Wrongful Death Laws in Virginia
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A death of a loved one is always a tragedy, especially if the death was a result of another party’s negligence or misconduct. Though no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, we at Zinda Law Group wish to help you seek damages in the event of a wrongful death. If you or your loved one seeks to file a wrongful death claim, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 314-6671 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Virginia?
In Virginia, a wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s wrongful act or neglect. A wrongful death lawsuit is available if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury claim if he or she had survived. However, because the deceased person cannot file a lawsuit, another person must file in his or her place.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
Only “statutory beneficiaries” of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. These include family members and dependents of the deceased.
In Virginia, spouses, children, and grandchildren have the initial right to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had no spouse or children, then parents, siblings, and dependents may file the claim. Otherwise, the right to file belongs to an individual in accordance to Virginia’s estate laws.
Furthermore, if the deceased is survived by at least one parent and a spouse, the parent and spouse may file a claim together. However, a parent who had abandoned or neglected the deceased when the deceased was a child may neither file nor recover from a wrongful death claim.
What Damages Are Available in a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim?
Two general categories of damages are available in a wrongful death claim:
- damages suffered by family members, and
- damages suffered by the deceased’s estate.
The first category includes monetary compensation for:
- the loss of companionship and the like,
- the value of financial support family members would have received if the deceased was still alive, and
- the value of household services the deceased would have contributed to if he or she was still alive.
The second category includes monetary compensation for
- the medical expenses related to the deceased’s death,
- funeral and burial expenses, and
- lost wages and benefits.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
Virginia’s statute of limitations states that a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death. If the claim is not filed within this time period, the court will unlikely entertain the claim.
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with wrongful death claims nationwide. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build the strongest case possible and recover the maximum amount of damages.
We at Zinda Law Group sympathize with our clients who have lost loved ones due to a wrongful act or neglect of another. No amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, but you can be sure that Zinda Law Group will help you seek the maximum amount of damages from your wrongful death claim.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.