If your loved one was killed in an accident, you’re probably grief-stricken. The loss of companionship and affection is irreplaceable.
After a wrongful death, you may be worried about medical bills, funeral costs, and not to mention the loss of future income for your family. The emotional loss cannot be understated, either. In Virginia, certain family members may bring a claim for the losses they have suffered from the death of a loved one.
Defining Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe deaths caused by negligence, malpractice, or intentional misconduct. In Virginia, wrongful death statutes allow the personal representative of a dead person to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Most often, these lawsuits are filed for the direct benefit of the surviving family members. Recovering damages from the person or entity responsible for the death can help hold negligent parties accountable. Since financial costs associated with a wrongful death can add up very quickly, surviving family members are often entitled to compensation.
Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney FAQs
- About Virginia Wrongful Death Claims
- Who can file a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim?
- What are the deadlines for a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Types of Settlements and Compensation
- Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Virginia Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death is a death caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or default of an individual or company. The Virginia Wrongful Death Statute creates a framework to provide certain family members for the losses they have suffered from a wrongful death.
Our firm has the experience to represent families who have lost a loved one to obtain compensation for losses; including sorrow, loss of services, protection and care, funeral and fuel expenses and, punitive (or punishment) damages where death results from the willful or wanton conduct or recklessness of the defendant.
Who Can File A Virginia Wrongful Death Claim?
Virginia has a strict legal system and the requirements for bringing wrongful death cases can be confusing. An inexperienced lawyer can permanently destroy your rights.
Wrongful death cases must 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.”
Wrongful Death 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.
Inexperienced lawyers, who do not understand wrongful death law and procedures, frequently fail to compensate the true beneficiary under Virginia law.
Statue of Limitations (Deadlines)
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 may 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.
We recommend you reach out to an experienced Virginia wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Compensation Available to Families
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, certain family members may be entitled to one or more of the following types of damages:
- Medical Costs. Our team can help recoup the costs of the critical and often expensive care given to your loved one.
- Lost Wages. When the victim is the main source of financial support for the family, survivors must deal with the financial ramifications of the loss. The loss of the victim’s future earning potential may be included in a wrongful death settlement.
- Punitive Damages. Negligent defendants are sometimes punished for their actions through these kinds of damages. Punitive damages can discourage the negligent party from acting recklessly in the future.
- Wrongful Death. The emotional blow of losing a loved one cannot be undervalued. Companionship and affection are irreplaceable. You may be able to seek compensation for sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
- Wrongful death of drivers and passengers of car accidents
- Death of motorcyclists
- Death caused by drunk drivers
- Fatal dog attacks
- Tractor-trailer and commercial vehicle
- Maritime, shipping, boating, cruise ship
- Nursing home negligence
- Pedestrian wrongful death accidents
- Bicycle wrongful death accidents
- Birth injury
- Child wrongful death accidents
- Defective products including defective medical products and drugs
- Dangerous conditions in buildings and roadways
- Medical malpractice
- Defective or dangerous guardrails
Norfolk Wrongful Death Attorneys You Can Trust
No matter the case, our team brings a high level of professionalism and experience to every interaction. You’ll see the difference from the very first conversation you have with us. Our dedication, diligence, and commitment to results is obvious, but our connection to our clients is what really sets us apart from other firms. We pay close attention to client needs, providing extensive preparation that leaves no stone uncovered. We’re constantly evolving our investigation strategies and negotiation techniques to deliver the best case scenario for clients.
Don’t delay. Time is a precious commodity in wrongful death cases, and the sooner we can begin working for you, the better. Call now to schedule your free, confidential consultation.