Losing a loved one is never easy, especially in cases where the death was preventable. Along with the grief your family is experiencing there are also financial repercussions. Simply having to deal with a loved one’s final expenses can be a challenging affair for many families. Additionally, if your family is reliant on the lost family member’s income, it can be a difficult situation to recover from.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
The most important point to understand about a wrongful death claim is that it is not a criminal prosecution where the accused would be represented by a criminal defense attorney. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit where the family of the deceased individual seeks financial compensation from the party they believe caused the death of their loved one due to negligence.
Some of the most common wrongful death claims stem from car accidents, physical violence, medical malpractice, slips and falls, sporting accidents, and even product liability. Basically, if another party acted in a negligent manner that resulted in a death, a wrongful death claim can be made.
Wrongful death lawsuits are heard in civil court with the potential of damages being awarded in the form of monetary compensation. Some of the damages the plaintiff is able to seek compensation for include pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, reimbursement for lost income, and punitive damages.
The Wrongful Death Claim Process
While every situation is different, there are certain steps that occur as part of the process in a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of claim is handled very much like a personal injury lawsuit.
Because many wrongful death suits are resolved with a settlement negotiated between the two parties, we typically begin each case by sending what’s called a demand letter. This letter is our form of demanding compensation in exchange for not filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached between the two parties, an official complaint is filed, which begins the litigation process with the courts overseeing the proceedings.
While it is permitted, we do not recommend handling this type of claim without the benefit of a wrongful death attorney near Hopewell. For the sake of your case, negotiations and court processes should be handled by experienced, professional lawyers from a law firm that has extensive experience in personal injury cases. The Cunningham Law Group serving Hopewell, VA will fight for you to achieve the positive outcome you and your family deserve.
In the state of Virginia, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years. This time passes very quickly and reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible will provide the best opportunity for the case to be thoroughly investigated – allowing all evidence to be brought to light.
It is also important to note that these cases take a long time to resolve, and it is rare that a wrongful death case will reach an early determination without court involvement. Even under the best of circumstances, there is a high likelihood that a wrongful death case will run on for years, not months. This depends on the severity of the case and the amount of damages being sought.
The Advantages of Hiring an Attorney
The primary reason to hire an attorney is because these cases can be incredibly costly and complex. They involve intense investigations, and require knowledge of damages and beneficiaries. Because you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you are likely not thinking straight in the first place and should not be placed in the position of fighting for your financial survival.
We also understand that having conversations with the person or persons you believe caused the death of your loved one can be difficult. This is where hiring a lawyer helps as we handle all negotiations and discussions with the defendant and their law team, as well as their insurance company.
There are not many cases more complex than a wrongful death lawsuit, which is why advice from a professional wrongful death lawyer is highly recommended. Because most of these cases end with a settlement, it will take a professional with experience negotiating with insurance companies and other lawyers to earn the maximum compensation for your loss.
If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, contact our personal injury attorney near Hopewell. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have a proven track record of helping clients earn compensation through wrongful death civil lawsuits. While not every death is due to negligence, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the activities leading up to the death and help you determine the likelihood of receiving compensation.
For more information or to book your free, no obligation consultation today, reach out to our compassionate team at Cunningham Law Group, P.C. – call today.