Who Can File a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Under Virginia law, when a victim is killed because of the negligent actions of another party, their survivors can file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for their loved one’s death. As a Virginia accident attorney can explain to you, if the victim had survived their injuries and could have filed a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, then a wrongful death claim is now applicable for his or her family.

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the victim’s family for the losses the death has caused them. A Virginia wrongful death attorney understands that no amount of money could ever make up for the loss of their loved one, however, many families are often left facing overwhelming financial burdens as a result of the unexpected tragedy of the victim’s death.

Surviving Loved Ones Who May Be Able to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Virginia

Survivors who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children or grandchildren
  • Surviving parents
  • Surviving siblings
  • Any relative who was a dependent of the victim
  • Any relative who is entitled under Virginia’s estate laws to inherit from the victim’s estate

Financial Restitution That May Be Pursued in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Damages in a wrongful death claim can include:

  • Medical expenses related to attempts to save the victim’s life.
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of wages and benefits the victim would have earned if they had survived
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of the victim’s comfort, guidance, companionship, advice, and care

In some wrongful death lawsuits, families may also be able to collect punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to “punish” the victim, as well as to send a message to society that the at-fault party’s actions were unacceptable. For example, if the at-fault driver was drunk at the time of the crash that killed a victim, the family may be awarded punitive damages in their wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Virginia Beach for Assistance

If you lost a loved one and are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party, contact a Virginia Beach wrongful death attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Our law firm understands how to effectively advocate clients and their families in obtaining the financial restitution they are owed in the wake of losing a loved one in a preventable accident. Call (833) 997-1774 today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.