Losing a loved one is rarely an easy life event to go through. You’re grieving for your loss, and worse, you might be dealing with the fact that your loved one died because of someone else’s carelessness. That’s a painful situation and a tough thing to overcome.
For many families, filing a wrongful death claim is the best option for their recovery. However, that’s not always as simple or as easy as we want it to be. A wrongful death attorney in Richmond can help make a difference in your claim, but you’ll also need to know what to expect from them and from your claim.
Why Not Just Anyone Can File
When you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, you might have already uncovered one major problem—not every family member has the opportunity to file. You might have found out the hard way that you’re not eligible to file.
That’s because a lawsuit is more complex when the person injured is unable to file for compensation. They should be the ones filing, but because they’re deceased, they can’t. However, allowing anyone to come forward and file can make things more difficult on the family and the defense.
Because it’s important to streamline this process, you might find that only certain people are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In Virginia, for example, only the personal representative of the estate can seek out compensation after a wrongful death. However, the following relatives of the deceased can receive compensation from the claim:
- The deceased’s spouse
- Children or grandchildren
- The surviving parents or siblings
- Any family member who would inherit their estate
What to Keep in Mind During a Wrongful Death Claim
When you’re filing a wrongful death claim, one of the most urgent issues will be your time limits. You’ll only have two years to file a claim. If you fail to act on time, sadly, it could mean that you’ll lose your opportunity at compensation completely.
You’ll also need to remember that you’ll need to prove your case, not just file a claim and accept compensation. Instead, you may be asked to prove that your family member suffered a wrongful death accident.
Wrongful death claims refer to fatal injuries caused by another person’s negligence. For example, if they fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed, your family might not have grounds for a wrongful death claim. However, if another driver fell asleep while driving and hit them, you may be able to seek funds for your losses.
When You Need Help
When you’ve lost a loved one, there might be unexpected or uncommon parts of the law. While you might think you’re dealing with a typical claim, you might be surprised to find that your claim is more difficult than you expected, or that you might even struggle to get your compensation.
Fortunately, knowing that wrongful death claims aren’t easy can help you get started now. Once you know what to expect before you file a claim can help you and your family get the answers you need before you file anything.
If you have questions or concerns about your wrongful death claim, your lawyer can help, but you’ll need to know what to expect, too. So, make sure you get answers now and come into your day in court with the knowledge you need.