Manassas Wrongful Death Lawyer
The loss of a loved one can be traumatic. When you discover that their death could have been prevented, had it not been for the negligent actions or misconduct of another, you may be ready to get justice.
A compassionate Manassas wrongful death lawyer at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC could help you through this difficult time in your life. If our firm takes on your case, we will help you hold the at-fault party accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Schedule your free consultation today and find out what your next steps should be.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful Death is defined as a death caused, in an immediate or delayed manner, by the negligence or misconduct of an individual, group of individuals, company, or organization.
When a family member or loved one dies, the complexities of a legal claim against the party or parties responsible can be overwhelming. At this already stressful and emotional time, the best course of action is to seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer with experience in wrongful death cases. At Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys work to guide the surviving family members through the complex legalities to help obtain the maximum possible compensation for their loss.
Compensation for Manassas Wrongful Death Claims
Some of the types of damages suffered by parents, spouses, and children of a deceased person include:
- Grief and anguish
- Loss of consortium (“trauma to the marital relationship”)
- Loss of income, services, protection, care and assistance provided by the deceased
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
Punitive damages may be recovered for willful or reckless conduct
Whatever the cause of your loved one’s death, we understand the difficulties you face and the grief that you are experiencing. And as your wrongful death attorney, we will work to handle the legal end of things so that you and your family focus on dealing with your grief and start healing. You can rest assured that we will remain committed to obtaining the compensation you deserve.
What Are Wrongful Death Claims Worth?
In injury and wrongful death litigation, economists are commonly asked to place a dollar value on the economic losses that were sustained by the plaintiff(s) or family of the deceased. Economists evaluate not only the economic losses stemming from the loss of earnings but also those resulting from the reductions in their ability to perform non-labor market services such as taking care of their households. If allowed by the particular court, the mathematics and statistics-based models used by economists can also be used to assist the court in the valuation of issues involving the loss of enjoyment or the loss of life… Read more about how Virginia personal injury/wrongful death lawyers use economists to maximize the amount of compensation received by families who have lost a loved one.
Virginia Wrongful Death Laws
The Virginia Wrongful Death Act, set forth in Virginia Code 8.01-50:
- 8.01-50. Action for death by wrongful act; how and when to be brought.
- Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation, or of any ship or vessel, and the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action, or to proceed in rem against such ship or vessel or in personam against the owners thereof or those having control of her, and to recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who, or corporation or ship or vessel which, would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, or, if a ship or vessel, to a libel in rem, and her owners or those responsible for her acts or defaults or negligence to a libel in personam, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances, as amount in law to a felony.
- Every such action under this section shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of such deceased person within the time limits specified in § 8.01-244.
- If the deceased person was an infant who was in the custody of a parent pursuant to an order of court or written agreement with the other parent, administration shall be granted first to the parent having custody; however, that parent may waive his right to qualify in favor of any other person designated by him. If no such parent or his designee applies for administration within thirty days from the death of the infant, administration shall be granted as in other cases.
Wrongful Death Damages in Manassas
The Virginia Code also specifically defines the types of damages, which can be recovered in a Wrongful Death action:
- 8.01-52. Amount of damages.
The jury or the court, as the case may be, in any such action under § 8.01-50 may award such damages as to it may seem fair and just. The verdict or judgment of the court trying the case without a jury shall include, but may not be limited to, damages for the following:
- Sorrow, mental anguish, and solace which may include society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice of the decedent;
- Compensation for a reasonably expected loss of (i) income of the decedent and (ii) services, protection, care, and assistance provided by the decedent;
- Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the decedent incident to the injury resulting in death;
- Reasonable funeral expenses; and
- Punitive damages may be recovered for willful or wanton conduct or such recklessness as evinces a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
Damages recoverable under 3, 4, and 5 above shall be specifically stated by the jury or the court, as the case may be. Damages recoverable under 3 and 4 above shall be apportioned among the creditors who rendered such services, as their respective interests may appear. Competent expert testimony shall be admissible in proving damages recoverable under 2 above.
The court shall apportion the costs of the action as it shall deem proper.
What If a Loved One Was Killed in an Accident That Was Not Their Fault?
You make a claim for wrongful death against the person who caused the accident. In most cases, you’ll be dealing with an insurance company representing that person or company and you’ll be allowed to submit your claim to that person or company evaluation and ultimately try and settle that wrongful death case, without filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if the other side is being unfair, then you have no choice but to file a lawsuit for wrongful death and pursue your remedies in court.
Manassas Wrongful Death FAQ
We understand how difficult this time in your life must be. In the hope of helping you get through these times, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding wrongful death claims in Manassas below. Do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation if you have additional questions that are not answered on this page.
How Long Do I Have to File My Wrongful Death Claim?
Under Virginia law, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years. If your lawsuit is not filed before the two-year statute of limitations expires, you will no longer have the right to have your case heard in Manassas civil courts.
Who Has the Authority to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Manassas?
Under Virginia wrongful death laws, only specific parties have the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here, the decedent’s personal representative must file a wrongful death claim. However, any damages awarded in the wrongful death claim will be paid to the statutory beneficiaries. Statutory beneficiaries include the decedent’s surviving family members and dependents.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim If the Defendant Is Facing Criminal Charges?
Yes. You should be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit even if the defendant is currently facing criminal charges. In fact, if the defendant pleads guilty in criminal court, this verdict could be used as evidence to support liability in your Manassas wrongful death claim.
However, it is important to note that if the state’s prosecuting attorney is unable to secure a guilty verdict in criminal court, this will have no legal bearing on your ability to move forward with your Manassas wrongful death claim.
Get Help from a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Manassas
If you are interested in learning more about what legal options may be available to you and your family, contact a dedicated Manassas wrongful death lawyer at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to the families of wrongful death victims across Manassas and nearby cities. Claim yours by filling out our online contact form or calling our office today.