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Mark Broadwell April 25, 2014

Wrongful Death in Virginia

The death of a close family member is one of the biggest tragedies anyone can face. You should not need to also cope with the financial burden created by your loss. A wrongful death suit is designed to help with the financial burden. If your loved one has died due to someone’s negligence or fault, such as in a car accident, using an unsafe product,  medical malpractice or other cause, you are entitled to receive compensation for your losses.

Who Can Sue?

In Virginia, a wrongful death suit can be brought by the administrator of the estate of the deceased. This usually means the spouse or grown child of the deceased can represent the family in court. The natural mother can also sue for the death of her unborn child if that death was due to neglect or wrongful action.

Virginia Allows Economic, Non-Economic and Punitive Damages to Be Awarded

The state of Virginia does not put a monetary cap on damages. The courts “may award such damages as to it may seem fair and just.”  It is up to the judge and jury to determine damages.  The award can include economic damages – those with an obvious price tag, non-economic damages – those without a market price and punitive damages – those related to the wrongdoing rather than your losses.

Economic damages in Virginia include:

  • Loss of income and services – these are calculated over the expected life time of the deceased

  • Medical Expenses

  • Funeral expenses

 Non-economic damages are less easy to put a price tag on.  They can include:

  • Sorrow and mental anguish

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of comfort and company

  • Loss of advice and guidance

Virginia also allows the award of punitive damages where the court finds there has been willful or wanton action – behavior that shows reckless disregard for the wellbeing of the victim.

If you have lost a loved one due to the neglect or wrongdoing of another, you deserve to be compensated for your damages. Put your case in the hands of trustworthy attorneys at Forbes & Broadwell who can secure just compensation without adding to your burden.