Wrongful Death Attorney Arlington VA
Compassionate & Experienced Legal Representation
There is nothing more difficult than losing a loved one unexpectedly. When tragedy strikes, it can be incredibly difficult to know what to do or how to move forward. If your loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional actions, you have the right to take legal action and seek compensation in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a civil action, separate and distinct from any criminal actions that may result from the incident.
At the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, we understand that no amount of compensation can make up for losing someone you love. That being said, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can ease some of the financial burdens associated with the loss of a loved one, such as medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral costs, loss of expected income, and more. A wrongful death suit can also be an effective method of holding the liable party accountable and ensuring that similar incidents do not occur again in the future.
To learn more, we invite you to contact our Arlington wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC for a free consultation. Call (703) 457-1300 or contact us online.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
Like most states, Virginia has laws regarding who can—and who cannot—bring a wrongful death claim. First and foremost, an interested party must first determine that a wrongful death has occurred. A death is considered “wrongful” if it was caused by neglect, illegal conduct, or the intentional actions of another person or entity and, had the person survived, the situation would have supported a personal injury action. For example, if a truck driver was being careless and caused a car accident resulting in your loved one’s death, the truck driver can be held liable.
Secondly, only a “statutory beneficiary” may bring a wrongful death claim in Virginia. A statutory beneficiary is any close relative or dependent of the decedent who, by law, is eligible to recover wrongful death benefits. In Virginia, there is a strict, specific order in which statutory beneficiaries may bring a claim.
This order is as follows:
- First, the surviving spouse and/or children or grandchildren of the decedent may bring a wrongful death claim
- If no surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren exist, the parent(s) and sibling(s) or any person who shared a household with and was dependent on the decedent may bring a claim
- If there are no such surviving persons, any surviving family member of the decedent who stands to receive an inheritance from the decedent’s estate may file a claim
A wrongful death claim may be brought by a single person or by several statutory beneficiaries. Additionally, if the decedent has a surviving spouse but no surviving children, both the spouse and the decedent’s parent(s) may bring the claim together.
Damages in a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim
Plaintiffs in a wrongful death case may seek a wide variety of damages to compensate them for the loss of their loved one. Virginia Code section 8.01-52 specifies that eligible damages for wrongful death may include:
- Sorrow and mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Lost income, services, protection, and care of the deceased
- Medical expenses related to the deceased person’s final illness or injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
Punitive damages may also be awarded if the party responsible for the decedent’s death acted intentionally or in an extremely reckless manner that disregarded the safety of others, such as in the case of certain fatal drunk driving accident cases. An attorney can review the circumstances of your case and help you pursue the full amount of damages your family is owed.
Virginia Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Virginia’s two-year wrongful death statute of limitations requires wrongful death claims to be filed by the second anniversary of the deceased person’s death. If a claim is not filed within this time limit, the deceased person’s family effectively loses their right to pursue damages.
Wrongful Death FAQ:
- What is the Virginia wrongful death cap? – Some states enforce laws that limit how much compensation a victim’s family may receive following a wrongful death resulting from medical malpractice. In the state of Virginia, if your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, you may not recover more than $2,000,000 in damages.
- What is the average wrongful death settlement in Virginia? Settlement amounts vary from one case to the next. However, while we cannot give an across-the-board answer, keep in mind that the following things are taken into account when determining a settlement amount: Emotional damages, lost income, medical expenses and funeral/burial costs.
Discuss Your Case with Our Knowledgeable Team
Wrongful death claims can be quite complex, and attempting to navigate the legal system on top of everything else you are currently dealing with can seem daunting. When you trust your case to the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, however, our legal team will handle every aspect of your case so you can focus on healing and spending time with your family and loved ones. Our goal is twofold: first, to help you secure the compensation you need for unexpected financial losses and emotional damages. Second, to hold the responsible party accountable for the harm they have caused.
Our wrongful death lawyer in Arlington has handled thousands of injury and wrongful death cases in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. and has successfully recovered more than $25 million for his clients. We understand what it takes to effectively navigate the legal process, as well as what it takes to win. Our entire legal team is here to provide you with the compassionate counsel, attentive guidance, and aggressive advocacy you need.
Call (703) 457-1300 or submit an online request form to learn more about how the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC can help you. We offer completely free and confidential case evaluations.