Filing a Lawsuit After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Washington State

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Motorcycle on Road After AccidentIf you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident in Washington State, it can leave your life in turmoil. You might be wondering how you will pay for any medical bills or make up for lost wages. While nothing will ever bring back your loved one, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death suit and recover compensation for your losses.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident?

The following parties can bring a wrongful death action in Washington State:

  • Personal representative of the estate of the deceased
  • Surviving spouse or state-registered domestic partner
  • Child or stepchild


If there is no surviving spouse, state-registered domestic partner, child, or stepchild, then the parents or siblings of the deceased may bring an action if they:

  • Are United States residents; and
  • Were dependent upon the deceased for support

Who Can Recover Compensation in a Motorcycle Crash Wrongful Death Claim?

Anyone who is entitled to bring a wrongful death action can be a beneficiary of the compensation recovered in the action, including the estate of the deceased. Parents and siblings of the deceased cannot be beneficiaries if there is a surviving spouse, state-registered domestic partner, child, or stepchild.

The rules for who can benefit from a claim are complex. Max Meyers can help clear up the confusion.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Washington State?

You must bring a wrongful death lawsuit within three years in Washington State. This rule is called the “statute of limitations.” After the three years have elapsed, you cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit and will be unable to recover compensation.

When the wrongful death team at Max Meyers Law, PLLC is handling your case, we will stay on top of these deadlines for you, so you do not have to worry about them.

What Do We Have to Prove to Win a Fatal Motorcycle Accident Case?

Per RCW § 4.20.010, we must show the death of your loved one resulted from the “wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” We will investigate and gather the evidence, including the accident report, which establishes the fault of the person who caused the death of your family member. We will build your case and manage the claims process.

What Compensation Can I Recover for a Wrongful Death Claim?

It depends on your relationship to the decedent. A personal representative cannot get damages for the intangible value of the deceased, such as loss of companionship, but a surviving spouse, child, or others can. If you are a blood relation of the decedent, you can recover compensation for these things in a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Last medical bills of the deceased
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost wages and earnings if he had lived
  • Pain and suffering from the moment of injury until your loved one passed away
  • Loss of care, companionship and other “intangible” value of the deceased (not available for personal representative)
  • Damaged property
  • Loss of support and services (not available for personal representative)
  • Mental anguish (not available for personal representative)


We will obtain the medical bills, funeral statement, employer records, and other documents to show the amount of these losses. We will use all available documentation, as well as your personal testimony to establish your losses.

What Is the Value of a Fatal Motorcycle Accident Case?

Every case is different, so it is impossible to make a blanket statement about the value of a motorcycle accident wrongful death lawsuit. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The sum of the medical bills
  • How much your loved one suffered prior to death
  • Whether the defendant’s behavior was willful, wanton, or malicious
  • How much money your loved one earned
  • What his career prospects were


Losing a family member is one of the most painful things a person can experience. At Max Meyers Law, PLLC, we will treat you with compassion and dignity. We have the experience to take your wrongful death claim all the way through the process to get you the compensation you deserve for your loss. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.