Hit-and-runs are senseless tragedies that occur when a driver leaves the scene of an accident. Too often, the person who committed the hit-and-run leaves behind another person who has suffered injuries from the crash. By fleeing the scene instead of seeking medical attention, a hit-and-run driver leaves an injured victim helpless, often worsening the victim’s harm. When a driver’s actions lead to another person’s death, the deceased’s family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the hit-and-run driver responsible in court.
As a recent news article tragically reported, a passenger lost her life following a hit-and-run in Washington, D.C. The accident occurred as a Ford was traveling north at an intersection when a Mercedes drove through a red light, slamming into the Ford. As a result of the crash, a backseat passenger in the Ford was ejected from the vehicle. Following the accident, the driver and passenger in the Mercedes ran from the scene. Sadly, the Ford passenger died at the scene. The other two occupants of the Ford suffered minor injuries.
Can You Bring a Lawsuit for Damages After a Fatal Virginia Hit-and-Run?
Virginia allows plaintiffs to bring a wrongful death suit after a fatal hit-and-run accident. Under Virginia law, the deceased’s personal representative must bring the wrongful death lawsuit. However, the law specifies that the resulting damages award will go to the deceased’s surviving spouse and children or, if the deceased did not have a spouse or children, the deceased’s parents, siblings, and any dependent relatives. A Virginia plaintiff can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a defendant as long as the deceased would have also been able to bring a lawsuit had they survived the accident.
Is There a Time Limit to Bring a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A deceased’s loved one should keep in mind that Virginia law imposes a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. A statute of limitations refers to a set time period in which a person must file a legal claim with the court. Virginia wrongful death lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations. Consequently, a plaintiff must file a suit within two years of the deceased’s death. If two years have passed since the accident victim has died, the plaintiff may not be able to bring a claim. An experienced Virginia personal injury attorney can help you understand the statute of limitations and file your case within the appropriate time frame.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Virginia Hit-and-Run Accident?
If your loved one has died in a Virginia hit-and-run accident, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you understand your options. The experienced attorneys at The Schupak Law Firm possess years of experience providing compassionate representation to Virginia accident victims and their families. Through our dedicated representation, we will guide you through every step of the legal process. To schedule a free, initial consultation with a member of our team, call our office at 240-833-3914.