A wrongful death civil claim in Virginia is brought under the Virginia Wrongful Death Act. A person and/or entity (company, corporation, partnership, etc.) that causes the death of a person can be sued in a civil case, for monetary damages, for causing the death. The wrongful death suit is usually brought by a close relative(s), but others can qualify. The person or persons who bring the wrongful death case must be qualified to do so in a Virginia Circuit Court, which is a relatively simple process.
The standard of proof in the United States is typically preponderance of the evidence as opposed to clear and convincing or beyond a reasonable doubt For this reason it is often easier for a family to seek retribution against someone who kills a family member through a wrongful death civil law suit than a criminal prosecution. However, the two actions are not mutually exclusive; a person may be prosecuted criminally for causing a person's death (whether in the form of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or some other theory) and that person can also be sued civilly in a wrongful death action (as in the O.J. Simpson cases).
MichieHamlett’s Personal Injury Attorneys continue to represent many families for the wrongful death of their loved ones. For decades we have successfully resolved many wrongful death cases involving defective consumer products or equipment, including defective automobiles, industrial equipment, asbestos, and consumer products such as a baby's crib. Additionally, the firm has handled numerous wrongful death cases involving tractor trailer crashes, automobile wrecks, and unsafe premises. The Personal Injury Group at MichieHamlett is sensitive to the needs of families during the grieving process, which includes the need to hold accountable those individuals or companies responsible for their loved one’s death.