Losing a loved one can be devastating, especially if their life is lost in a motor vehicle accident at the hands of a person with little to no compassion. Wrongful death claims are filed against a person at fault for the accidental death of another person due to being careless or conducting malpractice.
A wrongful death may occur during a motor accident or when the victim is in the hospital dealing with catastrophic injuries. Wrongful death law gives the car accident victim’s family member(s) the chance to file a lawsuit against the person responsible, not only for the accident and injury but also for the wrongful death.
Considering that wrongful death laws differ by state, we will be discussing how you can correctly gather the facts in the hospital and find a Wheeling Personal Injury Attorney in West Virginia to stand by you through the process. This article will answer the following questions about wrongful death:
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In West Virginia, family members or relatives of the deceased accident victims have a two-year period to file a wrongful death claim.
In cases where the victim is injured, they can file for a legitimate personal injury claim. However, if their life is ended due to the defendant’s negligence, you can file a wrongful death claim through a Wheeling personal injury attorney.
You can file a wrongful death claim:
- When a victim is murdered intentionally in any form of motor accident
- When a person dies from injuries inflicted during an automobile accident
- When a victim injured in a car accident dies after the hospital commits medical malpractice involving a failure to diagnose the problem or failure to provide necessary treatment
Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death claim is often brought forward by people who had a connection with the victim. Under Virginia state laws, only surviving family members who are clearly defined as statutory beneficiaries can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This covers the parents, children, siblings, and first-line relatives of the car accident victims.
Minors are also allowed to sue for wrongful death if their parent is the victim. They can also sue for wrongful death if one of their parents is slain.
In certain jurisdictions, the dead’s romantic partner, as well as anybody who can demonstrate financial dependency on the deceased, may file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
What Proof is Needed to Sue a Defendant?
To be successful in wrongful death cases, the individual making a claim must prove that they are or may face the burdens that the car accident victim would have faced if they had survived. Another would be proving that the defendant had all the possibilities to provide reasonable care such as medical treatment but failed to do so, which led to the victim’s death. A negligence case such as this focuses on elements such as the plaintiff’s losses resulting from the victim’s death. Learn how to establish negligence in a personal injury case.
Damages Caused in Wrongful Death
In a wrongful death claim, damages that the survivor can claim compensation include:
- Physical and emotional pain or any injury claims the victim believed to have suffered from, based on witnesses, as a result of the motor vehicle accident before dying
- Medical bills were paid after the auto accident before they passed away, including their funeral and burial costs.
- Loss of victim’s finances, including reimbursement for lost wages that resulted from the personal injury accident
- The loss of nurturing, care, direction, or any other potential contingency fee matters the victim may have gotten or given if still alive
- The loss of inheritance for the victim may have gotten if still alive
- The loss of companionship and consortium
Finding a Personal Injury Attorney in Wheeling, WV
Wrongful death claims are made on behalf of the victim of wrongful death with proper legal representation. A wrongful death case is usually lodged and processed by the accident victim’s family member with the help of an accident attorney.
In Wheeling, WV, the survivors of the deceased accident victim are given two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim against the defendant legally. It is vital to note that the farther away the family member is by blood, the more difficult it is to file a wrongful death claim.
In West Virginia, only statutory beneficiaries have the power to lodge a wrongful death claim with a personal injury attorney or injury law firm. At Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, we are a compassionate attorney firm entrusted to handle your personal injury case through our best personal injury lawyers. We also have our very own team of wrongful death attorneys in West Virginia. We specialize in dealing with the injury law of West Virginia.
Find yourself an experienced injury lawyer such as our Wheeling personal injury attorneys to find out how to get your claims filed and processed well and on time. Schedule a free consultation today!