Wrongful Death Lawyer Harrisonburg VA
What damages are awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Losing a loved one is never easy, but when that death was caused by the negligent actions of another, the loss can be especially devastating, the struggle to accept the death almost impossible. Under the laws of Virginia, survivors of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek financial compensation for the losses their loved one’s death has caused them. This not only includes the immediate losses, but also the future losses the victim’s death means.
It is important to note that, depending on the circumstances of the accident that killed the victim, there will likely be the involvement of the at-fault party’s insurance company, such as in a vehicle accident or premises liability accident. It is critical for the victim’s family to not accept any settlement from the insurance company without first consulting with a wrongful death lawyer.
The insurance company does not have the family’s best interest at heart. They only have their company’s profit margin in mind. They will never offer a full and fair settlement amount if there is no wrongful death lawyer representing the family. They will never explain to the family that they may be entitled to some of the following damages:
· Medical expenses. If the victim received any medical treatment for their injuries before they passed away, those expenses would be covered in a wrongful death lawsuit. This can include ambulance transportation, emergency room treatment, surgery, and hospitalizations
- · Funeral and burial expenses.
- · Loss of income and benefits.
- · Loss of future income and benefits. This is usually calculated up to the age the victim would have retired.
- · Loss of companionship.
- · Loss of guidance and support.
- · Loss of services. An example of loss of service is if the victim was a stay-at-home parent who took care of very young children. The surviving spouse will know need to hire someone to care for the children so he or she can continue to work.
- · Emotional anguish. The family may be compensated for their grief and suffering from the unexpected and tragic loss of their loved one.
- · Punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish the person responsible for the accident. Not all states award punitive damage in wrongful death cases. Your Harrisonburg VA wrongful death lawyer can explain if they are available in your case.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Each state has their own laws regarding wrongful death claims, in general, however, the following people may file:
- · If the victim was married, the spouse may file a wrongful death lawsuit
- · If the victim had minor or adult children, they may file a wrongful death lawsuit
- · If the victim was unmarried with no children, their parents may file a lawsuit. If their parents are deceased, then a sibling can file
- · If the victim only had living distant relatives, such as nieces, nephew, aunts or uncles, the law usually allows them to file a wrongful death lawsuit
- · In some states, the wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the estate of the victim