Wrongful Death Lawyer in Norfolk, VA
Our law firm fights for justice for families
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can face. The death of a family member is undoubtedly one of the most traumatic and devastating events that can occur in a person's life. However, when a loved one's death is caused by another party's negligence or recklessness, the pain and frustration can be amplified tenfold. Under these circumstances, a wrongful death attorney can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this difficult time.
At Welch & Wright, PLLC, we understand that the grieving process is different for everyone, so when you’re ready we’ll be ready. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
What is a wrongful death claim?
In Virginia, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person. This could include a death resulting from a traffic accident, pedestrian or bicycle accident, medical malpractice, criminal acts, or even a workplace accident.
The Virginia wrongful death law allows certain family members to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages caused by the death of their loved one. A wrongful death of a loved one is an immeasurable loss. While financial compensation cannot replace the loss of a loved one, holding the responsible parties accountable can provide a sense of closure and justice.
It is important to note that there are strict time limits for filing a wrongful death claim in Virginia, so it is essential to act quickly and consult with an experienced attorney. They can help you determine who may be held liable for the death of your loved one and work to negotiate a fair settlement or take the case to trial if necessary.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
According to the Virginia Code § 8.01-53, the following beneficiaries are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased:
- The surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren of the deceased.
- Surviving parents if there is no surviving spouse or children or grandchildren.
- Surviving siblings if there is no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents.
- If the deceased was a minor child, then the parents can file a claim on their behalf.
- If the deceased had a will or other legal document specifying a personal representative or executor, then that person can file a claim on behalf of the deceased's estate.
Only one wrongful death claim can be filed for each deceased person. If multiple parties file a wrongful death claim, the Virginia courts will combine the cases into one and select one person to lead the case.
How long do I have to file?
In Virginia, there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. This means that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim after the death of your loved one. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Virginia is two years from the date of the person's death.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be other applicable deadlines as well. Your wrongful death attorney can explain the deadlines that apply in your situation and keep your case on track.
In Virginia, a wrongful death claim can provide some measure of relief for the family of the deceased. If you've lost a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages caused by their wrongful death.
There are several types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. These damages are intended to compensate the family of the deceased for their losses, both economic and non-economic. The types of damages that can be recovered in a Virginia wrongful death claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the deceased person's income and earnings
- Loss of the deceased person's companionship, guidance, and support
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before death
- Loss of benefits, such as health care and retirement benefits
- Loss of inheritance and potential inheritance
- Mental anguish and emotional distress experienced by surviving family members
- Punitive damages in cases involving intentional or grossly negligent conduct.
It's important to note that the damages awarded in a wrongful death claim can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, and the knowledge of an experienced attorney can help you understand what damages you are entitled to recover.
The role of a wrongful death lawyer
A wrongful death lawyer can help the family members of the deceased navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation they are entitled to. This includes investigating the circumstances surrounding the death, identifying liable parties, and determining the damages suffered by the family.
In the event the case goes to court, it is important to have a lawyer with trial experience that can advocate for the family's rights. By having a skilled wrongful death attorney on their side, family members can focus on grieving and healing while having peace of mind that their legal rights are being protected.
Seek justice for your loved one
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, you may feel lost and unsure of what to do next. It’s a life-shattering experience with overwhelming emotional pain. At Welch & Wright, PLLC, we understand the devastating impact a wrongful death can have on a family. That's why we pride ourselves in handling all types of cases in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and across Virginia.
Our experienced attorneys have trial experience and are dedicated to bringing justice to your loved one. You can trust us to handle your case with the care and attention it deserves. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through this difficult time.