Wrongful Death Attorneys Assisting Families with Claims in Washington State

At Fuller & Fuller, our dedicated Olympia wrongful death lawyers offer experienced legal guidance and compassionate support for families dealing with the untimely loss of a loved one. Understanding how complex and confusing even everyday tasks can become following a wrongful death, we are here to listen to your story, provide clear information about your options, and help you decide on the best course of action.

Founded more than 50 years ago by husband/wife attorneys Herbert and Carol Fuller, Fuller & Fuller has always been a family law firm. We understand the important roles each member of a family plays and are here to help spouses, children, and others seek justice after wrongful death.

Contact Fuller & Fuller online or call (800) 570-4878 today to schedule a FREE case review with an experienced wrongful death attorney. We serve families in Olympia, Tacoma, and all nearby Washington communities.

Wrongful Death Claims in Washington

Leading Causes of Wrongful Death in Olympia

The Olympia wrongful death lawyers at Fuller & Fuller have extensive experience helping families dealing with the sudden death of a loved one due to:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are more than 500 fatal car accidents in Washington annually, many of them occurring in Olympia, Tacoma, and nearby areas of the state. Passenger vehicles are most often involved in these accidents, but nearly 25 percent involve pedestrians and bicyclists

Our wrongful death lawyer can assist you if your loved one died as a result of a:

A variety of factors can result in a fatal vehicle accident. We will investigate how the at-fault driver’s carelessness caused your loved one’s death—from excess speed to distracted driving or drunk driving—to ensure we build the best case possible.

Other Fatal Injury Cases

Auto accidents are not the only circumstances where negligence can cause someone’s death. Serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, for example, can prove fatal. Complications from a prior injury, such as traumatic brain injury, can also result in death. 

Attorney Marya Fuller is a specialist in accident and injury law. When you lose a loved one in an accident, she will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover all possible causes and identify all liable parties.

Damages in a Washington wrongful death claim | Fuller and Fuller, Attorneys PLLC

Compensation Available Through a Wrongful Death Claim

When a loved one dies, the true value of your loss is incalculable. Although no settlement or jury award will be enough to ease your grief, compensation in a wrongful death claim can help you overcome the financial burdens that are associated with the unexpected death of a family member.

With the help of our Olympia wrongful death lawyers, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical and Funeral Expenses. The costs associated with end-of-life medical care along with reasonable funeral and burial expenses are often recoverable.
  • Lost Wages and Benefits. This includes the lost income that the deceased would have earned had they lived, including future earnings and retirement benefits.
  • Loss of Companionship. Compensation may also cover the loss of love, society, and companionship suffered by the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents.
  • Emotional Suffering. This covers the emotional distress experienced by family members due to the sudden loss of their loved one.

Understanding the value of your wrongful death claim requires a full assessment of the ways—both economic and non-economic—the loss will impact you and your family. Discussing your case with an experienced wrongful death lawyer is the best way to determine what your claim may be worth.

Damage Caps in Washington State

In Washington, there are no caps (limits) placed on damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. Juries in Washington State have the discretion to award whatever damages they deem appropriate, with no arbitrary limits. The awarded compensation, however, can vary significantly depending on the unique circumstances of each wrongful death case.

At Fuller & Fuller, we understand that no amount of compensation can truly make up for the loss of a loved one. But it can help ease the financial strain and provide a sense of justice and closure. We will fight for maximum compensation to help your family make the best recovery possible.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Washington State

In the state of Washington, most wrongful death claims must generally be filed within three years of the date of death (see RCW 4.16.080). If a lawsuit is not filed within this period, the right to claim compensation is may be lost. There are exceptions to this time period, such as when a minor child loses a parent, federal tort claims, delayed discovery of the negligence, and others.

At Fuller & Fuller, our wrongful death lawyer knows the loss of a loved one can be an emotionally taxing journey. The process of seeking justice and compensation can easily add stress and confusion to this already difficult situation—and when timelines are imposed, things can quickly become overwhelming. When you bring your claim to our firm, we will handle the paperwork and ensure prompt action to help ensure no deadlines are missed.

It is critical to act swiftly in wrongful death cases. The earlier the process begins, the more time our legal team has to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case.

