One of the worst experiences in life is dealing with the loss of loved one. When another person’s negligence or wrongdoing caused the death of your loved one, it can make the loss even more difficult to handle. However, you may have the right to receive both compensation and closure by filing a wrongful lawsuit.
Although wrongful death can happen in numerous ways, some of the more frequent causes include:
- Medical malpractice or negligence
- Automobile accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective or dangerous medicine or products
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
What is a Wrongful Death?
In the State of Virginia, state statute controls wrongful death lawsuits. The term ‘wrongful death’ under Virginia Code section 8.01-50, is a death “caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default” of another party. Basically, a wrongful death is a death that has resulted from the misconduct or negligence of another person.
Civil suits by surviving family members of the deceased individual are referred to as wrongful death claims. These claims were created to make compensation, in the form of monetary damages, available to relatives that may have depended on the financial and/or emotional assistance of the deceased.
Essentially, wrongful death lawsuits can be considered a personal injury suit that the statutory beneficiaries file because the deceased person is unable to bring about his or her own claim.
Key Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When the negligence, recklessness, illegal or deliberate behavior of another causes a death, it creates the first element.
Negligence regards an individual’s failure to act in a manner that a reasonably prudent individual would have behaved in a similar situation.
In order to demonstrate negligence, a lawyer must show that the individual had a duty of care to the person who was killed.
That individual’s act or failure to act breached the standard of care, and the decedent’s injuries or death were directly or proximately caused by that individual’s wrongful actions.
Lastly, it should be demonstrated that damages resulted from the death.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to Virginia law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed no more than two years from the date that the decedent died. If the statutory beneficiaries fail to file the lawsuit within that two-year time period, the statute of limitations bars the case from going to court.
However, there are a few limited exceptions to the statute of limitations. For instance, if the statutory beneficiary was under disability at the time the two years passed. Or in cases in which the negligence is concealed by the negligent party.
Getting the Help of an Experienced Attorney
At Barney Injury Law, Scott R. Barney, Esq. represents clients whose family members and/or loved ones have died as a result of someone else’s negligence. A wrongful death lawsuit can be an extremely complicated undertaking, which you should not have to go through on your own.
Our Virginia Beach personal injury law firm sympathizes with your loss and the grief and sadness you are enduring. Consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you determine your next course of action.
Scott. R. Barney, Esq., is a highly skilled, aggressive and dedicated lawyer who is passionate about serving clients when they need him the most. He will personally guide you every step of the way through your wrongful death lawsuit.
Retain the legal assistance, for your wrongful death lawsuit, that you deserve now. Our superior legal representation will assist you make the most out of your wrongful death action. To speak with an attorney and have a free consultation, contact us online or call 757-965-7200.