VIRGINIA WRONGFUL DEATH
Wrongful death in Virginia is when a person’s death is caused by the negligence of another individual or of an organization or company. If, for example, your spouse or other family member is killed in a car accident because of the other party’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against that individual. A wrongful death lawsuit is a “civil action,” meaning that you may only recover monetary damages in such a suit.
If someone close to you died because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages and should immediately contact a Virginia wrongful death attorney.
Why Hire a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Losing a loved one is hard enough, and trying to understand the rules and procedure to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your own can make things even more difficult and stressful. A Virginia wrongful death lawyer can take some of the stress off your hands and make sure that the precise filing deadlines for a wrongful death lawsuit are met, important evidence is located and preserved, your case is persuasively argued. A Virginia wrongful death attorney who knows the system and the steps required to file a wrongful death claim in Virginia is essential to recovering the wrongful death damages you deserve.
In general, wrongful death lawsuits have intricate rules and procedures that make it unwise to attempt to file these cases on your own. It is in your best interest to seek advice from an experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney.
Statute of Limitations for Virginia Wrongful Death Claims
In Virginia, a person filing a lawsuit for wrongful death must file the suit within a certain time frame in order to recover wrongful death damages for the claim. The time within which the claim must be filed is known as the “statute of limitations.” Virginia requires that actions for wrongful death be filed within two years of the date of death of the person on whose behalf the suit is filed.
Kinds of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Virginia
The following is a non-exhaustive list of types of actions that may lead to a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia:
If you have questions about what kinds of cases are wrongful death cases, and whether or not your case qualifies, you should speak with a Virginia wrongful death lawyer
Who Can File For and Recover Wrongful Death Damages in Virginia?
Virginia has complicated laws about who can and cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, the beneficiaries of a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit are not the same as the person who can file the case. Only certain individuals are permitted to file wrongful death claims on behalf of other persons. According to Virginia law, wrongful death claims must be initiated and filed by the personal representative of the deceased. The personal representative is the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate, and is usually named in the deceased person’s will.
If there is no will, or if the will does not name an executor or administrator, the court will appoint a personal representative for the decedent’s beneficiaries. It is worth reiterating that only the personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover any wrongful death damages in Virginia on behalf of a beneficiary. If you could benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit, contact a Virginia wrongful death attorney to ensure that you know who the personal representative of the deceased is, and to insure that the personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf.
Any one of the following groups of people may be awarded wrongful death damages in Virginia:
The amount of wrongful death damages each person receives depends on Virginia statutory distribution guidelines. Distribution is often a complex process taking into consideration a beneficiary’s relationship to the decedent, the decedent’s anticipated lifespan, future loss, dependency, and the anticipated loss of earnings and benefits of the decedent. To help walk you through this process and make sure you understand to what you are entitled, strongly consider hiring a Virginia wrongful death lawyer.
Compensation Recoverable in a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Virginia law provides that in wrongful death lawsuits, the court or jury can award damages to the claimant in any amount that is “fair and just.” In Virginia, if you are successful in winning your wrongful death lawsuit, there are several forms of compensation available depending on your situation. For example, wrongful death damages and compensation are permitted for:
It is worth noting that because a jury or court can award the damages it believes are “fair and just,” there are no wrongful death damage limitations in wrongful death cases in Virginia. Because the kind and amount of wrongful death damages recoverable in a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit can vary tremendously depending on the case, you should consult a Virginia wrongful death attorney on the matters of your claim.
Virginia Code - Wrongful Death Provisions