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Olympia, Washington

General Timeline of Wrongful Death Claims

Each wrongful death claim is unique. The time it takes to resolve them can vary widely, depending on the specifics of the case, the willingness of the parties to settle, court schedules, and other factors. During your FREE case review at our Olympia office, Attorney Marya Fuller will assess the complexities of your case to give you a rough estimate of how long your claim may take. A significant factor in how long your claim may take is whether a settlement can be reached or if a lawsuit must be filed. 

Why Choose Our Olympia Wrongful Death Lawyers?

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, especially when it’s unexpected. Navigating through grief, funeral arrangements, and the rush of emotions is enough to handle—how could you even begin to evaluate future financial needs with so much on your plate? Having a trusted legal specialist who can provide you with resources, assess your options, and protect you against the sometimes predatory tactics employed by insurance companies is invaluable during these times.

At Fuller & Fuller, we understand the profound grief that follows the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one. Our dedicated wrongful death lawyer is here to offer emotional support in addition to experienced legal counsel, helping to ensure all of your needs are met during this trying time. Marya Fuller has been working on wrongful death cases for decades.

To help ensure you receive the most comprehensive representation, our firm is prepared to:

Conduct an Investigation. 

Gathering evidence is essential in a wrongful death case. We have the resources to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. Our team will thoroughly examine every aspect of your case, from police reports and insurance information to medical records and witness accounts. We work to identify the liable party or parties and also to understand the emotional and financial impact the loss has inflicted upon you and your family.

Wrongful death cases involving auto accidents or other fatal injuries may require expert testimony. To ensure robust representation, we often engage accident reconstructionists, medical experts, financial analysts, and other professionals to review the evidence and testify, if required.

Negotiate with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies may attempt to minimize wrongful death payouts. We will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to help ensure you receive the compensation you are due. There may be several different types of insurance and multiple companies involved in wrongful death claims. We are prepared to uphold your rights during negotiations with each of them.

Go to Trial

While we do everything possible to secure fair compensation during settlement negotiations, when a fair settlement cannot be reached, Fuller & Fuller is prepared to represent your claim in court.

Olympia wrongful death lawyer Marya Fuller is a seasoned trial attorney. She has argued cases in district and superior courts, the Washington State Court of Appeals, and the Washington State Supreme Court, and is prepared to build your claim for any eventuality to help ensure your rights and interests are protected no matter what direction is required by your claim.

Stand Tirelessly by Your Side

Fuller & Fuller has a long and proud history of fighting for families struggling with the aftermath of wrongful death. We are here to provide support, advice, and comfort while helping your family seek the compensation you are due. 

When you lose a loved one in an accident, your choice of wrongful death attorney matters. Fuller & Fuller stands by our clients every step of the way—as our results and testimonials show—to fight for the best possible outcome.

And remember, with Fuller & Fuller, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. You only pay for our legal services if we win your case.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death in Washington

Who Is Eligible to File a Claim?

To bring a wrongful death claim in Washington state, you must be named as the personal representative in the decedent’s will. In addition to executing and administering the estate of the deceased, the personal representative can also initiate legal proceedings on behalf of surviving family members if the negligence of another party resulted in the decedent’s death.

If the decedent didn’t have a will in place when he or she died, the court will name an administrator to serve as the personal representative. Priority is given to family members in the selection of an administrator.

The law affords wide latitude to someone making a will (known legally as a testator) in naming a personal representative. One of the family members above is often named as the personal representative, but this isn’t always the case.

You will need to identify the personal representative and work with them closely in order to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one. Although multiple family members may be entitled to recovery of damages, only the personal representative can initiate the legal proceedings.

Who Is Entitled to Compensation?

Surviving family members who can be awarded compensation for wrongful death are known as beneficiaries.

What Are the Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim?

