Few things are as life-shattering as the wrongful death of a loved one. Though most wrongful deaths are preventable, had the responsible person made different or better choices, there is nothing that surviving family members could have done to change things. When someone you love is taken from you because of the negligence of another person, it can feel impossible for life to ever resume after the tragedy. Finding a new normal can be daunting and might even feel wrong. You and your family will be facing mental anguish, mounting medical expenses, and funeral expenses, and learning to cope with the lost financial support and companionship of your deceased loved one. You and your family will likely feel angry and wonder how justice can be served. That's where a Alexandria, VA wrongful death lawyer can help.
No amount of financial compensation can replace the loved one you’ve lost in a wrongful death incident in Alexandria, Virginia. And no dollar amount can adequately reprimand someone for their fatally negligent choices and actions. But even though compensation can’t make things right, it will help relieve the financial burden you and your family are likely to experience as you honor your lost loved one and figure out how to do life without him or her.
The Alexandria, VA personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long are experienced with wrongful death claims in Alexandria, Virginia. We will approach your case with compassion and gentle persistence. We will pursue justice on your behalf until the liable party is held accountable for the negligent actions that caused the wrongful death of your loved one, whether accountability comes through a settlement or court trial.
You can meet with a qualified wrongful death attorney at Regan Zambri Long for a free consultation and case evaluation to understand your options during this difficult time and to see how our attorneys will help you and your family move forward.
According to Virginia code, a wrongful death is one caused by “the wrongful act, neglect, or default” of someone else. It is considered a wrongful death if the victim, had he or she survived, would have been able to file a personal injury claim for the accident or incident.
Many kinds of incidents can be the cause of wrongful death, including:
If your loved one was the victim of a violent crime that resulted in his or her wrongful death, you can still pursue a lawsuit even if the perpetrator is being prosecuted in criminal court. They are two separate legal processes that do not bar the other from proceeding. A wrongful death lawyer from Regan Zambri Long will meet with you for a free case evaluation to determine if your deceased loved one was the victim of a wrongful death.
Generally, wrongful death incidents are caused by either negligence or intentional actions. Regardless, surviving family members are entitled to reasonable compensation to help ease the burden caused by the loss of their loved one’s financial support and other tangible or intangible contributions. The deceased person’s family is also entitled to punitive damages in some circumstances where the cause goes beyond simple negligence into willful and wanton negligence, complete disregard for others, or intentional malice.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death cases include vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and violent crime. Though not all of these kinds of accidents and incidents result in wrongful death, if your loved one has died as a result of one, you should consult with an attorney.
In the last three years, the city of Alexandria has had nine fatal car accidents, according to data collected through the city’s Vision Zero action plan. Fatal vehicle accidents can involve personal vehicles, work vehicles, and commercial trucks. Additionally, pedestrian and bicycle accidents can be wrongful death cases, too.
Twenty-three medical malpractice suits have been filed in Virginia in 2022. If a person dies during or after a medical malpractice case, and the malpractice is what caused the death, the suit may be changed to a wrongful death case, allowing for economic and non-economic damages to be collected. Where the malpractice was more than simple negligence, you and your family may also recover punitive damages as well.
Virginia’s rate for violent crime is about 208 incidents per 100,000 people, with nearly 18,000 violent crimes reported. Though not every violent crime will be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, if such an accident is responsible for the death of your loved one, you should consult with an experienced attorney knowledgeable in Virginia law. The attorneys at Regan Zambri Long will meet with you for a no-obligation free consultation to evaluate your case.
Virginia law only allows the executor or personal representative of the victim’s estate to file a wrongful death case, as opposed to other states that allow the victim’s surviving spouse, children, or family members to directly file a claim. If your deceased loved one did not name an executor in his or her will, the circuit court will appoint a qualified personal representative to administer the estate and bring a wrongful death lawsuit when appropriate. Wrongful death cases are always brought on behalf of the deceased person’s surviving family members or beneficiaries.
If the executor or personal representative is not a beneficiary of the deceased person, he or she will seek to have the surviving family members awarded damages in the wrongful death claim.
Compensation goes first to the surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren. If the deceased person didn’t leave behind these family members, other beneficiaries can include members of the same household who depended on the deceased person for financial support or surviving parents or siblings of the deceased person. Finally, if a wrongful death victim had none of the above beneficiaries, compensation will go to another surviving family member or another relative.
In a successful wrongful death claim, the liable party pays the surviving family for specific financial losses associated with the death of their loved one. These can include:
If your loved one was the victim of a crime or otherwise willful or wanton negligence, the court may also award your family punitive damages. This payment does not compensate for any specific losses but instead serves as a punishment for the liable party and helps deter others from the same behaviors.
Except in medical malpractice wrongful death claims, Virginia does not put a limit or cap on the value of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death case. Your Alexandria wrongful death attorney will help you calculate a value for your case.
Like other personal injury claims, wrongful death claims require proving negligence. The liable party had a duty of care to behave in a certain way, that the duty of care was breached, that the breach caused the wrongful death and that the death caused quantifiable damages to the surviving family members.
An investigation by your experienced lawyer will gather evidence and proof against the liable party or parties. Liability could belong to:
Whether your claim is against one party or multiple parties, the attorneys at Regan Zambri Long will bring the appropriate legal action against every liable party and recover the compensation you and your family deserve.
The first step in filing a wrongful death claim in Alexandria is to know the statute of limitations: Virginia allows two years from the date of the death for a wrongful death claim to be brought forward. Missing this window will most likely result in the case being dismissed, regardless of the evidence and facts.
If you are not the executor or personal representative, you will need to get in touch with that person to discuss filing a lawsuit. If you are the executor, you will want to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Alexandria to begin filing your case.
Your experienced attorney will guide you through the legal process of the wrongful death suit, pursuing compensation to financially support you during this difficult time. In many wrongful death cases, a settlement is ideal. A settlement is often a faster legal process than taking a lawsuit to court. But if your case must go to court, your wrongful death lawyer from Regan Zambri Long will argue your case so you are awarded damages and recover compensation for the death of your loved one.
A wrongful death claim is many people’s worst nightmare. Our law firm understands that filing a lawsuit or claim can be the last thing on your mind, even if you are experiencing a financial burden related to your loss.
Our Alexandria wrongful death lawyers will do everything in their power to shoulder the legal burden and give you the space you need to grieve. With decades of experience in wrongful death suits, our Northern Virginia attorneys pursue justice on your behalf with exceptional compassion and gentleness. We won’t add to your burden but will fight to help you recover some peace.
Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for the surviving family members of wrongful death victims, including $4 million for the family of a construction foreman who was struck and killed by a truck that did not have an operable backup alarm. The case is one of the largest wrongful death settlements in Virginia.
Our Northern Virginia wrongful death lawyers are recognized as top-tier lawyers. They handle every case with compassion and dedication to the victim’s family. Taking legal action to recover compensation can be overwhelming for the surviving spouse and children of a wrongful death victim. Our experienced attorneys know Virginia law and will fight for your best interests.
No amount of financial compensation can make up for your loved one’s death. But a Virginia wrongful death suit can be the first step toward closure for you and your family. When you hire Regan Zambri Long to represent you, you hire a law firm committed to compassion and justice. We don’t collect any legal fees until we’ve reached a settlement or verdict in your favor. If we do not recover compensation for your family, we will waive our legal fees entirely. Schedule your free consultation today online or by calling 202-960-4596.