Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys Fighting For Your Future

The pain of losing a loved one is unbearable. That pain is only deepened when the life of a friend or family member is taken as a result of a wrongful act, neglect, or actions of another party. On top of navigating their grief and putting their lives back together, families of wrongful death victims also have the overwhelming burden of taking a stand against those who are responsible. Doing this alone can feel impossible. Especially when family members must deal with the financial losses resulting from the sudden death. 

At Breit Cantor, our Virginia wrongful death attorneys believe that it is possible to move forward after a wrongful death incident. While the pain of losing a loved one cannot be diminished, families can find renewed peace and a brighter future when they receive the justice they deserve. That’s why our Virginia Beach and Richmond lawyers work tirelessly for our clients, helping surviving family members bring forth a wrongful death action to recover damages that they deserve. 

Families in need of a skilled and experienced wrongful death law firm in Virginia will find some of the brightest minds and most compassionate hearts at Breit Cantor. Our 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 you can begin the process of moving forward with your life.

If you believe you have a wrongful death claim and are looking for an experienced law firm in Richmond or Virginia Beach, we invite you to contact Briet Cantor for a free consultation. We like to start with a conversation, listening to our clients, and helping them understand their legal options. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no upfront cost for you; we only receive attorneys’ fees when we successfully secure compensation on your behalf.


If you need support and guidance, turn to our wrongful death attorneys in Virginia Beach and Richmond. Contact us online or by phone at (855) 936-1747 and request a free consultation.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Virginia

In the aftermath of losing a loved one, it can be difficult to move forward when dealing with pain and grief. However, clarity can make planning your next steps a little easier. We want to help you understand wrongful death cases to know whether you have one and should seek help from a Virginia wrongful death law firm.

What is wrongful death?

The legal definition of wrongful death is any death that occurs as a direct or indirect result of negligence or wrongful action. 

For example, if a motorist is texting and driving and he or she hits 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. Another example: If a defective steering system in an automobile causes a rollover, resulting in the death of the driver or passengers, the designer, manufacturer, and/or distributor of the automobile may be responsible.

Wrongful deaths can happen anywhere, anytime, including automobile crashes, motorcycle collisions, crashes with pedestrians or bicyclists, trucking collisions, workplace accidents, premises liability, nursing home abuse, and even defective products. These are all potential negligent acts and are all preventable. 

When a person suffers injuries that result in death, we at Breit Cantor make sure that our clients understand Virginia’s statutes regarding wrongful death and what kind of action they may be able to take so they obtain justice.

Some examples of accidents that often lead to wrongful deaths include:

Our wrongful death attorneys in Richmond and Virginia Beach handle all types of wrongful death lawsuits throughout Virginia, helping surviving family members find their voice and a way to move forward. Whether you need an attorney with experience in car accidents or commercial vehicle wrecks, Breit Cantor can help you secure a brighter future. Our wrongful death attorneys in Virginia can help ensure the negligent party is held responsible for their actions, all while giving you the compassionate support and guidance you need. 

Building a Wrongful Death Case in Virginia

If you believe your loved one was the victim of wrongful death, your next step should be to contact a Virginia law firm—one that has ample experience with wrongful death cases. In your first consultation, your lawyer should explain in greater depth what wrongful death is and how wrongful death claims are built in Virginia. 

To help prepare you for a potential conversation with a Virginia wrongful death attorney, we’ve provided some information below about wrongful death cases in Virginia. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?

In order to bring a wrongful death claim in Virginia, you must show that the death was directly or indirectly caused by the negligent, intentional, or wrongful acts of another person or entity.

In Virginia, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the Administrator of the estate of the decedent. The Administrator can be appointed by the Will of the Decedent or appointed statutorily if the decedent does not leave a will that appoints an administrator. 

Regardless of who qualifies as the Administrator to file the lawsuit, certain surviving family members are considered statutory beneficiaries of the estate and may recover proceeds from any settlement or judgment. The Statutory Beneficiaries that can recover damages from a wrongful death claim in Virginia include:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The child or grandchild of the deceased
  • A parent or sibling who were dependent on 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

Statutory Beneficiaries in Virginia

Virginia uses a tiered list of eligible statutory beneficiaries. This means, depending on the marital status of the decedent and other factors at the time of his or her death, the individuals who qualify as beneficiaries changes. The tiered lists are as follows: 

  • The first tier of eligible beneficiaries are the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren. The decedent’s parents may also qualify as a first tier beneficiary if the decedent provided certain support services and financial support for the parents in the year prior to his or her death. If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, child, grandchild, or parent who he or she provided support to in the 12 months prior to his or her death, the second tier of beneficiaries become eligible for a recovery. 
  • The second tier of beneficiaries includes the decedent’s parents (regardless of support services), siblings, and any other relative who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and also lived in the same home as the decedent prior to his or her death. 

If the decedent is survived by a spouse and parents, but no children or grandchildren, the parents and surviving spouse are eligible beneficiaries. 

If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, child, grandchild, or parent, any other relative who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and who lived with the decedent becomes an eligible beneficiary. 

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Virginia

The statute of limitations is the time you have to file a wrongful death claim. In Virginia, the statute of limitations 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 also may also be able to pursue punitive damages if the negligence that caused your loved one’s death was particularly egregious in nature. Wrongful death law firms like Breit Cantor can help you evaluate the statute of limitations and give you the confidence and support to seek the damages you’re owed.

How Much is a Wrongful Death Case Worth in Virginia?

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. Depending on the unique factors involved in your case, you may be able to recover compensation for the cost of medical treatment incurred prior to death, funeral expenses, emotional distress, and more.

