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The family members or survivors of a deceased person may file a wrongful death lawsuit if the death was caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another. Loss of companionship, missed pay, and burial costs are just a few examples of the several kinds of damages that can be recouped with the help of a wrongful death attorney near Charlottesville, VA.

The Pendleton Law team extends our sincerest condolences to you as you process grief and make valiant efforts to move forward. Our personal injury lawyers near Charlottesville are here to help you navigate through this daunting legal process and position you to receive the highest-paying settlement possible.

If your case qualifies for compensation, as Virginia’s Heavy Hitters®, we can begin fighting for you with zero out-of-pocket costs. Take advantage of our free consultation to discuss your claim, or continue reading to learn what to expect when filing a wrongful death claim in Virginia.

Find Out if You Qualify to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Virginia

If a loved one passes away as a result of legal misconduct, you may be entitled to a wrongful death compensation package. A driver in a car accident, a bartender who sold someone alcohol who then operated a motor vehicle, a negligent doctor, or a business owner who neglected to maintain their property are just a few examples of who can be at fault in a wrongful death case.

Each state has its own wrongful death laws. Virginia’s laws specify that only a personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit for beneficiaries to collect damages. Wrongful death claims were initially intended to give widows and orphans financial help, but they can also provide monetary relief to grandparents and siblings as well.

If you suspect that negligence is to blame for the passing of your loved one, our Charlottesville wrongful death attorneys can assess your Charlottesville claim for free.

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Instances That May Award Wrongful Death Settlements

It is important for those seeking compensatory damages to know what instances can be filed as wrongful death claims. While details can be discussed during our initial session, any case in which negligence or intent resulted in someone’s death has the potential to recover a wrongful death settlement. Examples of this commonly tend to be:

Intentional Murder

A wrongful death claim may be appropriate if someone intentionally murders another person. For instance, the offender will be charged with a crime if they murder the victim. Also, the victims’ families have the right to file wrongful death cases in civil court against the defendant. In contrast to the criminal case, the wrongful death case is a civil matter.

Medical Negligence

A wrongful death claim may be made against the doctor and other medical care providers involved under established medical malpractice statutes if a doctor fails to diagnose, misdiagnoses, or provides the victim with negligent care that leads to death.

Auto Collisions

A wrongful death case may be appropriate if a person is killed in an auto accident and it is determined by investigators that the at-fault driver was negligent while operating the vehicle. Such as:

  • Driving while drunk
  • Driving recklessly
  • Disobeying traffic laws

Our legal team handles a wide range of these types of cases stemming from:

  • Truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents 

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Components Needed to Build a Strong Wrongful Death Case

In preparation for your Charlottesville wrongful death claim’s attorney consultation, let’s cover what factors need to be present to file a wrongful death suit. The following elements must be met:

  • Intent or negligence was present to harm your loved one
  • Their injuries resulted in death and caused monetary loss for their surviving family members
  • A personal representative was appointed to oversee the estate of the deceased

Appropriate Evidence Used in Wrongful Death Cases

Once it is confirmed that the previous elements of your wrongful death suit are present, acceptable forms of proof include:

  • Medical records
  • Photos or video footage
  • Expert testimonies
  • Witness statements
  • Financial records
  • Employment documentation
  • History of similar complaints

A wrongful death suit is very similar to a filing a suit for personal injury matters. Our personal injury law firm will guide you step by step as you process the emotional toll of losing someone you loved while seeking fair compensation. Punitive damages may even be available. 

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Legal Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Cases

When dealing with legal matters, misinterpretations are common but can completely change the trajectory of your case. It is important to speak with a negligent death lawyer regarding your Charlottesville wrongful death claim so that all misconceptions can be cleared by a qualified legal professional.

Can Only Immediate Family Members File a Wrongful Death Claim?

While spouses, parents, and children are frequently the ones who bring wrongful death claims, other people such as siblings, grandparents, or anybody who is financially reliant on the deceased person may also be able to make a wrongful death claim in certain circumstances.

Are Criminal Charges Required to Receive Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case?

Even though criminal charges may be brought in wrongful death situations, they are not required to bring a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is a civil case, which means it is distinct from any potential criminal proceedings.

Are Economic Damages the Only Type of Loss That Can Be Recovered?

No, both economic and non-economic damages are covered by wrongful death claims. The costs of medical care, funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and lost future earnings are examples of economic damages. Loss of companionship, mental discomfort, and pain and suffering are examples of non-economic damages.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim Years Later?

There is a statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death claim, but it depends on the state and the specifics of the case as to what that time limit is. The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits, for instance, is two years from the date of death in Virginia.

Can Wrongful Death Benefits Be Recovered Even if the Decedent Was Partially At Fault?

Because Virginia is a contributory negligence state, the relatives of the deceased person may not be able to receive compensation if they are judged to be even one percent at fault for their own death. A skilled lawyer, however, may assist in assessing the particulars of the case and choosing the best course of action.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Personal Injury Claim Take to Resolve?

Taking legal action is always faster with the help of a personal injury attorney but the time it takes to resolve a wrongful death case may vary depending on the facts of your case, your attorney’s skill level, and the response time of the responsible parties. 

In attempting to recover financial losses and more, there are various people to work with and this can become a complex process during the investigation or negotiation. An experienced attorney overseeing your case will never promise a case’s resolution by a certain time but instead will keep you updated on the status of the case to provide peace of mind. 

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Let Us Simplify This Legal Process for You

This difficult time doesn’t need to include challenges and redundancy for you and your family. The Pendleton Law Team will handle every aspect of your wrongful death claim and ensure evidence is properly collected, preserved, and presented in the most compelling way. 

Contact our wrongful death attorneys near Charlottesville to schedule your complimentary case evaluation today.

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