If you lost a loved one due to the actions of someone else, such as in a car crash, you may experience financial difficulties in addition to your emotional trauma. You may have gone from a dual-income household to one you must now manage on your own. There are other expenses too. Funerals can be expensive and there may also be medical bills to pay. Some people in these situations may decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Virginia law states that if a person’s death was caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another person, and had the victim not died they would have been able to pursue a lawsuit based on the matter, then the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s survivors.
To prevail in a wrongful death claim you must be able to show the defendant committed an act of negligence. This means the defendant owed the deceased a duty, which was breached, that the breach caused the victim to die and but for the breach the death would not have happened.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
It is important not to wait too long to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is due to the “statute of limitations.” A statute of limitations is the length of time you have to file a lawsuit. Once that time period is up a lawsuit can no longer be pursued. In Virginia the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years.
The death of a loved one is always difficult
The death of a loved one is never easy, especially when the death is sudden and at the hands of another. This causes grief, trauma and often financial hardship. People in such situations may want to learn more about whether a wrongful death lawsuit is right for them.