When you lose a loved one because of someone else’s careless or reckless conduct, it can be a confusing and painful time. You may experience a wide range of feelings – from sadness and grief to outright anger about what has happened. At Marks & Harrison, our Fredericksburg wrongful death attorneys understand the emotional as well as the financial challenges that such an untimely death creates. We will provide the compassionate, professional legal representation you deserve.
To discuss in more detail how we can help you, contact our Fredericksburg office today and schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers. As we move forward on your wrongful death case, you can count on us to work closely with you, pursue a maximum financial recovery for your family and deliver the high level of client service that has served as our law firm’s hallmark for more than 100 years.
The Fredericksburg lawyers at Marks & Harrison know that no amount of compensation can replace a loved one. However, we believe that compensation through a wrongful death claim can play an important role for surviving family members as they move forward in life. For instance, the damages collected from those responsible for the death can cover the expenses of putting your loved one to rest as well as make up for the loss of his or her financial support.
When you hire Marks & Harrison, you can count on our Fredericksburg legal team to provide full service to you and your family. We will:
Our Fredericksburg office features four attorneys and a full support staff. Marks & Harrison also offers our clients the resources of nine other offices located throughout the state, including our main office in Richmond. We can meet with you as soon as you are ready to take legal action.
A wrongful death claim arises when someone else’s negligence or other wrongful conduct causes the death of a family member. If the victim would have been able to bring a personal injury claim against that person if he or she had lived through the injuries, then surviving family members should be eligible to pursue compensation through a claim.
In that sense, a wrongful death action in Virginia is similar to a personal injury claim. Like a personal injury, a wrongful death can occur due to:
Like a personal injury claim, you must prove that the other party was negligent. You must also prove that the party’s negligence directly caused your loved one’s death. Finally, you must prove that you were directly affected in some way, such as showing that you lost the value of your family member’s household services, love, affection and companionship.
When a loved one dies due to another’s negligence, the surviving family members have a right to pursue damages. The damages in this type of case are suffered by the surviving loved ones. Therefore, compensation is paid for those loved ones’ losses.
In many cases (but not always), one of the “statutory beneficiaries” will also be a personal representative. Therefore, this is typically the person who will act as the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim. Only those individuals listed in the wrongful death statute as “beneficiaries” will be allowed to claim losses and recover through a wrongful death lawsuit. These people are:
After a wrongful death, you may be able to claim a number of damages, some of which you may not even be thinking about right away. Those damages include:
In every state, a specific statute of limitations applies to wrongful death claims. In Virginia, you get only two years from the date of the death to file your lawsuit against those you seek to hold responsible. Keep in mind that this is actually not a lot of time. To prepare your case for litigation, a wrongful death lawyer will need to obtain evidence, gather medical records and billing statements and gather other proof of damages. Often, the attorney must consult with experts. So, the sooner you obtain legal help, the better off you will be.
At Marks & Harrison, we offer completely free consultations with a wrongful death attorney. So, there is no risk and no obligation.
At Marks & Harrison, we want you to spend time with those you care about after you have lost a loved one. We will take the pressure off you and your family so that you can deal with your personal affairs in private without having to worry about the legal aspects of the wrongful death. To schedule a private one-on-one consultation with an attorney free of charge at our Fredericksburg office, contact Marks & Harrison today. Click here for directions.