An accident that results in someone’s death often leaves many questions, not the least of which is whether the accident could have been prevented. Sudden death from a preventable tragedy often results in families left behind to struggle with emotional and financial hardships. These hardships may include the loss of companionship and counsel as well as the loss of income and other forms of support. However, some Virginia survivors may have the option of seeking compensation to help them through the hard times by filing a wrongful death claim.
A lawsuit claiming wrongful death is a civil action that pursues financial remuneration from someone whose negligence, recklessness or intentional actions resulted in the death of someone else. This may involve a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, exposure to hazardous substances on the job or even the commission of a crime. Through the civil courts, family members of the deceased can seek compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and other personal damages that directly result from the accident.
Winning such a case is seldom easy because it means proving difficult factors, such as the defendant’s negligence led to the death of the loved one and that the defendant breached a duty of care to the victim. However, when a family can successfully show that the negligent or reckless behavior of someone else caused significant damages, the court may award fair compensation based on Virginia laws. This may sometimes include punitive damages in cases of egregious fault, which is an award intended as a means to punish the person responsible for the victim’s death.
A successful wrongful death case can mean the difference between years of struggle and the hope of a brighter future following a devastating tragedy. Since such cases can be complex and challenging, it is wise not to handle them without skilled legal representation. An experienced attorney can be a strong ally.