These documents are currently being revised to incorporate the changes made during the 2024 Legislative Session. Please consult the Sections Affected Table for changes made during the 2024 Legislative Session.

4.24.005  <<  4.24.010 >>   4.24.020

Action for injury or death of child.

(1) A parent or legal guardian who has regularly contributed to the support of his or her minor child, and a parent or legal guardian who has had significant involvement in the life of an adult child, may maintain or join as a party an action as plaintiff for the injury or death of the child. For purposes of this section, "significant involvement" means demonstrated support of an emotional, psychological, or financial nature within the parent-child relationship, at or reasonably near the time of death, or at or reasonably near the time of the incident causing death, including either giving or receiving emotional, psychological, or financial support to or from the child.
(2) In addition to recovering damages for the child's health care expenses, loss of the child's services, loss of the child's financial support, and other economic losses, damages may be also recovered under this section for the loss of love and companionship of the child, loss of the child's emotional support, and for injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship, in such amounts as determined by a trier of fact to be just under all the circumstances of the case.
(3) An action may be maintained by a parent or legal guardian under this section, regardless of whether or not the child has attained the age of majority, only if the child has no spouse, state registered domestic partner, or children.
(4) Each parent is entitled to recover for his or her own loss separately from the other parent regardless of marital status, even though this section creates only one cause of action.
(5) If one parent brings an action under this section and the other parent is not named as a plaintiff, notice of the institution of the suit, together with a copy of the complaint, shall be served upon the other parent: PROVIDED, That notice shall be required only if parentage has been duly established.
Such notice shall be in compliance with the statutory requirements for a summons. Such notice shall state that the other parent must join as a party to the suit within twenty days or the right to recover damages under this section shall be barred. Failure of the other parent to timely appear shall bar such parent's action to recover any part of an award made to the party instituting the suit.


Retroactive application2019 c 159: See note following RCW 4.20.010.
Intent1998 c 237: "It is the intent of this act to address the constitutional issue of equal protection addressed by the Washington state supreme court in Guard v. Jackson, 132 Wn.2d 660 (1997). The legislature intends to provide a civil cause of action for wrongful injury or death of a minor child to a mother or father, or both, if the mother or father has had significant involvement in the child's life, including but not limited to, emotional, psychological, or financial support." [ 1998 c 237 § 1.]
Severability1973 1st ex.s. c 154: See note following RCW 2.12.030.
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group