Virginia (VA), like most states, has laws stating that a person or corporation whose negligence caused a person to die can, and should, be held responsible for the harms and losses their negligence produced. Sections 8.01-50 through §8.01-244 of the Code of Virginia set forth the rules for bringing wrongful death claims.
Additional Information about Wrongful Death Claims
Under the law, the personal representative and the beneficiaries who will receive any money recovered in the case can be the decedent's husband, wife and/or children. If no such relatives survive, the parents, brothers and/or sisters of the wrongful death victim can be recognized by a court as the persons who get the money from the lawsuit.
Wrongful death damage claims permitted under the Virginia wrongful death statutes include payments for medical treatments administered before the victim died, funeral bills and loss of future income for individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased person.
Monetary awards can also be pursued for loss of companionship and loss of care, love, guidance and advice. In certain circumstances, there can even be damages for punishing a wrongdoer whose conduct in causing or contributing to the wrongful death was reckless. These are called punitive damages and are meant to send a message to the at-fault party, and the community at-large, that the reckless behavior which caused the death of your loved one is unacceptable and will be punished harshly.