At Emroch & Kilduff, we represent the families and loved ones of individuals who have tragically died in accidents through no fault of their own. Matters like these are known as wrongful death
cases. Wrongful death claims can result from incidents such as:
- Car accidents
- Gun accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
- Restaurant food poisoning
- Assault and battery
- Defective products
The law firm representing clients in wrongful death matters must have a comprehensive understanding of the facts and the law applicable to every case. Its lawyers must know how to identify the causes of an incident resulting in a tragic death and the parties responsible. Wrongful death attorneys need to be prepared to negotiate with insurance companies who often try to deny or reduce claim payouts. When settlement isn’t possible, they also need to be ready to take a case to trial.
Emroch & Kilduff is that kind of law firm. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys invest the time and resources necessary to obtain the maximum recovery for our clients, whether through settlement or at trial. Contact us
today for help with your wrongful death case.
Our deep experience with wrongful death cases has allowed us to favorable outcomes for many of our clients. Some examples of our successes include the following cases:
- $1.02 million settlement in a vehicle collision with livestock. In December 2014, our clients’ loved one was the passenger in a car driving on a rural, two-lane country road. The vehicle struck a bull that had escaped from a nearby pen. The animal was thrown to the top of the automobile, crushing the roof of the automobile and causing the passenger to suffer a T-4 burst fracture of her spine. She died nine months later because of complications from the injury. We represented the deceased woman’s family in a lawsuit against the driver for negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and against the owner of the bull the vehicle struck.
- $1.5 million settlement in a tragic child drowning. A six-year-old girl drowned in an apartment complex pool. There was a lifeguard on duty. The apartment complex managers argued that they were not at fault because the pool management company was an independent contractor. We represented the family of the deceased girl in a lawsuit against the owner and manager of the swimming pool on the basis that their duties of care to maintain a safe pool environment could not be delegated.
- $1.3 million settlement in a bicycle accident. A 60-year-old woman on a cross-country cycling trip died when a car struck her. We represented the woman’s surviving husband and two children in a wrongful death suit against the car’s driver.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is defined under Virginia law
as the “death of a person ... caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. An action for wrongful death can be brought against a person, a corporation, or even a ship or vessel (in what is known as an in rem
In a suit for wrongful death, the party bringing the lawsuit (known as the “plaintiff”) generally must demonstrate four things: (1) the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care
; (2) the defendant breached
the duty of care through a negligent or wrongful act or omission; (3) the breach caused
the deceased’s death; and (4) the death caused the plaintiff damages
Under Virginia law
, the damages recoverable for a wrongful death include but are not limited to:
- Sorrow, mental anguish, and solace which may include society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the deceased
- Compensation for reasonably expected loss of (i) income of the deceased and (ii) services, protection, care and assistance provided by the deceased
- Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the deceased incident to the injury resulting in death
- Reasonable funeral expenses
- Punitive damages may be recovered for willful or wanton conduct, or such recklessness as evinces a conscious disregard for the safety of others
Who Is at Fault?
There is a wide range of parties who may be at fault in a wrongful death case, from drivers of cars to healthcare providers who did not deliver a standard of care to property owners who did not maintain facilities in a safe condition. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff evaluate each individual case to identify all of the parties potentially responsible for the death of your loved one.
Fighting for Your Rights
When a wrongful death occurs, it’s rare that the person or corporation responsible simply steps up and pays the compensation to which our clients are entitled. The parties at fault, and their insurance companies, fight back by denying responsibility, blaming the victim, or invoking legal arguments about why they should not be held to account.
Our clients need fighters on their side, and that what they get. We are not intimidated by aggressive insurance claims adjusters or bigwig corporate attorneys. When we take a case for the family of the victim of a wrongful death, we defend their rights and do our utmost to ensure they see justice done for their loved one. Of course, money can never fully compensate for the tragic loss of a life. But it can help a family get back on its feet, pay for unexpected expenses, and grieve in peace.
We supplement our legal team with a nationwide roster of experts who can help determine who was at fault for a tragic death, and prove the extent of their liability. We have worked with experts in the areas of:
- Failure analysis
- Accident reconstruction
This army of authorities is always available to use their expertise to support our clients and their cases. If you can’t get to us, we can come to you. And we will do everything we can to make the legal experience as calm and steady as possible. We are always available to answer your questions.
How Much Will It Cost?
Your initial consultation requires no fee payment. You can set up your appointment online
or call us at (804) 358-1568. We have offices in Tappahannock
at (804) 445-1507, Petersburg at (804) 862-3600, and Richmond at (888) 358-1568. In appropriate cases, we may agree to represent clients on a contingent fee basis in which we only collect fees out of a settlement or judgment.