When a husband or wife suffers the death of a spouse, their world changes. They are in mourning, feeling grief and sorrow at the loss. As Virginia wrongful death injury lawyers we know that when the death is caused by a preventable accident the loss is even more pronounced and senseless. This may have been the case in a Mosely, Virginia (VA) car accident. A woman was killed after she "lost control" of her 2002 Ford Explorer and struck a tree, reported police.
Her daughter, who was 2 at the time and in the car, survived and was transported to a hospital with minor injuries. However, the husband of the car accident victim believes his wife did not die from a tragic but simple single vehicle accident. His young daughter that survived the wreck has been stating that a white van hurt her mommy and that it hurt her car. To add fuel to the fire, recent Facebook posts in a private Facebook community page have reported several side-swiping and hit-and-run car incidents involving white trucks. And all of these accidents have happened just blocks from each other and in the husband’s neighborhood.
If a hit-and-run driver did run the woman off the road and contribute to her death the husband has a limited amount of time to prove and find the driver. Generally, per Virginia Code Section 8.01-244, victims have up to two years of a loved one’s death to bring a lawsuit. If the husband can find the driver and prove he was responsible then he may receive damages for the wrongful death of his wife. Below is the exact jury instruction used by personal injury lawyers in a Virginia Circuit Court for wrongful death lawsuits. A judge will use this instruction to explain to the jury the types of damages that are available to the family of a loved one who was killed in an accident caused by someone else's carelessness or negligence.
If you find your verdict for the plaintiff, then in determining the damages to which he is entitled, you shall include, but are not limited to, any of the following which you believe by the greater weight of the evidence were caused by the negligence of the defendant as damages suffered by the beneficiaries:
(1) Any sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of solace suffered by the beneficiaries. Solace may include society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice of the decedent.
(2) Any reasonably expected loss in income of the decedent suffered by the beneficiaries; and
(3) Any reasonably expected loss of services, protection, care, and assistance which the decedent provided to the beneficiaries.
(4) Any expense for the care treatment, and hospitalization of the decedent incident to the injury resulting in death.
(5) Reasonable funeral expenses.