Chapter 4.20 RCW

SURVIVAL OF ACTIONS

Sections
Wrongful deathApplication of terms.
Wrongful deathRight of action.
Wrongful deathBeneficiaries of action.
Workers' compensation act not affected.
Survival of actions.
Action not abated by death or disability if it survivesSubstitution.
Action for personal injury survives to surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, child, stepchildren, or heirs.
NOTES:
Action for injury or death of a child: RCW 4.24.010.
Actions by and against executors: Chapter 11.48 RCW.
Imputation of contributory fault of decedent in wrongful death actions: RCW 4.22.020.


4.20.005
Wrongful death—Application of terms.

Words in RCW 4.20.010, 4.20.020, and 4.20.030 denoting the singular shall be understood as belonging to a plurality of persons or things. The masculine shall apply also to the feminine, and the word person shall also apply to bodies politic and corporate.
[ 1917 c 123 § 3; RRS § 183-2. Formerly RCW 4.20.010, part.]



4.20.010
Wrongful death—Right of action.

When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another his or her personal representative may maintain an action for damages against the person causing the death; and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances as amount, in law, to a felony.
[ 2011 c 336 § 89; 1917 c 123 § 1; RRS § 183. FORMER PARTS OF SECTION: 1917 c 123 § 3 now codified as RCW 4.20.005. Prior: 1909 c 129 § 1; Code 1881 § 8; 1875 p 4 § 4; 1854 p 220 § 496.]



4.20.020
Wrongful death—Beneficiaries of action.

Every such action shall be for the benefit of the wife, husband, state registered domestic partner, child or children, including stepchildren, of the person whose death shall have been so caused. If there be no wife, husband, state registered domestic partner, or such child or children, such action may be maintained for the benefit of the parents, sisters, or brothers, who may be dependent upon the deceased person for support, and who are resident within the United States at the time of his or her death.
In every such action the jury may give such damages as, under all circumstances of the case, may to them seem just.
NOTES:
Severability1973 1st ex.s. c 154: See note following RCW 2.12.030.



4.20.030
Workers' compensation act not affected.

RCW 4.20.005, 4.20.010, and 4.20.020 shall not repeal or supersede chapter 74 of the Laws of 1911 [Title 51 RCW] and acts amendatory thereof, or any part thereof.
[ 1917 c 123 § 5; RRS § 183-3.]



4.20.046
Survival of actions.

(1) All causes of action by a person or persons against another person or persons shall survive to the personal representatives of the former and against the personal representatives of the latter, whether such actions arise on contract or otherwise, and whether or not such actions would have survived at the common law or prior to the date of enactment of this section: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the personal representative shall only be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering, anxiety, emotional distress, or humiliation personal to and suffered by a deceased on behalf of those beneficiaries enumerated in RCW 4.20.020, and such damages are recoverable regardless of whether or not the death was occasioned by the injury that is the basis for the action. The liability of property of spouses or domestic partners held by them as community property to execution in satisfaction of a claim enforceable against such property so held shall not be affected by the death of either or both spouses or either or both domestic partners; and a cause of action shall remain an asset as though both claiming spouses or both claiming domestic partners continued to live despite the death of either or both claiming spouses or both claiming domestic partners.
(2) Where death or an injury to person or property, resulting from a wrongful act, neglect or default, occurs simultaneously with or after the death of a person who would have been liable therefor if his or her death had not occurred simultaneously with such death or injury or had not intervened between the wrongful act, neglect or default and the resulting death or injury, an action to recover damages for such death or injury may be maintained against the personal representative of such person.
NOTES:
Part headings not lawSeverability2008 c 6: See RCW 26.60.900 and 26.60.901.



4.20.050
Action not abated by death or disability if it survives—Substitution.

No action shall abate by the death, marriage, or other disability of the party, or by the transfer of any interest therein, if the cause of action survives or continues; but the court may at any time within one year thereafter, on motion, allow the action to be continued by or against his or her representatives or successors in interest.
NOTES:
Rules of court: Cf. RAP 3.2, 18.22.



4.20.060
Action for personal injury survives to surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, child, stepchildren, or heirs.

No action for a personal injury to any person occasioning death shall abate, nor shall such right of action determine, by reason of such death, if such person has a surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, or child living, including stepchildren, or leaving no surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, or such children, if there is dependent upon the deceased for support and resident within the United States at the time of decedent's death, parents, sisters, or brothers; but such action may be prosecuted, or commenced and prosecuted, by the executor or administrator of the deceased, in favor of such surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, or in favor of the surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner and such children, or if no surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, in favor of such child or children, or if no surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, or such child or children, then in favor of the decedent's parents, sisters, or brothers who may be dependent upon such person for support, and resident in the United States at the time of decedent's death.
NOTES:
Severability1973 1st ex.s. c 154: See note following RCW 2.12.030.
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