The Virginia code section 8.01-50 outlines a “wrongful death” as a death that is caused by wrongful acts another party. Moreover, the conditions of the death must be the kind that would have reinforced a personal injury act if the departed person had lived. As such this way, a wrongful death claim can be assumed as a personal injury claim that allows an injured person to bring his/her case to court. In its place, the statutory beneficiaries are obligated to file the wrongful death claim instead.
Furthermore, Virginia law requires wrongful death claims to be filed within a maximum period of 2 years. If not filed within this period, Virginia’s statute of limitation bars the case from being received in court.
Moreover, in Virginia, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by the”statutory beneficiaries,” as defined by Virginia Code section 8.01-53. “Statutory beneficiaries,” refers to family members or wards of the departed who may, by law recover in wrongful death and they include:
- The living parents and siblings of the departed, or any relative who lives in the departed person’s household and is reliant on the departed.
- The living spouse and children or grandchildren of the departed person, and
- Whichever living family member suitable to inherit the estate of the departed under Virginia’s intestacy laws.
Likewise, Under Virginia’s wrongful death law, the right to file a wrongful death claim follows a very specific order that starts with the immediate family member such as Living spouses, children, and grandchildren having the primary right to file the claim, however if there are no immediate living family members then the right to file belongs to whomever is eligible to inherit next under Virginia’s estate law.
Furthermore, if there are living partners and parent(s), but no living children, then the partner and parent(s) may file the wrongful death claim together. Moreover, parents who are found to have disowned the deceased during his/her childhood in the state of Virginia cannot file wrongful death claims nor can they recuperate any damages in a wrongful death claim.
Additionally, damages are offered in a wrongful death claim to be reimbursed to the family and the estate for a number of losses. Under Virginia Code section 8.01-52, damages in a wrongful death claim can include:
- Medical costs associated to the deceased’s death causing injury or illness.
- Fair funeral costs.
- Loss of the departed well-being, care, supervision and friendship.
- Disciplinary damages for willful, malicious or irresponsible conduct.
- Grief and mental distress, and
- The price of lost salaries and benefits.
Moreover, the majority of the type of damages offered in a Virginia wrongful death cases are either planned to reimburse the departed person’s estate for the losses suffered with the death, or to reimburse living family members for their losses. But disciplinary damages work differently because the purpose of disciplinary damages is not to reimburse the family or estate for a loss but instead are awarded to punish “willful or malicious” bad conduct, or irresponsibility that shows being aware in disregarding the safety of others according to Section 8.01-52.