Wrongful Death Attorney in Richmond, Virginia
In 2020, Virginia recorded 847 accidental deaths on its highways. Loved ones of the deceased were most likely eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits. While seeking monetary compensation cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, it can force accountability on the person who caused the unnecessary fatality.
Virginia’s wrongful death statute covers not only accidental deaths but also medical malpractice and deaths resulting from the commission of a crime.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or fault in or around North Chesterfield, Virginia, or in Richmond, Henrico, or Petersburg, contact The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC. I will provide compassionate representation as we seek justice for your loss.
Wrongful Death Under Virginia Law
Under Virginia’s statutes, wrongful death is defined as a death that is "caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default" of another person. Different events can lead to wrongful death situations – neglect-based accidents such as traffic collisions, medical malpractice, and even intentional acts, including crimes.
The standard for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to that for a personal injury lawsuit. Had the deceased lived and been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, the survivors are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
Virginia places a two-year statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death claim, dating from the day of the deceased person’s death.
Who Can File the Lawsuit?
Virginia law specifies that the personal representative named in the deceased’s will must file the lawsuit. If the death occurred without a will being in place, the court will appoint a personal representative – sometimes referred to as an executor – to file the action. The appointed representative might well be a spouse or family member.
While the personal representative must file the action, the compensation awarded for the wrongful death will go to the eligible family members, usually the spouse and children. If there is no spouse, children, or grandchildren, then the parents and siblings are entitled to share in the damages. Generally speaking, the court will follow Virginia’s rules on intestacy, which means to die without a will in place.
Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
While filing a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring back your loved one, it can go a long way toward holding the responsible party accountable in the hope they will not repeat their errors. It also will help pay the medical costs, funeral costs, and other expenses involved in your loss, as well as for the loved one’s financial contribution to your family life.
"Damages" is a legal term for your losses, and a wrongful death lawsuit can result in damages being paid for both economic and noneconomic losses, including but not limited to:
Reasonable expenses for funeral and burial
Medical expenses associated with the deceased’s treatment leading to death
The value of lost income had the deceased lived
Loss of the deceased’s services, protection, care, and assistance
Loss of the deceased’s comfort, guidance, companionship, society, and advice
Sorrow and mental anguish
Wrongful Death Attorney
Serving Richmond, Virginia
While there is no monetary value to replace the life of your loved one, we want to assist you in seeking justice against those who are responsible for your loss. As you take time to mourn and seek healing, let us take on the process of seeking fair compensation. If you're filing a wrongful death lawsuit in or around Richmond, Virginia, or in neighboring communities, contact The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC immediately so we can get started.