When a beloved family member dies of natural causes after a long life, it is extremely sad and you may be grieving for years. But when your loved one is taken from you suddenly, too soon, without warning or reason, because some person, business, or government entity did something to cause the death or failed in their duty to prevent danger to others, your sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. You know the death never should have happened, and you were unnecessarily deprived of someone whose presence in your life you treasured. In addition to your understandable grief and sorrow, you may be facing financial hardship if the deceased provided some or all of your family’s income. If this has happened in your family, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death action.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Virginia
These are some of the most frequent causes of wrongful deaths in Virginia:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Aviation accidents
- Boating accidents
- Falls and other premises accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Harmful medical devices
- Dangerous drugs
- Medical malpractice
- Acts of violence
Holding the Wrongdoer Accountable with a Wrongful Death Action
Nothing can bring your loved one back, and no one would ever suggest that money can in any way actually compensate you for such a loss. But it is an important part of the grieving process to seek closure by forcing the person who deprived you and your family of an irreplaceable and beloved person to face up to the devastation he or she has caused to innocent people. You can do this by holding that person or entity accountable and demanding a recovery of money for your damages.
You can do this with the help of a Virginia wrongful death lawyer. The committed and compassionate lawyers of the personal injury and wrongful death section of the MichieHamlett Law Firm in Charlottesville, Virginia, are well equipped to provide you with the representation you need and to relieve you of the burden of dealing with the legal process following your loss.
Wrongful Death Damages in Virginia
- Grief, sorrow, and mental anguish
- Loss of guidance, advice, companionship, comfort, and comfort
- Loss of reasonably expected income, services, protection, help, and care
- Medical expenses if applicable
- Funeral expenses
- Punitive damages (to punish an egregious act of wrongdoing)
Relatives Entitled to Recover under Virginia’s Wrongful Death Act
The Wrongful Death Act in Virginia specifies which surviving family members are entitled to recover for a wrongful death:
- Surviving spouse;
- Children of the deceased;
- Children of a deceased child of the deceased;
- If no surviving spouse, then a child or grandchild;
- If there is a surviving spouse but no children or grandchildren, the spouse and parents;
- If none, then siblings or other relative living with and primarily dependent on the deceased for support
A personal representative must be named by the probate court to bring the action on behalf of the survivors and the estate.