It can be hard for anyone in Virginia to cope with the death of a loved one, but when that death is caused by another party’s reckless or negligent conduct, it can be even harder. In such a situation, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option to help with the coping process. So, what should our readers in Virginia know about wrongful death lawsuits and how they might help?
Wrongful death basics
For starters, there are similarities between wrongful death lawsuits and other types of personal injury lawsuits that do not involve a death. For example, both types of cases involve a person trying to prove the following elements of the claim against the “defendant”: 1) that the defendant owed a duty to the victim; 2) the defendant breached that duty; 3) the breach of the duty caused the injury (or death) in question; and 4) that “damages” resulted.
In both types of cases, the “damages” may involve medical bills and other expenses that would not have arisen but for the reckless or negligent conduct in question. Lost wages are also commonly sought in both types of cases but, in wrongful death lawsuits, those lost wages may need to be projected out over the course of the deceased person’s presumed lifetime.
Seeking compensation through legal action after the death of a loved one may not be the top thought for Virginia residents who are grieving. However, a wrongful death lawsuit may be a way to get meaningful help during an especially difficult time—help that can allow surviving family members to begin to heal.