A death in the family is painful under any circumstances. When someone loses their life solely because of the negligent actions of another person, the emotional toll can feel even more overwhelming. State law permits the families of deceased persons to take legal action after a fatal accident.
However, civil litigation is an inherently stressful and complicated endeavor. Retaining a compassionate personal injury attorney could allow your family to grieve at a natural pace and minimize the stress brought on by legal proceedings.
At Bordas & Bordas, we have aided many grieving families in their pursuit of civil compensation. We have obtained significant compensation for families outside of court, such as the $18 million settlement in Phipps v. Exterran, et al. We have also won compensation at trial, including the $50 million verdict in Meredith v. Heartland of Clarksburg. Our Wheeling wrongful death lawyers could work tirelessly to help you obtain financial recovery after losing a loved one.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Wheeling
As per West Virginia Code §55-7-5, any fatal accident that would have allowed the decedent to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived may serve as grounds for a wrongful death claim. W.V. Code §55-7-8 also states that civil claims that begin as personal injury claims may continue as wrongful death cases if the plaintiff passes away as a direct result of their injuries, provided that the secondary claim would not violate the applicable statute of limitations.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Fatal Accident Claim?
According to W.V. Code §55-7-6, the filing deadline for wrongful death cases in West Virginia is two years after the date of the decedent’s death. However, a lawyer familiar with wrongful death claims could inform you of potential exceptions to this rule.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain family members of a deceased individual may pursue financial restitution through a wrongful death claim. In order of priority, eligible family members include the decedent’s spouse, surviving children by blood, marriage, or adoption, parents, siblings, and any family members who were financial dependents of the decedent at the time of their death.
Recoverable Damages for Surviving Family Members
There are many types of compensation you and your family could seek after the loss of a loved one. You may pursue economic damages, such as:
- Funeral and burial/cremation costs
- Medical bills paid on the decedent’s behalf prior to their death
- The reasonably estimated value of lost future earnings and financial support
- Costs of repairing or replacing damaged personal property
Additionally, you may seek recovery for subjective non-economic losses, such as mental and emotional anguish, loss of companionship, loss of parental guidance, and loss of assistance running the household. A fatal accident lawyer in Wheeling could specify what damages may be factored into your claim before filing suit.
Seek Support from a Wheeling Wrongful Death Attorney
If you recently lost a family member to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, no amount of money can fully restore your family. However, civil recovery could help you get back on your feet and deal with the financial consequences of the unexpected loss.
A Wheeling wrongful death lawyer could explain your legal options and help you determine the right course of action for your unique situation. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our firm today.