Few moments in life are more difficult than learning about the loss of a loved one. It can be especially challenging if you find out that the death was preventable. When another person’s negligence is responsible for this loss of life, you might be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If you are dealing with the unexpected loss of a family member, it is understandable if you have questions about your legal rights. Wrongful death cases are complex, and pursuing them without experienced legal counsel could prove to be costly. Discuss your options with a wrongful death law firm like Rutter Mills right away.
Common Factors in a Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death cases often stem from everyday occurrences. The unexpected can happen at any time: driving to work, walking down the street, or even minding your own business at home. Below are some of the common factors that lead to wrongful death claims.
- Violent crimes
- Accidental shootings
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical error
Seasoned wrongful death lawyers can assist you in your pursuit of justice and financial compensation under any of these circumstances.
The Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Virginia, not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit following an untimely passing. In fact, the right to file these lawsuits is limited. According to Virginia law, only a “personal representative” of the estate may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the state.
The right to file a wrongful death suit is very different from the right to recover the proceeds of a successful claim. While a personal representative must bring the civil action, the proceeds of a case will ultimately go to the decedent’s statutory beneficiaries. This can include a victim’s surviving:
- Any relative – blood or adopted – that relied financially on the decedent
If there are no surviving statutory beneficiaries left to recover damages from a wrongful death action, the compensation will go to whatever person is entitled to inherit according to Virginia intestacy laws.
Even though you cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit in your personal capacity, it is important to know if you are entitled to recover the proceeds of a successful claim. A dedicated wrongful death attorney could review the case and advise you if you have the right to compensation.
Discuss Your Case with a Hopewell Wrongful Death Attorney
You deserve experienced legal representation that you can rely on after the untimely loss of a family member. At Rutter Mills, we know how difficult this time can be for you and your family. We are prepared to take a compassionate approach to your wrongful death claim that allows you the opportunity to grieve while still protecting your legal rights. To learn more about how Rutter Mills could help, schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible.
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– Brother Rutter