Common Questions About Personal Injury, Family Law, and Criminal Defense in Virginia
Do you have questions about how Virginia laws apply to your situation or what you can do to reach your legal goals after an accident, arrest, or divorce? Our experienced attorneys in Fairfax answer some of the most frequently asked questions from clients here. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, or if you need more information about your rights, reach out to us today at 877-652-1553.
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Do I need a Virginia lawyer for my loved one’s wrongful death case?
Deciding If a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Is Right for You
If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you may be reluctant to file a wrongful death lawsuit, even if you are in desperate need of financial relief. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is about much more than money.
Reasons to File a Wrongful Death Claim
The Benefits of Working With a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney
Virginia law strives to provide everyone with equal access to its civil courts. You do not need a lawyer to initiate an insurance claim, file a wrongful death lawsuit, or appeal a judgment.
However, representing yourself has many risks. You might already be overwhelmed with grief and unable to give your case the attention it deserves. Even if you believe you have the time and energy to pursue a claim, you could be stonewalled by an uncooperative insurance company more intent on preserving its profit margins than compensating for a client’s misconduct.
How an Attorney Can Help
Contact Us Today
If you want to file a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit, Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC could help you and your family get the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Please send us a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.
Can I trust a VA insurance company after the wrongful death of my family member?
How Adjusters Try to Devalue and Deny Claims
If you lost a loved one in a Virginia car accident, the insurance adjuster might have a lot of genuine sympathy for your situation. But while they may feel sorry that their client’s wrongdoing cost an innocent life, their loyalty is to the insurance company—not you or your family. Insurance companies are most concerned about their bottom line, and they do not turn a profit if they pay every deserving family a fair settlement.
Insurance adjusters are not just investigators—they are trained negotiators who will do everything in their power to devalue or deny your claim, even when you are clearly entitled to compensation.
How Adjusters Try to Deny Claims
Since speaking to an insurance adjuster is always risky, you should never agree to provide a recorded statement or sign a medical release form without first speaking to a qualified Virginia wrongful death attorney.
Never Rush to Accept a ‘Fair’ Settlement
Expenses the Insurance Company Will Ignore
How a Virginia Attorney Can Help Your Family Get Justice
People are sometimes reluctant to negotiate better settlements after a wrongful death because they do not want to profit off the loss of a loved one. But a wrongful death claim is about much more than money.
Other Reasons to File a Wrongful Death Claim
If You Lose a Loved One, You Need Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC believes that nobody should be forced to pay the price for another person’s negligence. Our highly skilled and experienced team of attorneys can help you get the compensation you need to recover after an unexpected and tragic loss. However, you need to act fast. While Virginia law does not cap the damages available in a wrongful death claim, it does have a strict statute of limitations that could prevent you from getting justice if you wait too long to take action. You stand your best chance at recovery by speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible.
You do not have to wait for the insurance company to offer you a fair deal after suffering the loss of a loved one. Send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC a message online, or call us at 1-877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia?
The Virginia Statute of Limitations
Exceptions to Virginia’s Statute of Limitations
Virginia courts rarely grant exceptions to the statute of limitations in wrongful death claims. However, you may be able to obtain an extension under exceptional circumstances. A judge could waive or extend the statute of limitations if:
If a case is highly unusual, a judge might allow for another type of exception. However, the vast majority of claims are subject to Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations.
Making Sure You Don’t Miss the Cutoff
Unless you have an exceptional case, you must file your wrongful death claim within the state’s two-year statute of limitations, and it’s important to file as soon as possible. Waiting too long could still jeopardize your claim. This is because:
Get the Right Help in Your Wrongful Death Claim
Proving wrongful death can be difficult, even when you have a seemingly open-and-shut claim. The court will still require that you demonstrate, with compelling evidence:
While you are collecting evidence to support your claim, you will also be responsible for meeting other court deadlines and filing rules. If the at-fault party has an attorney, they could bury you in paperwork requests or make the process unnecessarily complicated.
When you lose a loved to another person’s negligence, you deserve your best chance at recovery. Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC have years of experience fighting for the rights of our Virginia clients. We know what insurance companies, judges, and juries need to award damages for wrongful death. We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in damages—money they and their families can use to pay off unforeseen costs and build back their lives. Please send us a message online to find out how we could help you.
How is wrongful death defined in Virginia?
Any time a loved one dies, families are faced with a distressing and emotional grieving process. To learn that your loved one was lost because of the careless action of another person can make that time even more difficult. Families often want answers, and they want to hold that person accountable. To that end, state law allows surviving family members to file a civil claim against those who caused the death.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death occurs, according to the state of Virginia, when a person dies “by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation.” The claim itself is, in effect, the personal injury claim that the deceased would have been able to pursue had they survived their injuries. Simply, their family members are acting on their behalf. The most common types of wrongful death cases include those involving car accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Case in Virginia?
To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim, surviving family members must prove certain facts in court. These include:
- The responsible party owed the deceased a duty of care. This means that he had an obligation to behave in a safe and appropriate manner.
- The responsible party breached that duty. He failed to adhere to rules and law, acting in a careless or negligent manner.
- The responsible party’s action caused the death. Not only must it be shown that the person failed to uphold their duty of care, but that failure must have led directly to the death.
The Impact of a Wrongful Death Claim
Considering a legal claim after the death of a loved one can seem overwhelming. These claims are important, though, for both surviving family members and all those in Virginia. For a family member, awards for damages can provide vital compensation that is necessary to address the changing needs and new challenges brought about by the loved one’s death. Additionally, a judgment against those responsible sends a clear message about the consequences of disregarding the safety of the community. It may prevent that same offender from further poor behavior and discourage others from acting in a similar unsafe manner, potentially saving lives in the future.
If your loved one has died in an accident, a wrongful death claim may bring your family the peace of mind and compensation you need to begin to move forward. Speak with the experienced legal team at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC to learn how we may be able to help during this difficult time.