Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is perhaps the biggest loss anyone can face. When a death occurs due to the wrongful act of another, the loss is often felt even more deeply.
Although nothing can bring back a deceased loved one, compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help the surviving loved ones deal with future uncertainties and suffering.
The Joel Bieber Firm understands the losses involved in wrongful death cases and has helped many surviving loved ones get justice. Call today to learn how a Virginia wrongful death lawyer from our team can potentially help you.
Wrongful Death in Virginia
In Virginia, a wrongful death occurs when a person causes the death of another negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. In some cases of wrongful death, the state may initiate criminal charges. But this is not a requirement for a victim’s loved ones to file a wrongful death action of their own.
Although wrongful death can occur in numerous ways, certain situations lead to these types of tragic results more frequently than others.
According to the Traffic Records Electronic Data System, nearly 1,000 people die in car accidents each year in Virginia. While some accidents are flukes and not avoidable, most are preventable and are due to negligent or reckless driving.
Intentional actions that lead to wrongful death are also usually criminal acts, including homicide and assault. Hence, the state typically brings charges when intentional acts lead to death.
However, the state’s case is independent of a wrongful death suit. In fact, a wrongful death lawsuit could be successful even if the state loses its case. This is due to the fact that criminal actions have a higher burden of proof than wrongful death civil actions.
Unfortunately, workplace accidents leading to death are not uncommon. When they occur, a victim’s family members can seek death benefits from workers’ compensation, but they cannot sue their employer for wrongful death.
With that being said, a deceased employee’s loved ones may file a claim or lawsuit against a party other than the employer if that party (known as a third party) unlawfully caused the death.
Examples of a third party might include:
- The property owner of the worksite
- An employee of another company
- A tool or equipment manufacturer or distributor
A customer or some other member of the general public may also be held liable for the wrongful death of an employee who is on the job.
Dangerous Defective Products
There are millions of products on the market, most of which do consumers no harm. However, some defective products can kill. When they do, the victim’s family can seek damages through a wrongful death claim.
The medical profession is tasked with caring for the health needs of society. Sadly, some healthcare decisions lead to deadly outcomes for patients. When negligence underpins these decisions, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.
Justice for the Loss of a Loved One
An array of damages are available for the loved ones of a victim of wrongful death. They are categorized as either economic (financial) or non-economic in nature.
Financial losses related to wrongful death typically include the end-of-life care costs and expenses a victim and their family experience, including:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Expenses for burial and funeral
- Lost income and lost future economic opportunity
Home care service expenses may also be recouped in a wrongful death claim.
A victim’s family members may also pursue non-monetary, intangible losses occasioned by the death of their loved one, including:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of protection, guidance, and comfort
In some wrongful death cases, punitive damages are appropriate. They are a form of punishment in the form of a monetary judgment against a defendant for particularly bad conduct that is willful, wanton, or reckless.
If you have lost a loved one through the wrongful acts of someone else, you may be entitled to justice through compensation. At The Joel Bieber Firm, we fight hard for the losses family members experience when they lose a loved one. We are ready to meet with you and review your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on the extent of the specific damages of your case. Virginia allows surviving family members to seek compensation for a variety of damages. The amount of compensation you get will depend on exactly what your damages are.
Additionally, the skill and experience of the Virginia wrongful death lawyer representing you will play a role in your total compensation.
In Virginia, the personal representative of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. However, the proceeds of the action will go directly to the decedent’s statutory beneficiaries, who include the spouse, children, and other close relatives.
If you have lost a loved one and are interested in getting maximum compensation for the losses you and your family have suffered, then you will need to hire a Virginia wrongful death lawyer.
Once you file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against someone or their insurance company, they will immediately put up a fight against your allegations. Claims professionals, including lawyers and insurance adjusters, will do what they can to get your claim either thrown out or substantially reduced.
With a wrongful death lawyer representing you, you have an advocate who will fight for your claim and work diligently to get you maximum compensation for your losses.
Virginia has a statute of limitations of two years for wrongful death claims. The clock starts ticking on the date of the person’s death.