Filing A VA Pedestrian Accident Claim on Behalf of The Deceased

There are two types of claims that may be brought forth if someone has died as the result of a pedestrian accident in Virginia. The following is information on each of these types of claims, who may file, and why hiring an attorney is important before you take any other steps. For further assistance call a Virginia pedestrian injury lawyer today.

Survival Actions

The first type of claim that may be filed on behalf of the deceased is what’s known as a survival action, which essentially is the claim the deceased would have made if they had survived. In this instance the cause of action survives the death, so damages would still be for the victim’s conscious pain and suffering and the medical bills they incurred prior to their death.

Wrongful Death Claim

The other type of claim that can be brought forth is a wrongful death claim which is where survivors can bring for their losses as a result of the decedent’s death. However in Virginia, that differs from what you can recover in DC or in Maryland. Each one has specific damages that are set forth by statute or case law.

In Virginia, wrongful death damages include sorrow, mental anguish, solace which can include lots of anxiety, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offer and advice for the decedent. Also, any medical expenses for treatment or hospitalization that they incurred for an injury that resulted in their death, reasonable funeral expenses, and then potentially punitive damages for one’s willful conduct or a recklessness that shows a conscious disregard for the safety of others.

It’s similar in Maryland and DC with some caveats. DC doesn’t allow you to recover for grief, for instance, but all the states are different. Because the law in each state varies, it’s important to talk with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction as soon as possible.

Why Contacting A Lawyer is Important

It’s always important to contact an attorney early on in the process because a pedestrian accident case poses some unique challenges. The most important thing aside medical care is to get a thorough investigation underway as soon as possible. That’s going to be important for auto accident cases as well, but usually in an auto accident case, there’s going to be a police report.

There will be two insurance companies that do the investigation themselves which isn’t to say that a plaintiff should just rely on their insurance companies to do the investigation. This is not always the case with a pedestrian accident.  The biggest issue is probably evidence such as being able to identify witnesses, obtain recorded statements, photograph and document the scene, and find video that may have been taken. All of that can disappear very quickly so it’s important to track that down as soon as possible.