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Few experiences in life are as challenging as the unexpected loss of a family member due to another person’s carelessness. The emotional strain can be unbearable for many people. A sudden death can also bring unexpected financial hardships, especially for families that relied on the income of a deceased loved one. Additional expenses related to a loved one’s injury or illness before death can also add up quickly.
Fortunately, a compassionate injury attorney at our firm can offer legal guidance after the sudden loss of a loved one due to someone’s negligence and ensure your and your family’s rights are protected. A Parkersburg wrongful death lawyer can represent your best interests and seek compensation from the party responsible for your loved one’s untimely passing.
While both civil and criminal cases can involve someone’s unexpected passing, there are several key differences to be aware of. For instance, a criminal case is in the hands of the country prosecutor, and surviving family and friends do not get a say in whether the state pursues criminal charges.
Unlike a criminal prosecution, there is no chance of incarceration if a civil court finds the defendant liable for another person’s death. Instead, the purpose of these lawsuits is to obtain financial compensation from the responsible party to cover the decedent’s final expenses and provide for the needs of his or her surviving family.
For example, the compensation awarded in a successful wrongful death suit may cover the family’s burial and funeral expenses. A diligent attorney can offer assistance during each stage of a wrongful death lawsuit.
West Virginia Code §55-7-6 identifies parties that may recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a lost loved one. Family members who may be entitled to the proceeds of wrongful death suits include:
While these family members may recover compensation from a successful wrongful death claim, they do not have the right to bring a lawsuit themselves. Instead, state law requires that a personal representative of the estate file the claim on the family’s behalf.
A personal representative will be selected by the court if one is not named in the decedent’s will. This representative has the right to file a wrongful death action for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving family. A wrongful death attorney in Parkersburg can help ensure the rights of surviving family members are protected during this difficult time.
The hours, days, and weeks following the unexpected loss of a loved one can be extremely challenging. Pursuing a wrongful death claim without legal counsel may be more than you are prepared to take on.
Fortunately, the Parkersburg wrongful death lawyers at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, are prepared to take the burden of litigation off of your shoulders so you can focus on healing from this experience. Call our team right away to discuss your legal rights and options.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law