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Who may sue after a wrongful death?

Wrongful deaths are often preventable tragedies that rob spouses of their significant others, children of their parents, and loved ones of those who they hold most dear. Under Virginia law, compensation can be sought when an individual's death is wrongful due to an act of negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing. However, not everyone who is harmed by the loss of a wrongful death victim has the right to sue for damages.

Generally it will fall on the executor or administrator of the victim's estate to sue for the damages created by their death. While an executor is someone who the deceased party named in their estate planning devices, an administrator is a court-appointed person who takes over managing the decedent's estate if they did not have a will or other testamentary plan.

A wrongful death lawsuit may therefore compensate the decedent's estate for their lost wages, medical costs, and other losses that were caused by their death. Through the distribution of the decedent's estate, then, their family members and intended beneficiaries may be compensated for losing someone they loved due to the unjust actions of the responsible party.

It is important that before filing any lawsuit that a person understands what rights they have with regard to seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. An attorney who provides personal injury representation and guidance may be a good source of support for a family that is grieving after the loss of one of their own. This post is intended to provide information to its readers and should not be used by anyone as legal advice or guidance.

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