It can be extremely difficult to think about the future in the immediate aftermath of the loss of a loved one’s life. Addressing the legal issues surrounding the death, however, is necessary if you wish to obtain a financial award that could give your family peace of mind. The West Virginia wrongful death lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group can help you with legal matters such as identifying the party that caused your loved one’s death, filing your claim and fighting for fair compensation.
If you recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or tort, please contact our law firm for a complimentary case review. Our wrongful death attorneys can offer the support your family needs.
Wrongful death is the most serious tort imaginable. Nothing is more devastating than the unexpected and preventable death of a loved one. Such a significant loss deserves attention from a lawyer if you believe another person is responsible for causing the death. A West Virginia wrongful death lawyer can help your family exercise its rights to financial compensation from one or multiple at-fault parties in West Virginia. Your lawyer will have the power to go up against powerful defendants such as hospitals, manufacturing companies or corporations on your behalf. You can grieve and heal with your family while your lawyer takes care of difficult legal processes.
The definition of wrongful death as stated in West Virginia Code section 55-7-5 is the death of one person caused by the negligence, wrongful act or default of another person, in that the action or omission would have entitled the party injured to file a personal injury lawsuit had death not ensued. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that seeks financial restitution for surviving family members for a tort-based fatal accident. A wrongful death suit seeks damages in a similar manner as a personal injury suit, with a few key differences.
Wrongful death is a tragedy that happens relatively often in the U.S. It can occur in many different kinds of accidents in all types of settings: on the road, at work or right at home. Each year, thousands of people lose their lives in preventable accidents due to others’ negligence. At Manchin Injury Law Group, we can help families after a wrongful death occurs under any circumstances.
Sudden death is a terrible experience for a family to endure. At our law firm, we realize nothing can make up for this monumental loss. Yet we also recognize the material needs the average family will have in these circumstances, such as the need for compensation to make up for the loss of a breadwinner’s income. The wrongful death attorneys from our law office are here to support your family and guide you down the path to recovery.
Not just anybody will have the right to bring a wrongful death claim in West Virginia. State law restricts this right to only a representative of the deceased person’s estate, and only on behalf of certain family members of the decedent. A personal representative may be someone the decedent named in his or her will prior to death – usually a trusted family member or an attorney – or it may be someone the courts will appoint posthumously.
If the personal representative recovers a financial award through a wrongful death claim, he or she will distribute it according to section 55-7-6 of the law. A personal representative may file a claim on behalf of a surviving spouse, child, stepchild, adopted child, siblings, parents or any other family member that relied on the decedent financially at the time of death. If these survivors do not exist, the representative will distribute the money earned according to the decedent’s will or according to the state’s laws of descent and distribution.
It is in your family’s best interest to act quickly in seeking legal counsel after the unexpected loss of a loved one. West Virginia caps how long you have to file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. If you miss this deadline, the courts will most likely dismiss your claim without a hearing. Certain exceptions to the rule apply in some cases, such as those involving a deceased minor or those where the defendant is also facing criminal charges. Always speak to a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible about your case to learn your exact deadline.
At Manchin Injury Law Firm, we know your financial needs may come last on the list of things you are worried about during this difficult and emotional time. However, as you look toward the future, you may realize a financial award from the at-fault party is what your family needs to have the peace of mind to heal and move forward. We work hard on behalf of clients to recover the full extent of their financial damages. Your family could receive compensation for many types of losses.
Other potential damage categories in a wrongful death claim are punitive damages, property repairs and legal fees. Receiving a compensatory award can relieve the burden of dealing with bill collectors and medical debts while you grieve. Our attorneys will take care of all legal matters on your behalf in the fight for fair compensation so you can focus on the future.
Like all areas of civil law, bringing a successful wrongful death claim takes carefully navigating West Virginia’s related laws. Making any mistakes could allow the defendant to raise a related defense and possibly avoid liability for your loved one’s death. It is crucial, therefore, to correctly interpret and apply West Virginia’s wrongful death laws.
At Manchin Injury Law Group, we understand that it can be overwhelming to think about bringing a lawsuit in the aftermath of a loved one’s death. We encourage you to contact us for assistance with the legal process. Our wrongful death attorneys can navigate West Virginia’s wrongful death laws on your behalf while you concentrate on healing. We break down the most important statutes in more detail below.
You and your family have been through enough. It is reasonable to want the civil justice process to end as quickly as possible. The exact timeline of your wrongful death claim in West Virginia is something only an attorney can discuss with you. However, you can get a general idea of what to expect by looking at an outline of the legal processes involved.
If your wrongful death case settles, expect a settlement check mailed to the estate within about three months about filing your initial insurance claim. If, however, your case encounters challenges or complications, such as a liability dispute, your case will take longer. If you have to go to trial, expect a settlement timeline closer to one year or longer, depending on the courtroom’s schedule.
If you recently lost someone close to you under questionable circumstances, such as a drunk driving accident or a fall at work, please do not hesitate to contact us for a conversation with one of our attorneys. Our West Virginia wrongful death lawyers have the knowledge and experience within this subject area to provide dependable answers to your family’s questions.
We can provide emotional support, deal with medical providers, handle the legal legwork of your lawsuit and more. We are here for your family in its time of need. Call today for a free and nonobligatory consultation with a West Virginia wrongful death lawyer.
We offer a free initial consultation at our office in the Manchin Professional Building — our home since 1983 — conveniently located in Fairmont.
If you are unable to visit our firm, we can come to your home or hospital room.
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