Advice for a Wrongful Death
If you have lost a family member or loved one to wrongful death, you may be feeling devastated. Our experienced attorney gives advice for a wrongful death. Here is what you should know.
Advice for a Wrongful Death | Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
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.
Advice for a Wrongful Death | 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 try and minimize the value of this case.
Advice for a Wrongful Death | How Long Do I Have to File?
In Virginia, we have a rule that you have two years from the date of the accident causing the death in which to file your claim. Occasionally, there are tolling provisions that will apply that can extend that time period, but the general rule is two years from the date of accident.
If you need any further advice for a wrongful death, please call our experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney today for a free consultation.