The loss of a loved one is always a source of immense grief and sorrow – but when someone else’s negligent or willful acts are to blame, those emotions can turn to anger and frustration. Your family deserves justice and financial relief for what you’ve suffered. Let a wrongful death attorney with Deering Hedrick fight to hold those at fault for your loved one’s passing accountable for their conduct.
Attorneys Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick understand how important your case is to you and your family, and they are ready to do whatever they can to pursue your claim. Contact Deering Hedrick today for a case evaluation to learn more about how a Hampton Roads wrongful death attorney can help during this difficult time.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim in Virginia allows surviving family members to pursue compensation after a death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another party or entity. If your loved one could have pursued a personal injury claim had they lived, their survivors can likely pursue a wrongful death claim.
What Must You Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?
A plaintiff seeking compensation in a wrongful death claim must prove that their loved one’s death occurred because of someone’s negligent, reckless, or intentional acts or omissions. A plaintiff does not need to prove that their loved one’s death occurred because of a crime, as wrongful death is a civil action. A wrongful death claim may arise under the same circumstances as a personal injury claim, such as a motor vehicle accident, defective product accident, or medical malpractice.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Virginia’s wrongful death statute, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the decedent’s personal representative – typically, the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. In most cases, a close family member such as a spouse, parent, or child will serve as executor or administrator.
However, under Virginia law, wrongful death claims arising from a fetal death may be filed by the fetus’s natural mother. If the mother has died or suffered a disability, her personal representative may file a wrongful death lawsuit for the fetus’s death.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Virginia, a statute of limitations imposes a deadline for filing a lawsuit for wrongful death. Under this law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of your loved one’s death. Limited circumstances may give you additional time to file suit, but you should not wait to speak with a wrongful death attorney from Deering Hedrick. If you file a lawsuit after the two-year deadline, your family may lose the right to seek compensation and justice in civil court.
Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Cases
No amount of money can undo the harm you suffered because of your loved one’s death. However, obtaining compensation in a wrongful death case can help ease the financial burdens resulting from your loved one’s passing. A claim may also provide a measure of justice from those responsible for your loved one’s death. The money you get through such a claim could compensate you for:
- The loss of the decedent’s income and financial contribution to the family and household
- The loss of the decedent’s services and assistance to the family and household
- The loss of the decedent’s companionship, society, guidance, and advice
- Any medical expenses incurred to treat the decedent’s final injury or illness
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
In cases where a liable party intentionally caused a decedent’s death or caused their death through egregious, reckless behavior, a court may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate surviving family members for their losses but rather to punish the liable party or parties for their conduct and deter others from committing similar acts.
In cases of wrongful death caused by a medical provider’s negligence, compensation is limited to the cap set by Virginia Code §8.01-581.15.
Why Choose Deering Hedrick After Losing a Loved One to Someone’s Wrongful Acts
You deserve a compassionate, dedicated lawyer to help your family navigate the legal system after a loved one’s death. Turn to the attorneys of Deering Hedrick to advocate for your family’s interests because:
- Attorneys Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick have years of combined legal experience fighting to protect the rights of injured Virginians and their families throughout Hampton Roads.
- We regularly handle cases in all courts throughout the seven cities.
- We will spend the time getting to know your family and understanding your concerns and goals so we can tailor our legal representation and strategy to achieve the results you deserve.
- We have extensive experience with complex cases and a proven record of success reflected in the many honors and awards our attorneys and firm have received.
A Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You Seek Justice
A wrongful death lawyer can handle every detail of your case so you have time to grieve and heal after your loved one’s passing. Let an attorney help you seek justice by:
- Investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s death to secure evidence for your family’s wrongful death case
- Identifying the party or parties who may have liability for your family member’s passing
- Documenting your family’s expenses and losses, including working with experts to calculate the loss of your loved one’s future income and service to your family and household
- Developing a case strategy and preparing compelling and persuasive arguments in support of your family’s right to compensation
- Filing your family’s claims and aggressively negotiating on your behalf to secure a maximum settlement for you
- Pursuing litigation and going to trial, if necessary, to demand the compensation and accountability your family deserves
Contact Mike Deerling Law Today to Begin Pursuing Accountability and Financial Recovery for Your Loved One’s Passing
Contact Deering Hedrick for a consultation with a compassionate wrongful death attorney in Virginia Beach. We can be reached by phone at 757-383-6848 or through our contact form. We are ready to fight for the justice and accountability that you and your departed loved one deserve.