Virginia law allows the survivors of wrongful death victims to recover compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses. The purpose of these wrongful death damages is to provide some degree of relief for those who suffer due to the loss of a loved one.
Establishing one’s right to recover wrongful death damages can be as complex as any personal injury case. That is why it is crucial to seek assistance from an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we offer our clients that experience – as well as our sincere compassion. We would like to help if you have lost a family member due to another’s wrongful acts or neglect. When you are ready to seek legal help, please contact us by phone or by using our online form. We do not charge for our initial consultations.
Types of Wrongful Death Damages
Once a party’s liability has been established in a wrongful death case, Virginia law permits eligible survivors to recover an amount in damages that the judge or jury determines to be “fair and just.” This standard, in turn, guides negotiations when seeking to obtain a settlement through the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical expenses (covering the care, treatment and hospitalization that the victim required due to the injury that resulted in his or her death)
- Reasonable funeral expenses
- Reasonably expected loss of income provided by the victim (including current and future income from wages, benefits, pensions and inheritance)
- Services, protection, care and assistance that the victim provided
- Sorrow, mental anguish and solace (including loss of society, companionship, comfort and guidance).
If the at-fault party’s conduct is found to be “willful or wanton,” survivors may also seek punitive damages.
Virginia law specifies the availability of punitive damages in drunk driving accidents, particularly cases in which the defendant has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or more.
Who Can Recover Wrongful Death Damages?
In most cases, a wrongful death claim is brought by a “personal representative” of the deceased victim, and the damages are distributed among eligible survivors.
These survivors typically include:
- Surviving spouse
- Children of the deceased victim.
If a deceased victim’s child has died, then his or her children may be entitled to damages.
In some cases, a deceased victim’s parents, brothers and sisters and any other relative “who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and is also a member of the same household as the decedent” may be eligible to recover damages as well.
It is important to seek assistance from a lawyer who will make sure that any survivors who are eligible to recover damages are fairly compensated.
Contact a Richmond Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a family member in an accident that could have been prevented, having an experienced law firm on your side can make all the difference.
For more than 20 years, the wrongful death lawyers of Geoff McDonald & Associates have helped families from across Richmond and Virginia to rebuild their lives after a shattering loss.
Our goal is to identify and obtain all of the compensation that your family is due for the unjust loss of a loved one. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation with a compassionate and caring member of our legal team.
Remember our No Fee Guarantee® – You will not pay us unless we obtain compensation for you.