Emporia Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a family member can be devastating and traumatic. It is especially infuriating if it happens due to an individual’s negligence. When the carelessness of a person or business causes a loved one to experience fatal injuries, you have the right to hold that person or business legally and financially accountable with the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney.

The civil laws of Virginia allow surviving family members to file a wrongful death suit to collect payment from the at-fault party. The court procedures surrounding wrongful death claims are complicated, and can pose many hurdles. Grieving relatives should not have to deal with these added stressors alone. Fortunately, an Emporia wrongful death lawyer could guide your family through the claims process and help collect a fair settlement.

Causes of Wrongful Deaths

Wrongful death lawsuits result from a person losing their life because of another person’s negligence or misconduct. Common causes for wrongful death actions in Virginia include:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle rider accidents
  • Traffic accidents
  • Property hazards and other premises liability cases
  • Dangerous and defective products and medications
  • Medical malpractice, including childbirth injuries or surgical errors
  • Fatal motorcycle crashes stemming from the carelessness of another driver

In any of these tragic scenarios, an Emporia wrongful death attorney could help hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.

The Right to File a Lawsuit in Wrongful Death Cases

The wrongful death statute regulates who has the right to take legal action against the liable party on the deceased’s behalf. Per the guidelines of the Virginia Code § 8.01-50, a personal representative or executor of the estate is the only party with the authority to commence legal action in wrongful death cases.

After successfully proving the defendant’s negligence caused a death, the court will award damages to the statutory beneficiaries of the deceased. The order of surviving family members who can receive this settlement is as follows:

  • The surviving spouse and children of the deceased
  • When there are no living children, the award goes to the grandchildren of the deceased
  • When there is no living spouse, children, or grandchildren, the award goes to the parents, siblings, and living descendants of the deceased
  • When there is no living spouse, kids, grandchildren, parents, siblings, or living dependents, the court follows the intestate succession formula to determine the estate’s heirs

A wrongful death lawyer in Emporia could answer questions about all applicable statutes and handle the legal work on the surviving family’s behalf.

Possible Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

“Damages” refer to the compensation awarded to people involved in personal injury claims. Possible damages for wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Mental pain, anguish, and sorrow
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance
  • Lost services, care, and protection of the decedent
  • The value of lost wages and benefits provided by the deceased
  • Outstanding medical costs for the accident leading to the wrongful death

Whether the surviving family and defendant agree on a settlement or litigation, the extent of negligence and the specific cause of death play a role in the final award amount.

Call a Dedicated Wrongful Death Attorney in Emporia Today

Everyone has an obligation to act cautiously and reasonably to avoid causing harm to others. When someone’s negligence results in wrongful death, the courts could hold them financially responsible. While a settlement cannot change what happened, it could provide your family with peace of mind and ease financial hardships.

When you need help with a case, a compassionate Emporia wrongful death lawyer is here for you. Our team is prepared to start investigating and working on your claim right away. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.