A wrongful death lawsuit is filed when fatal injuries that lead to a person’s death are caused by someone else’s negligence. Negligence can be defined as an action or inaction that fails to meet the standard of care expected of a reasonable person in the same situation.
We can only imagine how hard it must be to seek legal help regarding loss and how to move forward after a loved one’s fatal accident. For the Pendleton Law Team, family comes first. We offer guided legal support to families and estate representatives who are seeking compensation for the untimely death of a friend or family member.
If you have lost someone due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. Our experienced Norfolk wrongful death lawyers are here to hold the responsible party accountable and negotiate your settlement with the insurance companies. Instead of facing this alone, talk for free with our trusted Norfolk attorneys.
Qualifications of a Wrongful Death Case
Virginia law classifies a wrongful death as an act of neglect, abuse, or wrongdoing caused by a person or company that leads to a victim’s death. The state recognizes that, had the injured victim been alive, they would have qualified for a personal injury lawyer to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
In filing a wrongful death action with an accident lawyer, the family or estate is allowed to request compensation on the accident victim’s behalf. Now that you have a deeper understanding of what a wrongful death action is, below are some cases that our Norfolk attorneys represented that qualified for a wrongful death claim:
- Car accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Medical malpractice cases
- Defective product claims
- Workplace injury cases
- Bicycle accidents
- Birth injury claims
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Assault or abuse instances
An unexpected death can happen from virtually anything, which is why choosing knowledgeable legal counsel is essential to the success of your case. In order to save you from having to repeat the specifics to everyone, our reputable legal team can file all essential legal demands on your behalf and knows what to look for to establish liability.
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Mandatory Elements Needed to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim
The required elements needed to prove a wrongful death claim are clear under Code of Virginia Section 8.01-50:
- A victim passed away due to a wrongful act, neglect, or mistake of another person
- Negligence is so apparent that had the victim survived, they would have been entitled to file a personal injury claim for compensation against the negligent party
- The decedent only passed as a result of the wrongful act or neglect of the responsible party
Do you know where to begin in your efforts to file or prove a wrongful death claim? While financial recovery from a fair settlement is possible, it can be a challenge to negotiate with an insurance adjuster without legal help.
Your case deserves to be handled by a knowledgeable group of wrongful death attorneys in Norfolk, VA, as you process your grief and take steps to move forward in any way that you can.
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Recovering a Fair Settlement from a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim
The amount of the loss that happened to your family is one of many criteria that impacts compensatory damages won in a wrongful death suit. Because every case is so unique, there is no average settlement amount awarded to each family. However, the following typical factors are used to calculate the value of your wrongful death case:
- Accident-related medical bills incurred while the deceased was alive and receiving treatment
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased and your family
- Loss of the decedent’s financial contributions
- Property damage
- Loss of services provided by your deceased loved one
- Loss of any inheritance that was granted to the deceased
- Emotional damages
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Punitive damages if the act was malicious or egregious
In accordance with Code of Virginia Section 8.01-38.1, punitive damages cannot exceed $350,000 in Virginia unless a jury allows it, in which case your monetary damages t will be lowered in proportion to how much you are awarded in punitive damages.
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The Necessity of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer for Your Unexpected Death Case
Hiring an attorney is not mandatory, but in most instances regarding an unexpected death, our experienced wrongful death lawyers in Norfolk, VA, have extensive knowledge in unique situations, such as filing a wrongful death claim for a fetus or for a loved one who was unemployed. It can be done efficiently with the help of legal experts.
To find out if we specialize in a case like yours, we offer a free consultation that is of no obligation to you or your family. We can discuss your case, past case strategies that we’ve used to win a settlement, and what we will seek in your individualized financial compensation claim. There is a time restriction on filing a wrongful death claim, so don’t wait.
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Exceptions May Impact Your Wrongful Death Case
There are some instances in which certain people or entities receive immunity from legal action. This is not shared to discourage you from filing a wrongful death lawsuit, but to prepare you in case your claim qualifies as one of these instances. The few exceptions generally count towards government employees that were carrying out their duties or official orders.
Our firm has also helped families whose loved ones passed away from workplace injuries navigate the legal process of filing the mandatory workers’ compensation claim for damages. To be sure, a case evaluation by our legal team is needed immediately.
Who Collects Money From a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
Only a personal representative or the mother who lost their fetus can file a wrongful death suit in Virginia. The state then regulates which parties may receive a settlement, following a particular order of:
- Surviving partners
- Children or grandchildren of the decedent
- Surviving parents or siblings
- Other members who either resided with or are financially dependent on the decedent
- A personal representative for the estate of the deceased
To fully understand the wrongful death claims process, which documents are required, and how to collect compensation, our wrongful death lawyers in Norfolk, VA, are here to assist with all of your concerns.
Time Period to File Wrongful Death Insurance Claim
A wrongful death claim may not be admissible to file if it is not made within two years of the death, according to Virginia Code 8.01-244. The typical time limit for court-awarded settlements in injury claims is two years. Contact a Norfolk wrongful death attorney right away so they can get this filed on time.
Find Compassionate Legal Representation Following an Unexpected Death
Face this unexpectedly tragic time with the compassionate legal support of the Pendleton Law Team. Our wrongful death attorneys in Norfolk, VA, are waiting to help you win the fair compensation that you are entitled to after your loved one’s untimely passing.
Please contact us today, and let us help you with the financial burden you’re facing before the statute of limitations time limit runs out. Our office will schedule your free initial consultation appointment so that we can immediately begin managing this painful aspect on your behalf.
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