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When the negligence of another results in a spouse or family member’s death, the economic and emotional fallout is often severe. While there is no level of financial recovery that can eliminate the suffering the results from such events, obtaining compensation from responsible parties can at least provide the accountability, closure, and resources that the deceased’s family members deserve. If your loved one died because of another party’s negligence, a Charleston wrongful death lawyer could help. Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys could offer the legal and emotional support you need during this challenging time.
Wrongful death claims are designed to function as a kind of personal injury claim that the victim themselves would be able to pursue had the events in question not lead to their death. Therefore, in these cases, the deceased party’s close family members or their estates will be entitled to seek recovery on that person’s behalf.
A claim of this nature is founded on the same rights the victim would have had against the negligent party had they survived the incident. This also means that defendants will be able to lodge the same types of defenses they would have had if the now-deceased party had sued on their own accord. As such, the victim’s own role in causing the injury event may be raised, possibly reducing the amount of damages available to the decedent’s loved ones. An experienced attorney in Charleston could determine how a particular wrongful death case may play out given the circumstances around the decedent’s passing.
Fatal accidents stemming from negligence can occur in a seemingly endless list of ways. Some of the most common scenarios that produce claims of this nature include:
Prospective claimants should be aware that a defendant can be found liable in a wrongful death case even if they had no intent to cause harm. Family members of a deceased individual may be eligible to receive a compensation award if carelessness, simple negligence, or recklessness led to the fatal events. As such, if a defendant merely failed to take steps to prevent the foreseeable results of known risks, there may be a basis for a compensation award. It is up to the claimant’s Charleston attorney to initiate a comprehensive investigation of the facts surrounding a particular wrongful death case, allowing them to determine the ultimate cause of their loved one’s passing.
According to West Virgnia Code §55-7-5, those who suffer the loss of a close family member because of another party’s negligence may pursue financial recovery of non-economic and economic damages. Economic damages may include the loss of the deceased individual’s income and their anticipated financial contribution to the family over the course of their expected lifespan. It could also include the value of services that the decedent would have rendered in the home, such as cooking, childcare, property maintenance, and the like. Lastly, economic damages may also encompass medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of the fatal accident.
In terms of non-economic damages that may be available, families may seek compensation for the lost companionship and emotional support, loss of parental affection and advice, and more. Because placing a dollar value on these kinds of losses can be difficult, it is best to speak with a Charleston lawyer who could help determine the value of a particular wrongful death case.
Though nothing will ever fully erase the pain of losing a loved one unexpectedly, the law provides an opportunity for family members to obtain the fairness and closure they deserve. If you have sustained this kind of loss, know that you are not alone, and legal assistance is available. Contact a Charleston wrongful death lawyer from our firm to learn more.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law