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“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
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.
Fredericksburg Wrongful Death Lawyer
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:
- Provide answers when you need them. We understand the uncertainty and confusion that families face. The process of filing an insurance claim or pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia can also be highly complex. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions, explain your case and provide any other support you need. We always return calls and keep our clients informed, including through letters and e-mail updates.
- Put our investigators on your case right away. Our team of experienced investigators makes a difference for our clients. The team includes former law enforcement officers as well as a former insurance claims adjuster. They can launch an immediate investigation and take prompt action to preserve and gather the evidence that will serve as the backbone of your wrongful death claim.
- Handle the insurance companies. The last thing you and your family needs is to deal with aggressive insurance adjusters. They will be more concerned about their company’s interests than the terrible loss you have suffered. We will deal with the insurance companies and protect your rights at every stage of the claims process. Our goal will be to secure a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you and gives you the answers about your loved one’s death that you deserve.
- Fight for you in the courtroom. Some defendants simply refuse to accept responsibility for the harm they inflict on others. If we cannot reach a settlement agreement with party (or parties) who caused your family member’s death, then you can be assured that we will be ready to put on a strong case at trial. Our attorneys in Fredericksburg are highly talented litigators who know what it takes to win in the courtroom.
- Charge you no fees unless we secure compensation for you. We never want our clients to worry about paying for an attorney. Your focus should be on our family and on pursuing the justice that you deserve – not legal fees. We will charge you for our services only if we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. Our fees will reflect a percentage of that financial recovery.
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.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
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:
- Car accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Accidents at construction sites and other workplaces
- Dog bites or other animal attacks
- Defective products, including medical devices and drugs.
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.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Fredericksburg?
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:
- Any other relative who lived with the deceased individual and was dependent on the deceased individual for support
- Other relatives listed in the Virginia intestacy statute.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Award?
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:
- Final medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Burial expenses
- Compensation for loss of financial support
- Loss of emotional support
- Loss of love and affection.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
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.
Our Fredericksburg Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Here for You
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.