Wrongful Death Attorney in Colonial Heights
When a family member or loved one dies at the hand of someone’s negligence, it’s one of the hardest things to bear. The loss can completely turn a family’s life upside down, especially if the deceased was a breadwinner.
If the person’s death was caused by negligence, people will throw around the idea of a wrongful death lawsuit. But what does that mean?
The Colonial Heights wrongful death attorneys at Commonwealth Law Group are here to help your family through this difficult time. We will treat you and your family with honesty and compassion and seek financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit, if necessary, to help you move forward.
If you think someone was at fault in the death of your loved one, contact us immediately to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Who Recovers Damages Under a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits are usually based upon negligence as the proximate cause of the person’s death. They are similar to personal injury lawsuits, such as those that are filed after car accidents and slip and falls. But the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to bring comfort, closure, and financial stability to the decedent’s loved ones.
The Virginia wrongful death statute outlines who recovers damages when a family member dies due to the negligence of someone else. These cases can be very complex and difficult to understand.
The Colonial Heights wrongful death lawyers at Commonwealth Law Group can explain how wrongful death lawsuits work, which family representative should bring the lawsuit, and which family members can recover damages and compensation.
Here are the types of compensation and damages that can be recovered for the family against an at-fault defendant:
- Out-of-pocket costs that are directly related to the decedent’s death, such as any unpaid medical bills and funeral expenses
- Lost earning capacity that the decedent would have likely earned over their lifetime had they not died
- Loss of companionship or guardianship that the decedent would have been able to provide to a spouse, a child, a parent, or another family member
In Virginia, unlike in other states, there is no cap or upper limit that can be awarded in compensatory damages in wrongful death claims. Ultimately, it is up to a jury to decide what is a fair and just award. Since every case is different, there is no formula or calculation that can determine what a fair and just award would be.
This is where hiring experienced lawyers for wrongful death would be a smart decision. Skilled and knowledgeable lawyers will be able to understand the case and advise the clients on what fair and full compensation should be.
In some cases, the family can seek and receive punitive damages from the at-fault defendant. Punitive damages are designed not to compensate the injured plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family but to punish the at-fault defendant for their intentional, outrageous, and reckless conduct.
Mere negligence wouldn’t be enough to be able to seek punitive damages. The at-fault defendant’s actions would have to be extreme.
For example, suppose the at-fault defendant drank alcohol to the point where they were two or three times over the legal limit and then decided to drive. They caused an accident and killed someone. It is this kind of case where punitive damages would be appropriate.
Types of Accidents in Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death claims can arise from many types of accidents and injuries. The Virginia wrongful death statute specifically states that a wrongful death lawsuit is one where the incident could have given rise to a personal injury lawsuit had the victim survived.
Here are the types of accidents where a wrongful death claim and lawsuit could arise:
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective products
- Nursing home negligence
- Dog attack
- Pedestrian accident
- Bicycle accident
- Premise liability
- Slip and fall
- Boating accident
If you have a family member who was involved in one of the above cases and succumbed to their injuries and died, you and your family may have a valid wrongful death claim.
But don’t make that decision on your own. Speak to a wrongful death attorney so that they can investigate the facts and determine whether there was negligence involved in the death of your family member.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
Every civil lawsuit, no matter what it’s for, has a time frame in which the lawsuit has to be filed. This time frame is called a statute of limitations. For a wrongful death lawsuit, the family has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
If you go beyond that two-year time frame, you may be forever barred from recovering compensation for the death of your loved one.
The best decision to make is to contact a wrongful death lawyer immediately and not wait. If you contact an attorney the moment you realize that your family member’s death might have been caused by someone’s negligence, then you won’t risk missing the statute of limitations.
Also, this will give your attorney more than enough time to investigate the case and determine who was truly at fault. In some cases, an investigation of the various at-fault defendants could take months in order to secure the right evidence to prove the case.Get Started
In Need of a Wrongful Death Attorney Near Me?
If a family member has died in an accident, you should consult with a wrongful death lawyer. Even if you don’t know exactly what happened in the accident, it is a smart move to discuss the case with an attorney.
An experienced Colonial Heights wrongful death attorney will be able to investigate the case and advise you on whether a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate. Don’t make a decision about pursuing justice for the loss in your family until you’ve discussed all of the details with someone who focuses their practice on this area of the law.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options and for help through this difficult time. Your strong and aggressive legal team is waiting for your call.
“Great law group. Everyone was kind and down to earth. Made me feel like I was their only client. Very attentive to me and my case.”Karen Jacobs
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.