When a loved one passes away, it is always a hard time for families left behind who have to struggle with the grieving process. It can be even more devastating when that death was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party. In these cases, Virginia law allows survivors to pursue lawsuits against the party or parties responsible for their loved one’s death. A Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney can help families get the financial compensation they deserve.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit in that it is based on the negligence of other parties. The difference is that a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the family members or representative of the victim’s estate in order to get some kind of financial justice for the pain, suffering, and other burdens the victim’s death has caused.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death that the wrongful death attorneys from name of firm have handled:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Criminal activity
- Workplace accidents
In order to prove a wrongful death case, there are four elements that a Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney needs to show to the court:
Prove negligence: The wrongful death attorney must prove that the victim’s death was caused at least in part from the alleged at-fault party’s negligence.
Breach of duty: The Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney must prove that there was a breach of duty that failed and resulted in the victim’s death. For example, a driver who runs a red light that causes a fatal car accident breached the duty he or she has to every single driver to obey the rules of the road. The breach occurred when the driver ran the red light.
Cause of death: The wrongful death attorney Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney must prove that the act of negligence of the at-fault party caused the death of the victim. Using the above example, the running of the red light caused the crash that resulted in fatal injuries of the victim.
Damages: The wrongful death attorney must show that the family members filing the wrongful death lawsuit have suffered both economic and noneconomic damages as a result of the victim’s death. Expenses such as medical bills for lifesaving attempts of the victim, funeral and burial expenses, loss of the victim’s income, loss of the victim’s love, guidance, and companionship are just some of the losses that the at-fault party could be held liable for.
It can take a long time for a wrongful death lawsuit to work its way through the legal system. This is why many wrongful death attorneys and the at-fault party’s legal representative will often engage in settlement negotiations in order to avoid a trial. If both sides cannot agree on a fair and just amount, then the case will proceed to trial where a judge or jury will hear both sides and then decide if the alleged at-fault party is legally liable for the victim’s death.
If your family has lost a loved one and would like to learn more about your legal options, contact a Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney from MartinWren, P.C. today.
If your loved one dies because of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, not only are you forced to go through a grieving process unexpectedly, but you also may have to struggle with the decision to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you know that your family member died through no fault of your own, you likely have a sufficient claim to file this lawsuit, but starting this process can quickly become complicated.
While this claim can add even more stress to your plate, each Charlottesville, Virginia wrongful death attorney at MartinWren, P.C. can help you so that you do not have to become overwhelmed by the legal steps to take. Instead, trust that we can help determine if you are eligible to make this claim and proceed in the way that’s best for you and your family.
How Do I Know If I Have a Claim for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney can determine if the circumstances of your case warrant a wrongful death lawsuit. If your loved one was in a situation where they would have passed away regardless of the defendant’s actions, you might not have a substantial case moving forward. On the other hand, if your loved one died through the direct actions—either negligent or deliberate—of the defendant and they would not have died without being in that situation, you probably have substantial grounds for filing a lawsuit.
When filing this lawsuit, we must have two things in place:
- The defendant caused the deceased’s death in some way and it was not the result of the deceased’s doing.
- The surviving family members depended on the deceased in some way and have suffered measurable loss and damages after their loved one has passed.
Thus, many wrongful death lawsuits typically involve a type of work-related accident, an automobile accident, or a criminal act.
How Do I Know If I Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are typically a few people who can file this lawsuit in every state. These are:
Depending on which state you live in, grandparents, siblings, and other extended family members can even file this suit. A wrongful death attorney in Charlottesville VA can determine who is your family can file a lawsuit for the death of your loved one.
What Types of Damages Can We Expect?
The family members of the deceased can usually collect several types of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes:
- Expenses relating to the funeral or burial
- Medical bills
- Compensation for the deceased’s lost earning if the deceased had lived to their normal life expectancy
- Compensatory damages involving pain and suffering and non-economic damages that can be hard to quantify
A Wrongful Death Lawyer from MartinWren, P.C. Can Help with Your Suit
Filing any type of lawsuit can be complex. However, it can seem almost impossible when you are still coping with the loss of your loved one. When you need a trusted attorney who will look out for your family’s best interests and make the right decision for your wrongful death lawsuit, you can count on a Charlottesville VA wrongful death attorney at MartinWren, P.C. Schedule your free consultation with us today.