What Are the Most Common Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases involve the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party. Not only are these cases overwhelming for families, but they can also be legally complex. This is why it is essential to have a dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyer advocating for you and your family.

The following are some common misconceptions that people may have about wrongful death claims. Understanding these misconceptions is important for those seeking financial justice. For more detailed information, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp.

Misconception: Only immediate family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Reality: While immediate family members such as spouses, children, and parents often have priority in filing a wrongful death claim, the eligibility for filing a lawsuit may vary depending on state laws. In Virginia, a personal representative of the victim’s estate can also file a claim.

Misconception: Wrongful death cases are the same as criminal cases.

Reality: Wrongful death cases are civil cases, distinct from criminal cases. Criminal cases involve prosecuting the responsible party for violating criminal laws. In contrast, wrongful death cases seek compensation for the financial and emotional losses suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the death.

Misconception: Wrongful death cases are only about seeking financial gain.

Reality: While financial compensation is a crucial aspect of wrongful death cases, the primary goal is to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Wrongful death lawsuits aim to provide a sense of justice, ensure the responsible party is held liable, and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Misconception: Wrongful death cases can be resolved quickly.

Reality: Wrongful death cases can be complex and time-consuming. Gathering evidence, determining liability, calculating damages, negotiating with insurance companies, and navigating the legal process can take months or even years. The length of the case may vary based on the specific circumstances and complexities involved.

Misconception: Only medical malpractice can lead to a wrongful death claim.

Reality: While medical malpractice can result in wrongful death, it is not the only cause. Wrongful death claims can arise from various incidents such as car accidents, workplace accidents, defective products, premises liability, and more. Any situation where negligence or intentional actions lead to someone’s death may be grounds for a wrongful death claim.

Misconception: Wrongful death claims always go to trial.

Reality: Many wrongful death cases are resolved through settlements, eliminating the need for a trial. Parties involved may agree to a settlement to avoid the uncertainties and costs associated with litigation. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial.

Misconception: Only economic damages are recoverable in wrongful death claims.

Reality: Wrongful death claims typically seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, and other quantifiable losses. Non-economic damages encompass emotional pain, loss of companionship, and the impact of the loss on the family’s quality of life.

Navigating a wrongful death case can be emotionally challenging. That is why having a seasoned Virginia wrongful death attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp advocating for you can make all the difference in the outcome. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.