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My child was killed in a car crash in Virginia (VA). How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the wreck?

Generally, per Virginia Code Section 8.01-244, you have 2 years from the time of your child’s death to bring a lawsuit. This assumes that no lawsuit regarding the same accident was filed while your child was still alive. The timetable gets a little more complex when a personal injury suit for the accident was filed in your son or daughter’s name while he or she was still alive.

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I think I have a wrongful death claim in Virginia as my wife died from injuries in a car crash, but how does a court calculate loss of comfort, sorrow, mental anguish and solace?

When a relative or loved one dies because of an accident or injury, it is never possible to fully replace this loss. However, a successful wrongful death case will make some amends for the loss by awarding an amount of money that is “fair and just.” It is virtually impossible to precisely how much sorrow or mental anguish a survivor experiences. The facts of each case will influence the amount that is determined to be fair and just. For example, the nature of the relationship in the family is taken into account. In addition, the length of marriage and the kinds of love, help and support your spouse gave you are important considerations. 

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