Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful Death Attorney

The death of a family member is never easy, but when their death is due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, their family’s grief can be overwhelming. According to national statistics, the fourth leading cause of death in the United States is from unintentional injuries. In these cases, State law allows the family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that at-fault party in order to seek damages for the financial and emotional losses the victim’s death has had on the family.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Under tort laws, survivors of victims who are killed as a result of another party or party’s behavior or actions can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against that party if those behaviors or actions were negligent, reckless, due to misconduct, or intentional. Some of the more common wrongful death actions that our firm has successfully represented families include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Work-related deaths

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed even if there have been no criminal charges filed against the at-fault party. A lawsuit is handled in civil court, not criminal court, so the two actions are entirely separate. If there are criminal charges pending, it is important to not wait until that case has been resolved because there is a statute of limitations for how long survivors have to file their lawsuit. A wrongful death attorney can determine what the time limit is in your situation.

Many state laws only allow certain family members or representatives from victims’ estates to file wrongful death lawsuits. An attorney can also determine who in your family is entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim for your loved one’s death.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In order to be successful in a lawsuit, a wrongful death attorney will need to prove three elements to the jury:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim. For example, if the cause of death was an alcohol-related car crash, the at-fault driver had a legal duty to all other drivers on the road to obey your state’s traffic laws.
  • The at-fault party breached that duty. When the driver got behind the wheel of their car drunk, the were breaking drunk driving laws, breaching their duty of care to other drivers.
  • The at-fault party’s breach of duty caused the victim’s death.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney for Assistance

At a law firm, they understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of a loved one. They also understand that not only do these tragic deaths have a terrible financial impact on a victim’s family, but often, wrongful death lawsuits are the only way families ever get any kind of justice. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Harrisonburg, VA to set up a consultation to find out how they can help.



Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful death dui to DUI accidents.