Throughout the nation, wrongful death is the underlying cause of many fatal accidents. Whenever someone dies in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, the accident can be considered wrongful death. Car accidents, work-related accidents, product defect accidents, medical malpractice, and slip-and-fall accidents can often lead to wrongful death.
Just like many other urban cities around the nation, Richmond, Virginia, sees it’s fair share of car accidents. An attorney from Halperin Law Center shared some crash data for this post which revealed that 6,080 accidents occurred in Henrico County in the year 2017. Richmond is located in Henrico County and, while only twenty-four vehicle fatalities occurred during 2017, there were 2,831 injuries.
Out of the twenty-four vehicle fatalities that occurred, it’s likely that a portion of them were the result of wrongful death. In car accidents, wrongful death is usually the result of a driver that’s distracted behind the wheel, speeding, driving under the influence, or disobeying the rules of the road in some other way.
Seeking Justice for Wrongful Death
The issue with wrongful death accidents is that families want justice on behalf of the loved one they’ve lost. It’s hard for families to obtain closure when they know that someone else was at fault for the fatal accident. Thankfully, many states, including Virginia, allow close relatives to file wrongful death claims against the party in question.
That state of Virginia allows the personal representative of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased didn’t name a personal representative in their will before their death, the courts can appoint one. Usually, the courts will appoint the closest living family member, such as the spouse or children of the deceased.
Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case
The personal representative of the deceased should be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages after their loved one has passed. Economic damages may include funeral expenses or lost income if the deceased was a significant breadwinner in the family. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The point of a wrongful death lawsuit is to help the family recover from the unexpected loss of their loved one. While no amount of compensation can bring back the person they’ve lost, this settlement may make the grieving process easier. This settlement can also help the family feel closure after the death knowing justice was served.