Car accidents in Virginia are dangerous, and unfortunately, sometimes lead to death. In cases like this, the last thing on the family’s mind is to bring a lawsuit. However, in cases where there is a party responsible for the incident and it could have been prevented, their loved ones should pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. This can assist in their financial recovery—especially if the deceased provided the primary earnings for the family—as they are also emotionally grieving. Below is more information about wrongful death lawsuits and the necessary elements a plaintiff would need to prove to be successful in the case.
Recently, a man was killed in Powhatan County after a three-vehicle crash. According to a news report, a car was heading west when it slowed down to make a left turn and was struck from behind. This vehicle was then hit by another car, which ran off the road, spun and struck some trees. The man whose vehicle was struck from behind unfortunately passed away after the incident. Besides the man’s death, his son remains in the hospital and individuals in the third vehicle were also airlifted to the hospital. The driver who caused the accident, a teenager, has been charged with reckless driving.
In situations where a family member is killed, it is likely that criminal charges will be pursued—like in this case. However, the family of the deceased loved one should still bring charges to hold the responsible party financially liable for the incident. In Virginia, a wrongful death is one caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party. This means that the plaintiff in the case—the spouse, child, parent, or any other relative of the deceased—must show that if it were not for the responsible party’s action, their loved one would not have died.
It is important to note that there is a time limit on filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia. The claim, meaning the initiation of the lawsuit, must be filed within two years of the person’s death. If the lawsuit is not filed within this time frame, there is no opportunity for the family to obtain financial compensation from the responsible person. But if the lawsuit is filed in time, the family has the opportunity to obtain damages from the defendant. In some cases, this may mean money for: sorrow and mental anguish, loss of the deceased’s care and companionship, the value of lost wages, medical expenses, and reasonable funeral costs. The amount of damages a family will receive depends on the nuance of the case itself.
Beginning the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit may seem stressful and complicated; however, with the assistance of a personal injury attorney, the family of the deceased can start the process of recuperating.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been recently injured or killed in a Virginia car accident, contact the Schupak Law Firm. With over thirty years of experience, Attorney Schupak is ready to fight on your behalf and get you and your family the compensation you deserve. We understand wrongful death cases can be extremely overwhelming and stressful, so we are here to answer any questions you may have. To schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 703-491-7070.