It is never easy to lose a loved one, but the grief and heartbreak can become even more difficult to cope with when your family member was killed due to a preventable accident. You may be paralyzed by your grief or just want to get over the settling of your claim for compensation with the negligent party quickly. However, you do not want to let your grief cloud your judgment or lead you to make the mistake of accepting less than you are entitled to.
At Greenspun Shapiro PC, our wrongful death attorneys understand the stress you are going through during this challenging time and are here to take over the responsibility of pursuing your wrongful death action for you. While no amount of money will bring back your family member or ease your sense of loss, it will help you move on with your life and achieve a sense of closure in regards how his death occurred.
What Is a Wrongful Death Action?
In Virginia, a wrongful death claim is brought by the heirs of a person who was killed due to the wrongful act, negligence, or default of another party. It is a type of personal injury claim, but the parties and the types of compensation awarded are slightly different than if the victim had lived and pursued his own claim. Many types of negligent actions can give rise to a wrongful death action. Some of these include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Drivers of cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles can cause deadly motor vehicle accidents by engaging in many negligent practices, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, driving when drowsy, drunk driving, and much more. Unfortunately, the number of fatalities is increasing, not decreasing, annually.
- Workplace accidents. Many jobs, such as electricians, roofers, police officers, and firefighters, are inherently dangerous, and too many workers in these industries die in workplace accidents. Even in safer professions, such as teaching, healthcare, and retail sales, workers are at risk of being killed.
- Medical malpractice. If a loved one died as a result of a medical error by his doctor, nurse, or other health care professional, you may be able to file a wrongful death action. Sadly, one of the leading causes of death in our country is due to improper and negligent medical care.
- Products liability. In Virginia, products are required to be safe for their intended use. When a product is defective or dangerous, the manufacturer, seller, and other parties could be liable for compensating a victim’s family if the person dies as a result of their faulty product.
- Premises liability. Slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, dog bites, and negligent security accidents are a few of the ways property owners’ and business’ negligence can cause death in tragic, preventable accidents.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action in Virginia?
In Virginia, a wrongful death action is filed by one of the statutory beneficiaries—family members or dependents of the deceased person. They include the following:
- Surviving spouse and his children or grandchildren, who have the initial right to file a wrongful death claim.
- Deceased person’s surviving parents, siblings, or other family members who were part of his household and his dependents.
- Surviving family members entitled to inherit the deceased person’s estate under Virginia law.
What Damages Could You Be Entitled to in a Wrongful Death Action?
Damages in a wrongful death action are meant to compensate the close family members of the person wrongfully killed and the person’s estate. Our wrongful death lawyers in Fairfax could help you receive the following types of damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of your family member’s comfort, guidance, companionship, and care
- Value of your loved one’s lost wages and benefits, including the wages, benefits, and career advancement he could have received during his lifetime
- Medical expenses related to your family member’s accident or last illness
- Funeral expenses
- Punitive damages—only awarded to punish the negligent party if the actions that caused the death were willful, wanton, or reckless
Let Our Fairfax Wrongful Death Attorneys Provide You With the Guidance You Need
While holding the negligent parties accountable will not bring back your loved one, it will enable you to obtain justice. At Greenspun Shapiro PC, our Fairfax wrongful death lawyers take this responsibility seriously and are here to answer your many questions and to build a strong case against all negligent parties that caused your family member’s tragic death. We are not afraid to take our clients’ cases to trial and have a reputation for aggressively fighting to obtain the compensation our clients deserve. Contact our Fairfax law office or fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can assist you.