The elements of a wrongful death claim are similar to the requirements in a personal injury case. To recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one, you must prove the following:


  1. The liable party or parties owed your loved one a duty of care. The duty owed depends on the circumstances of the accident or injury that resulted in death. For example, motorists have a duty to obey the rules of the road and exercise caution while driving. The owner of a property, meanwhile, has a duty to ensure that conditions on the premises are safe and that lawful visitors are sufficiently warned of potential dangers.
  2. The defendant(s) breached the duty through negligence. Again, the nature of the breach will depend on the type of accident. The decision to drink and drive, text and drive, and engage in other reckless behavior, for example, would all constitute a violation of duty on the part of a motorist.
  3. The negligence of the defendant(s) caused fatal injuries. You must present compelling evidence that the defendant’s negligence (or the negligence of multiple parties) directly led to your loved one’s death or injuries that ultimately resulted in his or her death.
  4. You and your family sustained damages as a result of your loved one’s death. Surviving relatives who are recognized beneficiaries under the statute must demonstrate that they suffered losses due to the untimely passing of a loved one. Damages may be economic (e.g., funeral and burial costs, loss of income, medical bills, etc.) and non-economic (e.g., loss of companionship) in nature.

Proving all of these elements is not easy. Common mistakes in a wrongful death claim include waiting to gather crucial evidence, failing to identify all of the liable parties, and miscalculating the damages you and your loved ones have sustained.

Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is the best way to overcome these challenges. Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC, has the experience, knowledge, and resources to handle your claim effectively. Our firm is led by attorney Marya Fuller, a specialist in accident and injury law who continues a legacy of high-quality and personalized legal service that has made us a trusted advocate for individuals and families in Washington state for more than 45 years.

How Do You Prove a Wrongful Death Claim?

The success of a wrongful death claim rests on the evidence. You must be able to prove who is at fault, how negligence led to the death of your loved one, and the damages you and your family have incurred as a result.

Our wrongful death attorneys will investigate thoroughly and promptly and collect evidence on your behalf. Each investigation is different, but in a typical case this might involve:

  • Visiting the scene of the accident and taking photographs
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses who saw the accident, and other witnesses and family members
  • Obtaining paper and electronic records
  • Expert inspection of the evidence – for example, our team can hire experts to reconstruct the accident if there is a dispute about the fac ts
  • Collecting medical records and bills, the autopsy report, and the death certificate
  • Examining financial statements showing the earnings, benefits, and other support you may have lost

These steps enable our team to gather evidence of negligence and wrongdoing, as well as the compensation you and your family are entitled to for the wrongful death of a loved one. Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC, will take action against liable parties on your behalf.

Do You Have A Lawsuit?

Wrongful death claims are complicated. Furthermore, surviving family members left reeling by the loss of a loved one are generally not prepared for the challenges of these cases.

Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC, is proud to serve those who have been hurt when they need help the most. This includes not only injured individuals but the relatives left behind when a family member tragically dies as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Reasons to hire our wrongful death lawyers include:

  • Extensive knowledge of the applicable laws surrounding wrongful death litigation
  • Decades of experience representing families with compassion and sensitivity
  • The resources necessary to investigate wrongful death claims and hold those at fault responsible
  • Commitment to pursuing maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf; families are often unaware of the full extent of damages that may be recoverable
  • We forge personal connections with each client, as well as with their families

See What Our Clients Have to Say About Us.

Generally, it is in your best interest to get started on a wrongful death claim as soon as possible. Delay could mean that you lose the opportunity to recover fair compensation, as well as the loss of critical evidence.

What Is a Survival Action, and How Is It Different from a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims seek compensation for the survivors of someone who dies due to the negligence of another. Survival actions, by contrast, are claims brought to recover damages that the deceased suffered prior to his or her death.

Recoverable losses in survival actions include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages that decedents suffer prior to succumbing to their injuries, if they did not die instantly. The estate may also be entitled to recovery of economic damages such as the cost of funeral services, burial or cremation, lost income, and medical treatment and hospice care prior to death.

Please note that the author believes that the above information was accurate at the time that it was written. The legislature or courts, however, may change the applicable law at any time.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Olympia Today

We recognize the need for empathy and understanding when helping families who are dealing with exceptional grief. Drawing from our own family’s years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death law, we are here to provide compassionate and effective legal representation whenever you need us.

Call (800) 570-4878 or contact Fuller & Fuller online for a FREE review of your case. Our wrongful death lawyers serve clients in Olympia and nearby areas of Washington state, including Tacoma, and other communities.