Compassionate Legal Care During A Tragic Time (Wrongful Death)
Nobody should have to suffer through the loss of a loved one due to the carelessness and fault of another. Such a loss inflicts emotional wounds that last a lifetime. Additionally, it can leave the survivors with mounting financial concerns.
If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Though it will not lessen the impact of your loved one’s absence, it can help with the financial struggles that often accompany such a devastating loss.
At Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law, we are very sympathetic following the death of a loved one. We regularly handle wrongful death cases throughout Virginia. Our lawyers and staff understand the grief and pain you are experiencing. We offer compassionate, sensitive representation and help as we assist you through all the legal aspects of your loss.
Since 1979, we have provided caring representation for those who have lost loved ones due to negligence. Whether you need specific legal counsel on exploring your claims or you just need a shoulder to cry on, we are here for you. Our attorneys and staff genuinely care about each client’s well-being.
Preserving Your Claims
In the aftermath of a death, the last thing on your mind is preserving your legal claims. However, the law requires relatively swift action. To pursue a wrongful death suit, you must first be qualified as an administrator of your loved one’s estate, which will empower you to bring a lawsuit on his or her behalf. This is a separate process and a different legal standard from that involved in probate or estate administration.
We are experienced in handling all types of wrongful death cases. We can advise you on what types of damages may be available, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Lost income
- Punitive damages
Wrongful Death FAQ
Answers to some basic questions about wrongful death actions appear below. Call us at 540.342.2000 to schedule a free consultation about your case.
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
Legally speaking, the estate of the deceased is the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. That means that the personal representative (executor) of the estate must bring the lawsuit.
That said, we welcome inquiries from family members of fatal accident victims who are not personal representatives. In a free consultation, an attorney at our firm can explain the legal process and other important aspects of your case. If you wish to proceed further, we can follow up with the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
How soon must a wrongful death lawsuit be filed?
In a case involving an adult who has died, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the death. For deceased minors, the two-year period begins on the date that the minor would have turned 18.
I am devastated by the loss of my loved one and can’t face the prospect of a drawn-out legal battle. Can I put off legal action for now?
You certainly can, but we advise against doing so. You must keep in mind the statute of limitations explained in the answer to the question immediately above this one. Also, because critical evidence can disappear after an accident, it is important to conduct a prompt investigation of the accident to document causation and establish liability.
Our attorneys can handle all aspects of your case with minimal involvement on your part. We will act quickly to preserve evidence, file the lawsuit and complete all other tasks necessary for the development of a successful case. While you grieve and recover from your loss, our firm will be working hard for you.
What types of compensation are available in a wrongful death case?
In Virginia, it may be possible to obtain:
- Medical costs prior to death
- Pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death
- Income the deceased would have earned had he or she lived
- Value of services the deceased provided to the household
- Noneconomic losses such as loss of consortium and loss of companionship
- Funeral costs
When our firm represents you, we will calculate the full value of all compensable losses and seek the best possible settlement or jury award for you.
Can I sue for the pain and suffering of my loved one?
The short answer is “yes,” the family of the deceased may seek damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering.
How are damages calculated in a wrongful death case?
A number of factors are considered when determining damages for wrongful-death lawsuits. Factors can include:
- Level of education
- Loss of future earnings
- Life expectancy
In some cases, the courts refer to “worklife tables,” which are calculations for how much an individual could be expected to earn in his or her lifetime.
Can parents sue for wrongful death of a child?
Yes, they can. But while the future earnings for an adult are not very difficult to calculate, the opposite is true for children, according to FindLaw. In general, the damage awards for the death of children are small.
Contact Our Traffic Fatality Lawyers Serving Roanoke, Including Southwest And Central Virginia
We are here to help. To arrange a free consultation, call our Roanoke-area wrongful death attorneys at 540.342.2000.
At Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law, we handle wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will pay no attorney fees* unless we obtain compensation for you.
Because if you’re injured, we care!
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*Excludes costs and expenses.