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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 due to the negligent or wrongful acts of another, you have the right to take legal action. As you move forward following such a tragic loss, it will be important to work with a lawyer who will vigorously protect that right.
The wrongful death attorneys of Marks & Harrison have the skill and resources to help you through this difficult time. When you are ready to seek legal help, we can meet with you in a free and confidential consultation.
Our law firm has extensive experience with representing the families of wrongful or accidental death victims in Richmond and throughout Virginia. Our past wrongful death cases include:
- $3 million verdict (Henrico County Circuit Court) – The case arose from a collision with a box truck at an intersection. Our firm served as co-counsel with a Texas law firm. The case resulted in a $1.8 million settlement.
- $2.35 million settlement (Prince George County Circuit Court) – The case involved a husband and father who died in a chase while working as an off-duty police officer.
- $1.5 million verdict (Virginia Beach Circuit Court) – Our firm represented the parents of a child who fell through the railing of a hotel balcony.
The ability to hold a party legally responsible, or liable, for the wrongful death of a loved one, and the amount which can be sought in compensation, depend on the unique facts of each case. Please contact us today by phone or online to discuss the facts in your case and to learn more about how Marks & Harrison can assist you.
Richmond Wrongful Death Lawyer
A wrongful death claim, like a personal injury claim, is based on the harm caused by the careless or reckless conduct of another. If the victim could have brought a personal injury claim if he or she had survived, then a “personal representative” of the victim’s surviving family members and estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death, in this sense, can arise in many different situations, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents – A death may occur due to a driver’s negligence such as speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving or fatigued driving.
- Dangerous property conditions – A property owner or occupier may fail to take reasonable steps to protect visitors from harm by repairing a dangerous condition on the premises or warning visitors about the hazard.
- Workplace accidents – A worker may be killed on the job due to the negligence of a non-employer such as a construction site owner or a contractor. Surviving family members may be able to bring a third-party liability claim and seek a financial recovery that goes beyond what workers’ compensation benefits provide.
- Dog bites – Fatal injuries can result from an attack that occurs due to a dog owner’s failure to follow local leash laws or to otherwise reasonably restrain or handle the dog.
- Medical malpractice – A doctor or other medical professional may fail to meet the applicable standard of care, causing the death of a patient. Examples include surgical errors, medication errors, anesthesia errors and misdiagnoses.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect – Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to provide adequate care to the elderly residents under their care. Due to the frailty of their condition, even a slight injury to a nursing home resident can be fatal.
- Defective products – Manufacturers can be held accountable for allowing defectively designed, produced and marketed products to get into the hands of consumers, including dangerous automotive parts, prescription drugs and medical devices.
Marks & Harrison can work with our team of investigators and consult with highly qualified experts to investigate the loss of your loved one. Our goal will be to determine why the death occurred and who should be held responsible for your loss.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
A wrongful death claim in Virginia must be brought in the name of a “personal representative” of the victim’s surviving family members and estate. Those who are entitled to recover damages are “statutory beneficiaries.” These beneficiaries may include the victim’s surviving:
- Children (or the children of a deceased child)
- Brothers and sisters
- Any other relative who was dependent on the victim for support and services and a member of the same household (including a relative by blood, marriage or adoption).
If a victim left behind no surviving family members, then the right to bring a wrongful death claim would belong to whoever would be allowed to inherit the victim’s estate under Virginia’s intestacy laws.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Virginia law, eligible surviving family members may seek a recovery of “fair and just” damages that include:
- Sorrow, mental anguish and solace (including compensation for the loss the of the victim’s society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice)
- Reasonably expected loss of the victim’s income and services, protection, care and assistance
- Expenses for the care, treatment and hospitalization of the victim for the injury that resulted in his or her death
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
In contrast to many other states, punitive damages may also be sought in a Virginia wrongful death claim. To recover these damages, it must be shown that the at-fault party engaged in “willful or wanton conduct” or conduct so reckless that it amounted to “a conscious disregard for the safety of others.”
At Marks & Harrison, we will carefully review all of the evidence in your case and work with medical and financial experts to calculate the proper amount of wrongful death damages that should be sought in your case.
How Can a Lawyer Help You in a Wrongful Death Claim?
It is important to know that a wrongful death claim generally must be filed in Virginia within two years after the victim’s death. However, in some cases, the time you have to bring a claim may be longer or shorter. Additionally, in medical malpractice cases, you must go through required steps before you can bring a lawsuit.
Due to these time limits and requirements, it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as you are ready to take action. At Marks & Harrison, we can get to work on your case right away by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation
- Consulting with highly qualified experts
- Making sure your claim is properly and timely filed
- Seeking a full and fair settlement
- Taking your case to court (if needed)
- Ensuring your verdict and settlement is collected and distributed as efficiently as possible.
Our law firm places our clients’ interests above all else. We vow to represent you and your family with honesty, fairness and ethics. We will use all of our strengths and resources to pursue a just result for you.
Get Help from a Richmond Wrongful Death Attorney Virginia
For more than a century, the attorneys of Marks & Harrison have protected the rights of families in Richmond and throughout Virginia who have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact us by phone or online to discuss how we can help you.
Sources / More Information:
- Virginia Wrongful Death Statute (Va.Code § 8.01-50)
- Virginia Wrongful Death Damages Statute (Va.Code § 8.01-52)