Wrongful death laws in Virginia provide a civil remedy for relatives or representatives of victims of death due to negligence or due to an unintentional act. Wrongful death claims must be brought up in civil court, similar to personal injury claims. Wrongful death cases usually involve medical malpractice, vehicular accidents, and product liability.
In the state of Virginia, wrongful death claims must be filled within 2 years of the incident, once this two year period is over, the right to file a claim and to collect the potential damages will be lost. Moreover, they can only be filed by personal representatives of the deceased. They are, in order, the deceased person’s spouse; their children and grandchildren; their parents; their siblings; dependents of their income or surviving family members who are entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate. If there are no surviving spouses, children or grandchildren, the parents, siblings and any other dependents may file. If none of these individuals are surviving, whoever is next to inherit the deceased’s estate may file the complaint. However, any parent that has had their parental rights terminated or was found to have abandoned their child before their death is not eligible to file for a wrongful death claim and may not recover any of the damages.
The damages included in a wrongful death claim that may be compensated for in Virginia include any mental anguish; sorrow; loss of companionship, solace, love, guidance and care of the deceased; the value of the wages that the deceased would have received if they had lived; the value of all medical expenses related to the deceased’s injury; funeral expenses and punitive damages in case of reckless or willful conduct. The funeral costs, medical bills and punitive damages must be stated the court; and the medical bills and funeral costs will be appropriated to the creditors who rendered these services. These damages are meant to compensate the deceased’s loved ones for their loss, while punitive damages also serve as punishment for any negligent behavior that contributed to the fatal accident.
Furthermore, more than one party can be named as the defendant in a wrongful death claim in Virginia, for example, if a car accident caused by a negligent driver and by a mechanical issue in the car, the claim may be filed against both the driver and the vehicle company.
The settlements reached vary based on the type of accident that occurred. Vehicular accidents can be settled for up to $1,350,000, while a cap of $2,000,000 is set for settlements of cases of medical malpractice, this cap includes all economic expense such as hospital bills and funeral expenses along with the non-monetary pain and suffering damages.
If you need a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer to help you with your Wrongful Death case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys can help you. C