4 Wrongful Death Questions

4 Wrongful Death QuestionsWas your loved one killed due to negligence? Check out these 4 wrongful death questions answered by an experienced Virginia injury lawyer to learn about wrongful death claims. 

What is a wrongful death claim?

As a family member who has lost a loved one in a wrongful death injury in Virginia, you may have a question about what wrongful death claims are all about. In Virginia, they usually follow two basic courses. One is the type of wrongful death claim that focuses on the difficulties that your loved one went through up until the time that they passed. The other is to focus on what the losses to the family are if they passed away right away after the accident. Those are two very different kinds of claims to pursue. They require different kinds of evidence, and they usually depend on how long the person survived until the time of death after the accident. In both cases, it’s important to note that finding the right attorney to help you establish what the losses were to your family is the most important thing that you can do when you’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident.

What happens after I file a wrongful death claim?

Recently, a family came to see me when a daughter had fallen on steps outside of an apartment building and had passed away as a result of her injuries. When that happened, they wanted to know what the steps were. They can be somewhat complicated, but the first step that has to be taken in pursuing a claim when we have a lost loved one is to get proper qualification with the court to allow a representative of the family to pursue the claim legally. The next most important thing, of course, is to hire an attorney as early as you possibly can to establish what the facts and circumstances of the death were. Oftentimes, when somebody passes away as a result of an accident, their testimony isn’t available to preserve the specific occurrence and the conditions that were prevailing at the scene where it happened. The value of the case can be severely compromised without that. It’s extremely important to get an attorney early in the case to help you investigate, from any other source available, what you need to prove and win a wrongful death case in Virginia.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In several recent wrongful death claims that we’ve handled at our law firm, we’ve been asked the question of who the proper person is to qualify to represent the family in pursuing a claim for wrongful death. The simple answer is that you do not need to be a family member in order to qualify as a representative to pursue the claim on behalf of the deceased for personal injuries or death. However, the measure of damages is determined, and the class of beneficiaries who receive those damages is determined by your family relationship. In other words, the people who are the immediate family to the deceased person are the ones entitled to recover the damages. Oftentimes, families come to me and say, “We are so distraught by this loss, we don’t feel capable of being able to do all of the administrative tasks associated with your claim,” and in those cases, you can find an outside person, an independent representative, to qualify in order to file your claim in court.

Should I talk to the insurance company?

When I’m asked if it’s okay to speak with an insurance adjuster after a member of my family has been killed in an accident, my simple answer is “do not.” The reason is, number one, you probably were not a witness to the accident, so what do you have to add to the insurance company’s analysis at this early stage? The second thing to note is that insurance companies are there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to try to minimize the value of your claim, and so they’re looking for information that can help them to find appropriate defenses to raise to try and minimize the value of this case.

Contact Our Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Did you lose a loved one due to a personal injury and have questions about wrongful death claims? Contact a Virginia wrongful death lawyers at The Strong Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.

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