receive. But for older victims or those with terminal illnesses, it is also common to fear what happens if they should pass away before the conclusion of their case. Fortunately, there is good news for Washington State residents who are hurt due to negligence. Washington law allows surviving family members to collect the money upon compensation. Experienced injury lawyers can help to preserve your claim even if you should pass away.

*Washington Survival Act* Under the Washington Revised Code, Section 4.20.046, actions that survive the death of a plaintiff then pass to the probate estate of that decedent. Not all claims pass to the estate, but injury claims generally do. For instance, here are just a few types of cases that can be brought by the surviving representative of the estate:

*Deadlines That Apply to Survival Claims* In most cases, you will have just three years from the date of injury, not death, in order to bring a lawsuit for your injury. So, if you are injured in a car accident but later die of unrelated causes, your estate will be bound to file a claim with the court within three years of your accident. One court case further explains how these statutes of limitations can be affected by death or disability. There are some unique situations that can change this. For instance:

Ultimately, there are many unique facts that can make a significant difference in how long you have to pursue your case. This is why it is so important to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury law firm with decades of experience helping injury victims in Washington State.

*How Wrongful Death Differs From Survival* A survival claim is an injury to the decedent that would have been compensable had he or she lived. If the decedent lived, then that person could have pursued compensation. Due to the death, those rights pass to the decedent’s estate, and any money collected passes by will or action of law.

On the contrary, wrongful death claims are the property of the heirs. The surviving spouse and children bring these claims for their own losses, emotional distress, loss of society and income. These claims do not pass through a will or probate estate. Instead, they are direct claims that can be compensated through negotiations or litigation.

At Pivotal Law Group, our attorneys frequently appear in state and federal courts throughout the state, working hard to protect the rights of injured citizens everywhere. For more information or to speak with an attorney free of charge, find us online or give us a call. There is no obligation and no risk for calling today.