West Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer
When one person injures another, intentionally or not, the situation may lead to a personal injury lawsuit. The plaintiff (the party suing) files charges against the person who caused the injuries (the defendant). To win such a case, the plaintiff’s attorney must show the court that the defendant was negligent in some manner and that negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. However, if the injured party dies from the incident, his or her surviving loved ones may hire a West Virginia wrongful death lawyer and file a wrongful death claim rather than a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, only certain individuals may file a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- The deceased’s children, including stepchildren and adopted children
- The parents of the deceased
- The deceased’s siblings, including stepsiblings and adopted siblings
- Anyone who was financially dependent upon the deceased at the time of death
In some situations, the court may appoint a representative to protect the interests of the deceased’s estate if there are no surviving family members or dependents. West Virginia also enforces a two-year statute of limitations when filing a wrongful death claim. This means the party filing the claim must do so within two years of the date of death.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases We Handle
At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our West Virginia wrongful death attorneys handle claims resulting from a wide range of fatal accidents including, but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Truck accidents
- Boating accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home negligence
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident caused by the negligence of another party, our legal team can help. We are committed to maximizing the compensation owed to our clients and will put all of our resources to work for you to ensure justice is served.
Claimable Damages in a West Virginia Wrongful Death Case
Filing a wrongful death claim is similar to filing a personal injury claim. Your West Virginia wrongful death attorney will be an invaluable asset for navigating the case and gathering the necessary documentation and evidence to build a successful claim. In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff can pursue compensation for damages including:
- Funeral or memorial service expenses.
- Burial costs.
- Compensation for lost income. The plaintiff can typically sue for the income the deceased would have reasonably expected to have earned.
- Pain and suffering. It may sound impossible to assign a dollar value to pain and suffering, but your West Virginia personal injury lawyer will consult with experts in relevant fields to act as witnesses for your case. They will explain the extent of the deceased’s injuries and the pain they caused to the deceased before his or her death.
- Loss of companionship. When a loved one is taken from you due to another person’s negligence, you can hold them responsible for the lost love, support, guidance, affection, protection, and comfort the deceased provided to you.
- Lost financial security. In addition to the deceased’s lost income, you can claim compensation for the other financial support and necessary services the deceased provided to you.
- Medical bills. If the deceased was not immediately killed by the accident in question, they were likely hospitalized or otherwise received medical care for their final injury or illness. In such a case, you can claim compensation for his or her medical expenses such as hospital bills, specialist treatments, prescriptions, and any other similar health-related expenses.
Free Consultation with a West Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer
Your best asset when facing a wrongful death claim will be a skilled attorney. Take the time to find a lawyer who not only has a proven track record for successful wrongful death claims but also displays the compassion and professionalism to handle your case thoroughly and successfully. The law firm of Tiano O’Dell, PLLC offers legal representation to citizens of West Virginia and our firm has a wealth of experience in a wide variety of practice areas. Wrongful death is no exception, and our team will work tirelessly to handle your legal concerns so you can mourn without the stresses of a difficult claims process.
Contact us for more information about the work we do or to set up a case evaluation. Your first meeting with our team is confidential and free of charge. We’ll review the details of your wrongful death claim and let you know how we can help.