Did you lose a loved one due to negligence? Learn about wrongful death case expectations in this article, then call our Virginia lawyer to get started.
1) Wrongful Death Claims
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.
2) Steps in Your Case
The steps 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.
3) Attorney Fees
As in most personal injury cases, attorneys will typically charge only at the end of the case on the recovery that’s made at the end of the case. That, usually, is the largest expense out of all that’s associated with prosecuting that claim. There are other charges that have to be incurred, for example, in investigating the claim, or in expenses of litigation, which might include expert witnesses or medical providers or other expertise that has to come into play to establish how the accident happened that caused the death, as well as what the subsequent injuries were that led to the death.
4) Who Can File?
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.
Did you lose a loved one due to a personal injury and have questions about wrongful death case expectations? Contact a Virginia wrongful death lawyer at The Strong Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
Review Attorney Michael Strong on Avvo.