The loss of a loved one in a tragic accident can be a shocking, tragic event. It is difficult to accept and cope with such tragedy, causing surviving family members to question what they can do. In Virginia, there are options to seek compensation for their losses, holding a negligent party accountable for the wrongful death they caused.
In Virginia, wrongful death laws restrict who is able to bring a legal action against another party following the death of a loved one. In most cases, this is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, which is the executor or administrator. This is dependent on whether an estate plan was established before the decedent’s death.
With regards to condolences and admissions of guilt, in Virginia any expression of sympathy or condolences by healthcare providers or other tortfeasors are not admissible as evidence in court. It should be noted that the law does distinguish between this and statements that do constitute admissions of guilt.
Various damages may be recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit, including losses due to sorrow, mental anguish, solace and loss of companionship, loss of income, service, protection care and assistance, medical expenses, funeral costs and punitive damages for willful, wanton or reckless conduct. The statute of limitation for a wrongful death action in Virginia is two years following the person’s death.
The sudden death of a loved one is difficult to cope with. When the negligence of another person causes the death of a family member, family members are likely to have many questions. Obtaining answers might be difficult. However, a wrongful death action could help provide some answers and even some closure. This legal actin could establish cause, helping to place accountability on a liable party. Additionally, this civil lawsuit could help with the collection of compensation for losses and damages suffered.