We’ve talked before about foreign citizens having the same rights as U.S. citizens in terms of personal injury and wrongful death actions in the context of motor vehicle v. motor vehicle accidents. The same holds true for motor vehicle v. pedestrian accidents.

Last week’s fatal toddler accident highlights the point:

Family friend Kishor Vadla said the family had moved to Bellevue about four months ago. The girl’s father, Naveen Panchakarla, was in information technology for Starbucks.

Mr. Vadla said the girl was an only child and that her family would return immediately to India for the funeral and might not come back. “It will be very hard for them as they are heartbroken.”

The fact that the girl’s parents are back in India doesn’t have any impact on their ability to pursue a wrongful death claim here in the U.S. Here’s how it would work: An estate would be opened here and an personal representative appointed. The personal representative could be an attorney or a family friend. The personal representative would be the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The parents would not need to return to the US.

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