The Hampton wrongful death attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp understand how the unexpected loss of a loved one can have catastrophic financial effects on a family. When that loss of life is the result of the negligent or reckless act of another person, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue compensation for their emotional and financial losses.
In some situations, criminal charges are filed against a party responsible for a wrongful death such as when involuntary manslaughter charges are filed against a negligent driver. Sometimes families are confused: even if the police are pursuing a criminal charge, this does not prevent a Hampton wrongful death attorney from pursuing financial compensation for a negligently caused wrongful death claim against the same party or persons.
Generally, the survivors that are allowed to file a wrongful death claim may include the victim’s spouse and/or children, parents, siblings, or the representative of the victim’s estate. To determine exactly who the potential beneficiaries are you should consult with a skilled wrongful death attorney in Virginia. And recognizing that there are many variations of today’s nuclear families, Virginia law also permits steps siblings/half brothers and sisters of a victim to recover as beneficiaries in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
There are multiple types of incidents or accidents that could cause the death of a family’s loved one and result in a wrongful death claim against the party or parties whose negligence or recklessness caused the accident that killed the victim. Some of the more common types of incidents our Hampton, Virginia wrongful death lawyers have successfully handled include:
- Motor vehicle, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Medical/surgical errors, medical malpractice
- Business Premises liability accidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Defective or dangerous products
Proving a Wrongful Death Case
In order to successfully recover financial justice for a family, a Hampton wrongful death attorney must prove the following four elements:
- Negligence – The victim’s death was a result of the careless, negligent, or reckless actions or behaviors of the defendant or defendants named in the wrongful death lawsuit.
- Breach of duty – The defendant owed a duty to the victim but failed to meet that duty. For example, a vehicle owner has a duty to drive safely and obey all traffic laws. If a driver who has been drinking causes a crash and a victim dies, that driver committed a breach of duty to the victim by committing the crime of drunk driving.
- Causation – The defendant’s negligent actions caused Stop the victim’s death.
- Damages – The victim’s death resulted in economic damages to the family, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of both present and future income and benefits, as well as non-economic damages, such as loss of guidance, loss of care, and emotional anguish.
What Damages Can Be Pursued in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
While every case has its own unique circumstances, in general, your Hampton wrongful death attorney can pursue damages for funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income your loved one would have provided for your family, loss of future benefits your loved one would have provided for your family, loss of companionship, loss of love, loss of guidance, loss of service, and emotional anguish.
The family members or a representative from the victim’s estate may also have the right to bring a second type of action against the at-fault party, referred to as a survival action. This is separate from the wrongful death claim, as are the damages that are pursued. Basically, the damages awarded in this action are the same ones the victim could have pursued had they survived the accident, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering, all those occurring prior to death.
It is critical to note, however, that there is normally a two-year statute of limitation for filing a wrongful death action in Virginia. This means that a family only has two years from the day their loved one died to file their wrongful death claim. Once that timeframe has passed, so too has the window to pursue justice for your loved one’s death except in rare exceptional circumstances. Just
Why Choose Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for a Hampton, Virginia Wrongful Death Case?
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been fighting for accident victims and their families for almost four decades, using all available resources to obtain the best possible outcome under the circumstances of the case. Our wrongful death attorneys build on a long track record of previous successful wrongful death claims that we have either settled or secured verdicts in, which has proven our solid reputation as skilled trial attorneys.
Some of the law firm’s notable previous settlements or verdicts in Virginia wrongful death cases include the following:
- A $2.5 million jury award for the family of a man who burned to death when the riding lawn mower he was on exploded in flames due to a design defect of the fuel line.
- A $2.4 million wrongful death insurance settlement for the family of a man killed when a tractor-trailer hit the rear of the car he was riding in, causing the vehicle to flip over.
- A $1 million wrongful death insurance settlement our law firm secured for one family of a woman who was killed when the bike she was riding was hit by a commercial van.
Our law firm website includes many other wrongful death cases we have successfully concluded.
Call Our Hampton, VA Wrongful Death Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or reckless actions of another person, contact a wrongful death attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we are dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients and will work diligently for your family in your pursuit of justice for your loved one.
Call our office today at (833) 997-1774 or click here to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Our office is conveniently located at 101 Eaton Street in Hampton, less than a half mile away from the Hampton Circuit Court.
Our firm published an in-depth legal guide discussing the options available for families who have lost a loved one in an accident. The guide covers topics such as the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and who can be appointed as a personal representative. Download the free guide here.
For additional information about Hampton, Virginia wrongful death cases, read these articles:
- Surgical Errors Report: Surgical Mistakes Can Lead to Wrongful Death
- What To Do After Losing a Loved One in an Accident Caused by the Negligence of Another Person or Company
- What Do Wrongful Death ‘Pain and Suffering’ Damages Cover?
- Virginia (VA) Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Sovereign Immunity
- Seeking Compensation for a Loved One’s Wrongful Death