When you lose a loved one in an accident or during any type of incident you didn’t expect, the recovery process can be devastating—especially if the accident or incident could have been prevented. When a life is lost due to another’s actions or behaviors that were careless or reckless, obtaining justice is sometimes the best option and can aid the recovery process. A West Virginia wrongful death lawyer can make justice obtainable.
In the legal world, we refer to a “wrongful death” as any death that could have—and should have—been prevented. Most wrongful deaths occur during accidents that are directly or indirectly caused by negligence, reckless behaviors or actions, or carelessness. The U.S. civil justice system lets family members and loved ones of victims who die wrongfully take legal action against the guilty party. This is an area of law we call wrongful death law.
Every year, thousands of entirely preventable accidents occur which harm or injure West Virginia residents. To obtain justice for a tragic family member death that was preventable, you need to hold the at-fault party accountable. No one should get away with negligent or careless actions that result in the premature death of another human being. At DiTrapano Barrett DiPiero McGinley & Simmons, PLLC, our legal team is passionate about pursuing high settlements for grieving families.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?
A wrongful death claim is filed by a representative on behalf of the decedent. The filer is referred to as a “real party in interest.” The representative who files the lawsuit is typically an executor of the decedent’s estate.
In the state of West Virginia, individuals who may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Immediate family members: Parents, spouses, and children have the right to sue a responsible party for wrongful death of a family member.
- Life partners / financial dependents: If you lived with the decedent as a partner or were financially dependent on the decedent, you may have the legal right to sue.
- Parents of a deceased fetus: This occurs in situations in which the accident caused a pregnant woman to miscarry her baby when the fetus was otherwise healthy.
- Persons who suffer financially after a death: If a loved one’s death causes you financial strain, you may be able to sue the at-fault party for damages that stemmed from the accident.
A Wrongful Death Claim Can Deliver Peace of Mind
After losing a loved one, you may have trouble making ends meet or recovering after having to pay for your deceased family member’s final medical costs. These are the times when filing a West Virginia wrongful death lawsuit can do the most good.
Family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for a variety of losses including but not limited to:
- Reasonable funeral expenses
- Medical expenses for the final care, treatment, and hospitalization prior to a loved one’s passing
- Expected loss of income
- Loss of services, protection, assistance, and care provided by the deceased loved one
- Loss of love, comfort, companionship, support, and guidance that were provided by the deceased loved one
A wrongful death claim will not erase the tragedy that occurred. In addition to the above sources of compensation, however, a wrongful death claim sends a powerful message that cannot be ignored by the guilty individual or group that caused the death of your loved one. This message states one simple fact: The health and safety of other individuals must be prioritized. Negligent or careless behaviors that lead to death are unacceptable. We, as a nation comprised of individuals, need to treat others better.
Sending this message will not bring a loved one back, but it may deliver peace of mind and solace.
Our Team of West Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
At DiTrapano Barrett DiPiero McGinley & Simmons, PLLC, you won’t just work with one lawyer. We handle all our clients’ cases as a team. We believe that each of our West Virginia wrongful death lawyers has distinctive experiences that frame his or her skills and enhance our team’s collective ability. We can use our 150 years of combined legal knowledge to best secure a high settlement or verdict in your case.
We want you to have the best representation available when handling your wrongful death case. We have been named as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report and are included in the Best Lawyers® listing. Our firm is also AV Rated® by Martindale-Hubbell®. These accolades mean that we have displayed superior ethical standards, impressive communication ability, and extensive legal knowledge in our field.
We understand that you’re grieving from the loss of your loved one. Retain us to take care of your legal matters, and we’ll give you the time you need to recover. Call our Charleston firm today for a free case evaluation or to learn more.