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How Much Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?

Posted in Wrongful Death on April 29, 2020

Wrongful death is the most tragic possible outcome of an accident in West Virginia. It is the death of someone you love due to the preventable negligence or recklessness of another party. While nothing can make up for the wrongful death of a loved one, a civil claim could repay you and your family members for the money you spent on the unexpected loss, such as medical bills and funeral and burial costs. It could also provide better future financial stability by paying for long-term losses such as lost wages and inheritance. A wrongful death attorney can help your family maximize its financial recovery during a claim.

No Average Settlement Amount – Speak to a Lawyer

First, know that no average wrongful death settlement amount exists. No two cases are identical. What someone else received in a wrongful death suit could be substantially different from what you might receive. It is important to speak to a lawyer about your specific case rather than trying to search online for average recovery amounts. Most wrongful death attorneys in West Virginia offer free initial consultations, so you can get accurate information about your case at no cost or obligation. Only with this information from a lawyer can you enter into insurance negotiations with confidence.

Damages Available in a West Virginia Wrongful Death Claim

Understanding how much a wrongful death lawsuit might be worth in West Virginia takes knowledge of which damages the state will reimburse a family for in the aftermath of a tragic death. This can vary from state to state. Some states divide these cases into wrongful death claims and survival actions. One type is for the family’s recovery while the other will lead to an award for the deceased person’s estate. West Virginia combines both types into a single case, with compensation available for the family as well as the estate.

  • The deceased person’s final medical bills for the fatal injury or illness
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
  • The decedent’s lost wages and employment benefits, including future lost earnings
  • Replacement of any lost inheritance
  • Compensation for damaged or destroyed property in the accident
  • Your mental anguish, sorrow and grief
  • The loss of the decedent’s companionship, guidance, knowledge, love, comfort and society (loss of consortium)

These are all compensable damages in a West Virginia wrongful death case. The defendant may lawfully have to pay your family money damages to cover all these costs and more. It will be up to you or your attorney, however, to determine the legally responsible party and file your wrongful death claim by the state’s deadline. In West Virginia, you will have two years from the date of death to bring a case. Missing this deadline will generally mean forfeiting any right you might have otherwise had to recover compensation for wrongful death.

Work With a Wrongful Death Lawyer in West Virginia

Speak to a wrongful death lawyer about your specific case for an accurate estimate of its value. Only a lawyer will have the knowledge and insight into your case to correctly calculate what it might be worth. With this information, you can enter into settlement negotiations with more confidence. You or your lawyer will be able to negotiate with the defendant’s insurance provider for fair and full financial recovery when you understand its true value.

Hiring an attorney often leads to greater compensation for a wrongful death claim in West Virginia that you could recover alone. Insurance companies might not take your case seriously until you hire a lawyer. The adjuster may offer greater monetary compensation when he or she realizes you can take your case to court. If the adjuster still does not treat your case fairly, your lawyer can help you with a wrongful death trial in your county. A trial might be necessary for fair recovery depending on the situation. Either way, a lawyer can guide you through the correct steps for fair results.