The death of a loved one caused by the negligence of someone else is devastating for the surviving family members. In an instant, the survivors’ lives are drastically changed. Families are faced not only with the challenges of how to handle the financial losses resulting from the sudden death but also with the grief and anguish of losing someone they loved.
At Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, we understand just how painful it can be to know that your loved one’s death was the result of a senseless act. Our Virginia wrongful death attorneys are committed to securing the justice and recovery you and your family deserve. We do everything in our power to hold the negligent parties accountable so that you can begin the process of moving forward with your life. We offer compassionate, personalized legal services and are prepared to serve as your tireless advocate throughout the legal process. Our team can handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on healing.
To learn more, contact us online or by phone at (888) 635-9500 and request a free consultation today. We have offices in both Virginia Beach and Richmond.
What Is “Wrongful Death?”
In a legal sense, a “wrongful death” is any death that occurs as a direct or indirect result of negligence or wrongful action. There are countless ways in which a wrongful death may occur.
Some examples of accidents that often lead to wrongful deaths include:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Accidents caused by defective products
- Maritime accidents
- Instances of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence
- Slip and fall, negligent security, and other premises liability accidents
For example, if a motorist is texting and driving and he or she hit another vehicle, resulting in a fatal accident, the distracted motorist may be held liable for the wrongful death of the other person or people involved in the accident. If a defective medical device causes hemorrhaging, leading to death, the designer, manufacturer, and/or distributor of the medical device may be responsible.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
In Virginia, certain surviving family members are allowed to bring a wrongful death claim. These individuals are referred to as “statutory beneficiaries,” which includes dependents of the deceased.
You may file a wrongful death claim in Virginia if you are:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The child or grandchild of the deceased
- A parent or sibling of the deceased
- A surviving relative who shared the deceased’s household and was a dependent of the deceased
- A surviving heir or beneficiary of the deceased’s estate
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Virginia
The statute of limitations, which is the time you have to file a wrongful death claim in Virginia, is two years from the date of death. Depending on the circumstances involved in your case, you may be able to recover compensation for various damages, including:
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Funeral costs
- Loss of income / projected income
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
You may also be able to pursue punitive damages if the negligence that caused your loved one’s death was particularly egregious in nature.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Cases in Virginia
Virginia’s wrongful death statutes are found in Virginia Code Sections 8.01-50 et. seq. The damages recoverable in a Virginia wrongful death case are based on the losses the surviving family members have sustained by virtue of the death of their loved one.
Virginia Code Section 8.01-52 enumerates the categories of damages that may be awarded to family members in a wrongful death action, which are quite broad, which can include:
- The income and services lost as a result of the death of the decedent
- Grief, anguish, sorrow,
- Loss of companionship suffered by the surviving family members
Choosing an Experienced Wrongful Death Trial Lawyer
Successfully developing and proving a case requires a wrongful death lawyer who has the experience and knowledge necessary to navigate all of the issues involved in proving both the underlying negligence action and the damages suffered by the family as a result of the wrongful death.
It is recommended that families seeking counsel for a wrongful death case select a trial lawyer who has a proven track record in successfully handling wrongful death cases—a lawyer who has demonstrated that he/she knows how to obtain a full and fair recovery for the surviving family members.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
At Breit Cantor, we understand that no amount of financial compensation can undo the anguish of losing a loved one. Taking legal action can, however, help you secure the recovery you need to ease associated financial burdens and focus on healing. Our Virginia wrongful death attorneys are here to guide you through the legal process. We will do everything we can to ease your stress during this difficult time. Our team is committed to fighting for justice and a fair recovery on behalf of you and your family.
With a history that extends back to 1979, you can rely on our legal experts at Breit Cantor for tough, committed advocacy to clients. We have a reputation for winning and a track record that includes over 150 individual recoveries over $1 million. This track record of relentless devotion and proven results is what sets our team apart as among the best lawyers in the nation for personal injury and wrongful death cases.
To discuss your case, call (888) 635-9500 or submit an online contact form today.