Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys
At Emroch & Kilduff, we represent individuals who have been seriously injured and the families of individuals who have been killed as a result of the negligent or wrongful conduct of others. These types of cases are called “personal injury cases,” or if the injury was fatal, wrongful death cases. Common types of claims can result from incidents such as medical malpractice, car accidents, defective products, or any negligence of another that resulted in death.
Representing clients in these cases takes a thorough understanding of how insurance companies and their lawyers think. Insurance companies are interested in minimizing their economic exposure when a serious injury or death has occurred. They hire attorneys whose job it is to aggressively undermine each aspect of your claim. We know their tactics and can counter them effectively. To do so, we invest the time and resources necessary to prepare every case for trial. We will proceed to trial if it is in your best interest.
Bringing a Case for Damages
Who can file? The personal representative of the deceased has two years after the death of the injured person to file a lawsuit as a result of the negligent or wrongful act of another. In Virginia, family members or dependents defined as statutory beneficiaries may file wrongful death claims. The specific order is as follows:
- Surviving spouse and children or grandchildren of the deceased person
- Surviving parents and siblings of the deceased, or any relative who shares the deceased person’s household and is a dependent of the deceased
- Surviving family member entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate under Virginia’s intestacy laws
A surviving spouse and parents of the deceased may file a claim together if there are no surviving children. However, parents whose rights have been terminated may not recover damages in a wrongful death claim. The grounds for filing a wrongful death claim can be complex but the attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff can help you and your family to understand the laws and distribution methods provided by statute.
Damages. The personal and financial burden following a wrongful death will be considered by the judge or jury. Economic and non-economic damages are included in the evaluation and may include the following hardships:
- Mental anguish – Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, society, kindly offices, and advice of the deceased
- Compensation – Loss of income, services, protection, care, and assistance from the deceased
- Expenses – Care, hospitalization, medical treatment for the injury that resulted in death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages – Includes willful or wanton conduct by the defendant, or recklessness with a conscious disregard for the safety of others
It may be difficult to quantify the tangible and intangible losses you experience after losing a loved one in a wrongful death situation. Anyone might feel overwhelmed by the medical bills and cost of services in addition to facing these challenges without your loved one. A wrongful death lawyer may be able to help you lift the financial burden and allow your family to grieve in peace.
Establishing liability. If the deceased person would have been able to file a personal injury claim had they survived, the appropriate family member described above may bring a wrongful death claim. In order to establish liability and recover the compensation, you must show that the negligent or wrongful conduct of another breached a duty of care owed to the deceased person and caused the resulting death. Some types of situations where this negligent or wrongful conduct could arise are:
- Airplane accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Defective products
- Pharmaceutical prescriptions
- Workplace accidents
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Premises liability—swimming pool accidents, slip-and-fall cases
- Criminal acts—assaults, shootings, etc.
While not all accidents, medical mistakes, or workplace fatalities are considered wrongful deaths, some of these situations do present viable claims. The circumstances of each case will vary and may require the close attention of an experienced attorney to meet the burden of proof on your behalf in order to link the resulting death to a specific party. A car accident may cause serious injury, which could prove fatal if a medical professional provides inadequate treatment breaching their duty of care owed to the deceased. It is important to consult with a Virginia wrongful death attorney to go over the nuances of your case and understand your rights. Emroch & Kilduff are skilled in personal injury and wrongful death cases, so don’t hesitate to contact them today.
While it can be difficult to consider the legal side of your situation following the death of a loved one, it is important to understand what your rights are and what compensation may be owed to you. With so many circumstances from which a wrongful death case may arise, it is helpful to know some of our specific personal injury and wrongful death practice areas including:
- Airplane injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Gun accidents
- Injuries resulting from drunk drivers
- Pulmonary embolism
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful diagnosis
Click on each topic to find out more, or contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If your family is dealing with the tragic death of a loved one, it is in your best interest to consider the options you may have in filing a wrongful death claim. With the possibility of multiple parties involved including the defendant and insurance companies, it is crucial that you understand the dynamics of your situation to recover the most compensation that may be available to you.
Let us help you navigate the legal landscape and discuss what your options for recovery may be.
Our attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff are skilled in this area of the law and can offer their experience in evaluation of your case. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (804) 358-1568 or contact us online.