It can be extremely difficult to cope when a person has been killed as a result of the negligent or reckless action of another. A wrongful death occurs when an individual is killed due to another individual’s or entity’s negligence. No monetary amount will ever be enough compensate you for that loss. Though, if you do lose a loved one in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation for the funeral services and to help support the surviving family members. It is important to find an experienced attorney that can help you in such an emotional time. An example of a wrongful death case could be a medical malpractice incident in Charleston that involves a severe surgical error.
To be able to bring a wrongful death claim in West Virginia, a family member (or personal representative) will have to be appointed as representative of the estate. Family members can include the deceased’s spouse, children, parents, and siblings. Our firm regularly assists family members who need help being appointed over the estate.
The decedent’s estate may bring a claim on the decedent’s behalf and seek many of the same types of compensation that the decedent could have pursued if he or she had lived. There are different categories of loss that may be received by a wrongful death claim. Damages available include, but are not limited to:
- medical expenses related to the decedent’s illness or injury prior to his or death
- funeral and burial expenses
- lost earnings and benefits
- compensation for future lost earnings and benefits
- the deceased pain and suffering, and
- compensation for lost or damaged property.
Family members who may receive compensation in a wrongful death case in West Virginia include:
- the surviving spouse
- the children, stepchildren, and adopted children
- parents and siblings, and
- any family members who were financially dependent on the deceased person when the death occurred.
In West Virginia, a personal representative of a wrongful death victim has two years from the date of the decedent’s passing to file their claim. If the claim is not filed within two years, the claim can be dismissed. There are certain exceptions that apply to the two year statute of limitations. It is important to hire an experienced firm as soon as possible to make sure you do not miss that deadline.