The tragic I-95 bus accident which killed four people included victims who were not residents of Virginia (VA), according to wtvr.com. The families of the victims should not be deterred from filing a wrongful death claim simply because their loved one was a resident of another state like New York (NY) or Pennsylvania (PA).
In Virginia, most courts apply the doctrine of "lex loci delicti commissi" (a Latin meaning the "place of the wrong") to determine where a claim should be filed. In addition, Virginia Code § 8.01 - 53 states that the people eligible to receive compensation through a wrongful death claim will be determined at the time the verdict is entered and specification can be made by a jury.
Damages (i.e., money) in a wrongful death claim may be awarded to the following people:
- A surviving wife or husband, children of the victim and the children of any deceased child of the victim are eligible.
- If there is no surviving spouse, child or grandchild, then the damages may go to the parents and siblings of the deceased or any other relative who is a "primarily dependent" on the victim for financial support or services and is a member of the victim's household.
- If there is no child or grandchild, but there is a surviving spouse, the damages may be awarded to the spouse and parents.