No sum is enough to compensate for the loss of a loved one. However, you can always count on justice being served. The death of a family member due to the negligence or recklessness of the at-fault party is hard enough even without the financial burdens it creates, i.e., if the deceased was the sole breadwinner of the family.
Though such times are both tragic and difficult, you should not delay seeking legal counsel and proceeding with your demand for fair compensation.
Experienced Norfolk wrongful death & accident lawyers from the VACAIL law firm will be more than pleased to assist you in your endeavors to secure financial compensation for all the financial losses and emotional suffering you had to bear.
- Defining ‘Wrongful’ Death
- How Can A Wrongful Death Happen?
- Wrongful Death Claims Are Different Than Regular Personal Injury Cases
- What Damages Can You Claim In A Wrongful Death Case?
- The Statute Of Limitations
- Winning A Settlement
- How Much Does A Wrongful Death Attorney Cost?
- We Will Fight For You & Deliver Justice
Defining ‘Wrongful’ Death
What is wrongful death?
Simply put, if a person dies due to fatal injuries or otherwise, because of someone’s negligence, it will be called a wrongful death.
Wrongful, both because the person had the legal right to live and because they were not destined to die at the moment were it not for someone’s neglect.
Had the accident never happened, they may have lived out their days in peace and seen all the joys of life before passing away.
But since their existence was cut short, none of this is now possible, and the immediate survivors (family members) have every right to demand reimbursement for their loss.
How Can A Wrongful Death Happen?
While there is any number of ways that wrongful deaths can and do happen, here are some of the most common ones:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bike or motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Animal attack/dog bite
- Work-related accidents
- Defective products
And many more…
In several cases, negligence of the liable party can have fatal consequences. Be it a drunk driver accident or negligence in a nursing home. Wrongful deaths are hard to deal with and leave the survivors under deep emotional trauma.
We have dealt with all sorts of personal injury and wrongful death claims over the years in our legal career and have bagged our fair share of satisfied clients who felt that justice was served.
While no amount of money can bring your loved ones back or make up for the loss, the only solace in such troubled times is the hope for justice, and we wish to keep that flame burning.
Wrongful Death Claims Are Different Than Regular Personal Injury Cases
Unlike other personal injury cases, the damages of wrongful death are not only limited to the deceased but also their survivors who had to face loss of earnings, loss of consortium, and had to deal with the mental anguish of coping with the death of a loved one.
Wrongful death cases are thus unique in the realm of personal injury law, and this is also true when the specific damages are unique, i.e., a wrong injection will not cause an ‘injury,’ but it may still be fatal. However, death is no less horrible even in the absence of fatal injuries, and there is some degree of overlap between wrongful death claims and those of personal injury.
The laws regarding wrongful death are slightly different and can be very tricky sometimes, but not to worry, our personal injury lawyers will explain everything to you!
What Damages Can You Claim In A Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death claim will deal with all sorts of monetary damages and non-financial losses associated with the passing away of your loved one, such as:
- Funeral costs
- Loss of income for the household (especially if the deceased was the sole breadwinner of the family)
- Loss of companionship (for spouse)
- Medical expenses for the treatment received by the victim before passing away (i.e., for accident injuries like a traumatic brain injury)
- Loss of guidance/advice/moral support for children
- Loss of inheritable assets
- The time of suffering of the deceased leading to their deaths
- The emotional distress of the survivors over having lost a loved one
- Punitive damages for exemplary negligence/deliberate ill actions committed by the parties accountable
All of these damages must be accounted for in a fair wrongful death settlement. In most cases, the insurance company will be willing to cooperate – at least superficially – but it is recommended to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you want maximum compensation.
We always discuss all the legal options for our clients in the initial consultation session to not leave any page unturned.
The Statute Of Limitations
According to Virginia state law, from the moment a wrongful death accident occurs, you only have two years to file your wrongful death/personal injury claim and seek monetary compensation. This time limit is the statute of limitations and exists to ensure complete fairness in the case.
If you fail to present your case before a court of law in this duration, then you forfeit your rights to compensation, and your pleas will not be heard afterward.
While two years may seem like a lot of time, you also need to factor in the several delays with such matters, and thus, you should never put off calling an experienced lawyer until later.
Winning A Settlement
Fair settlements for wrongful death cases are usually won in court. If your negotiations are going on well with the insurance company, then there is a chance that you may win your compensation sooner than anticipated. However, you should never count on it.
The insurance adjuster will consider the following factors when offering a settlement:
- The life expectancy of the deceased
- Past income record of the deceased
- Potential earnings for the future
- Health condition of the deceased before the incident
- How much the deceased contributed to their household
Based on these factors, they’ll assign a figure which may or may not be fair (seek legal advice).
In the latter case, don’t delay taking matters to court and facing off against the responsible party in a jury trial.
How Much Does A Wrongful Death Attorney Cost?
In most cases, such as with our law firm, personal injury attorneys won’t ask for any advance payments for their legal services but instead set a percentage of your winnings (with your consent) as their earnings from your case.
This is called the contingency fee basis plan.
The plan is almost ubiquitous in personal injury law. The experienced attorneys at the VACAIL law firm also work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to worry about the lawyer fees at all.
We Will Fight For You & Deliver Justice
Coping with the loss of a loved one is perhaps the most emotionally scarring experience of life.
Amid such challenging times, there is no point in you standing at the forefront of a legal tussle for compensation. Take the time and personal space you need, stay with your family during such grievous hours, and let the VACAIL law firm handle the technical stuff for you.
If you’re worried about paying the legal fees, then we’ve already mentioned that we work on a contingency fee arrangement, so there’s nothing you have to worry about. Let us handle your case for you and win you a fair settlement; by fair, we mean not a single penny less than what you rightfully deserve.
Call us today, and we’ll explain how we can get you fairly compensated.