Who can be considered a beneficiary of a wrongful death victim?
Virginia Wrongful Death Beneficiaries
Virginia wrongful death cases need to be brought by a qualified personal representative of the estate. Virginia limits the individuals who can sue for wrongful death, otherwise known as the “statutory beneficiaries.” In Virginia, the surviving spouse or children of the deceased can be considered a beneficiary. If neither the spouse or children are surviving other beneficiaries may be determined.
Beneficiaries may include:
- the spouse of the deceased person
- the children of the deceased person
- the parents and siblings of the deceased
- any relative who shares the deceased person’s home
- any relative who inherited the deceased’s estate
Certain family members may also be able to make a wrongful death claim together.
Wrongful Death Settlements & Compensation
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the family of the victim may be entitled to one or more of the following types of damages:
- Medical costs. Costs for care, treatment and hospitalization to save your loved one may be recouped.
- Lost wages. When the main financial support of the family has been killed, their survivors must deal with the financial ramifications of the loss on top of their grief. The loss of the victim’s future earning potential can be included in a wrongful death settlement.
- Funeral costs.
- Punitive damages. Particularly negligent defendants are sometimes punished for their actions through these kinds of damages. They can discourage the negligent party from ever acting so carelessly again.
- Sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
Statute of Limitations (Deadlines)
Under Virginia law, it is necessary to file a lawsuit within strict deadlines imposed by law. In many cases, Virginia provides for a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, special circumstances apply depending on the location of death, the occupation of the decedent, and the application of special state and federal laws. Once you have missed this deadline, you will no longer be able to file a claim.
Contact Our Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys
The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC are here to help you and your family. Our firm has helped those injured or killed in accidents that were caused by someone else’s negligence for over 30 years. Contact us to setup a free consultation, to discuss your situation 877-544-5323