When a loved one has been killed through another person’s negligence, the last thing you may be thinking about is the legal landscape. The emotional pain, funeral planning and other concerns demand your immediate attention. Nonetheless, getting an attorney as soon as possible to handle your wrongful death claim is critically important in seeking justice for your loss.
Car insurance and other liability insurance carriers will not wait until you have finished grieving before they contact your family and try to adjust your wrongful death claim. Insurance companies want to quickly gather potential beneficiaries and pay them as little as possible, hopefully while they are still disoriented from the death itself. They may even offer to pay for final expenses, such as funeral costs and outstanding hospital bills, even though such offers are far less than what should really be paid. In other words, they are much less generous than they sound. For more information on how insurance companies operate in accident claims, see Insurance and Injury Law Questions.
Virginia Code sections 8.01-50 and related statutes give a legal remedy to family members in the event of a death by “wrongful act, neglect or default.” Most commonly, these involve car accidents, but the same legal principles apply, with certain differences in each instance, in cases involving dog bites, slip and fall accidents, boating accidents and even defective products.
A Virginia wrongful death claim, like any other complex legal matter, is nothing you should try to do without a licensed attorney. You can rely on their experience to guide you through the process.
If you have lost a loved one because of another’s negligence, contact me right away for a free consultation.