Under Virginia Code Section 8.01-52, there is a list of damages that may be recoverable by the surviving family members of the decedent in a wrongful death action. These damages may be awarded through a jury verdict or in a settlement with the negligent party. The jury or court may award damages as they see fit for the circumstances, relying on various considerations such as the age of the decedent, surviving family members, and lost income earning potential.

Some of the recoverable damages may include:

  • Funeral expenses (within reason)
  • Medical expenses for care, hospitalization, or treatment from date of injury to the date of death
  • Pain and suffering including mental anguish, loss of guidance or comfort, lost companionship, loss of advice, and sorrow
  • Reasonably expected loss of income, services, care, assistance, and protection

In matters when the action was willful or wanton conduct, there may be grounds for the surviving family members to recover punitive damages. For certain recoverable damages, the jury or court must specifically state the recovered damages. When it comes to funeral and medical expenses, recoverable damages may be issued to them for the services rendered.

Wrongful death claims in Virginia are separate from any criminal proceedings that take place. The goal of wrongful death claims is to provide surviving family members with compensation for economic and non-economic damages they have suffered, as well as to give them a more secure future. Wrongful death lawsuits can also be used to hold negligent parties accountable and ensure that similar incidents do not occur again in the future.

At Breit Cantor, our Virginia Beach and Richmond wrongful death lawyers understand that no amount of financial compensation can undo your suffering. Our job is to instead help you pave a way forward; a wrongful death claim can provide you with a sense of justice and allow you the ability to begin the healing process.

Our award-winning attorneys are responsible for some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Virginia history. But our true successes are the moments when surviving family members feel their voice has been amplified and are confident to build the next chapter of their lives. 
If you are ready to speak to a wrongful death attorney in Virginia, you can always contact Briet Cantor to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Call (855) 936-1747 to discuss your situation with a Virginia Beach or Richmond wrongful death lawyer. All initial consultations are always completely free and confidential.

Virginia Wrongful Death Trial Lawyers You Can Trust and Rely On 

Since 1979, Breit Cantor’s goal has been to be a Virginia law firm that provides equal parts guidance and compassion, experience and sincerity, dedication and authenticity. As esteemed wrongful death trial lawyers in Virginia, we take seriously our responsibility to represent individuals who have been harmed by others negligent acts, including families who have lost a loved one to wrongful death.

Our Richmond wrongful death attorneys use extensive experience to guide clients through the complex legal process, making them feel supported, heard, and cared for. The difficulty of navigating a sudden loss is hard enough for surviving families; that is why we make it our priority to handle all aspects of your wrongful death case.

Our clients can rest assured knowing that our Virginia wrongful death attorneys will dedicate themselves to successfully developing a case, proving both the underlying negligence action and the damages suffered by the family as a result of the wrongful death.

Families that turn to Breit Cantor for a wrongful death trial lawyer appreciate our team’s proven track record in successfully handling wrongful death cases. By intentionally keeping our case volume low, Briet Cantor can leverage the power of all of our staff and resources for each wrongful death case, giving clients the one-on-one attention they deserve. 

Breit Cantor is proud as well as humbled to be one of Virginia’s most esteemed wrongful death law firms. We hope that our wrongful death attorneys can be a resource for you, offering you the support and resources your case needs.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Discuss Your Case with our Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys 

At Breit Cantor, we know that there is nothing more difficult than losing a loved one unexpectedly; knowing that your loved one’s death could have—and should have—been prevented can make the healing process that much more difficult. We want to be the wrongful death law firm that amplifies your voice, honors your rights, and seeks recovery for your loss so that you can regain the confidence to move forward.  

Taking legal action can help you secure the recovery you need to ease associated financial burdens and focus on healing. Our Virginia Beach and Richmond wrongful death lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process and help secure your future. 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 the Virginia wrongful death attorneys at Breit Cantor for skilled, committed advocacy. We have a reputation for success and a track record that includes over 150 individual recoveries over $1 million. This track record of relentless devotion and proven results, as well as our compassionate and empathetic approach, sets our team apart as one of the best wrongful death lawyers in the nation.

To discuss your wrongful death suit, call (855) 212-8200 or submit an online contact form today.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Virginia

How much money are you likely to get in a wrongful death lawsuit settlement?

There is no wrongful death lawsuit settlement average. The amount of money the plaintiff is awarded is based on the age of the victim, their earning potential, and other factors. At Breit Cantor, our Virginia wrongful death lawyers have recovered multiple settlements over $5 million for wrongful death lawsuits.

Who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In most cases, the money from a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Virginia will go to the deceased individual’s estate. Depending on who filed the wrongful death claim and the nature of the case, the settlement money may also be paid to individual family members.

How are wrongful death settlements paid out?

Wrongful death settlements are paid out from insurance companies. If the wrongful death was the result of a car accident in which an individual was responsible, that individual’s insurance company will pay the settlement. If it was a commercial vehicle or trucking accident, then the organization’s insurance company will pay the wrongful death settlement. If the deceased had any debts, the wrongful death settlement may go to creditors first, then to the estate and surviving family members.

What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death?

The statute of limitations for wrongful death varies by state. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit is two years.

Are wrongful death settlements taxable in Virginia?

No, wrongful death settlements are not taxable in Virginia. A wrongful death attorney in Virginia can help you fully understand all the financial and legal applications of a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Experience The Breit Cantor Difference

  • Long tradition of success in court.
  • Over 300 years of combined legal experience.
  • Attorneys have been recognized among the most experienced trial lawyers in Virginia and the country.
  • Dedicated to providing our clients with the attention they deserve from start to finish.
  • No recovery, no legal fee!
  • Leadership roles in the legal community.
  • Secured some of the largest settlements in Virginia history.