In wrongful death cases, there is always more than one victim. Not only was a life lost, but a loved one was suddenly taken from a spouse, children, parents, and friends. Wrongful death has a lasting ripple effect on the victim’s family. Overwhelming grief, emotional trauma, and financial distress can linger for years after a loved one’s death.
At Regan Zambri Long, our Virginia wrongful death lawyers understand we cannot change the catastrophe that struck your family. However, what we can do is help you pick up the pieces in the aftermath. We will help you recover damages to secure your family’s financial future in the wake of your loved one’s death.
Call Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation with a compassionate wrongful death attorney. Together, we can hold the negligent parties accountable and recover the compensation you and your family deserve.
Wrongful death is when someone dies because of the knowing and negligent actions of another person. A wrongful death claim is a noncriminal lawsuit brought by the family members of the deceased person.
Chances are you and your family have never been in a situation like this before. Below are some examples of the causes of wrongful death in Arlington, Virginia. This list is by no means complete. If you don’t see your particular situation listed below, reach out to a Regan Zambri Long wrongful death lawyer to discuss your case today.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful death. If a driver causes a collision that kills your loved one by driving distracted, drowsy driving, driving while intoxicated, or any other form of negligence, then you and your family have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Arlington, Virginia is a busy commuter town as well as a tourist hub. With an increase in drivers comes an increase in motor vehicle accidents. It is a driver’s responsibility to make sure he or she is driving with the utmost care to keep the roads safe for everyone traveling.
Medical malpractice remains the third-leading cause of death in Northern Virginia and across the United States. Medical errors occur every day and can either lead to a victim’s permanent debilitation or death.
Examples of a medical errors can include:
If your loved one died due to medical malpractice, you and your family should reach out to a Regan Zambri Long Virginia wrongful death lawyer to file a wrongful death suit.
All workplace environments should be supremely safe for all workers. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many workplaces, specifically construction sites are extremely dangerous for employees. In 2020 alone, more than 4,000 workers were killed on the job in the United States.
If your loved one was killed due to workplace negligence, contact a Regan Zambri Long wrongful death lawyer today. While you and your family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, you may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced wrongful death attorney at Regan Zambri Long will be able to give you a breakdown of all your legal options. Call for your free consultation today.
Other causes of wrongful death cases are:
In some ways, a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to any other personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proof is on the surviving spouse, the surviving children, or other family members who brought about the wrongful death case. You are not required to have a legal team behind you. However, wrongful death lawsuits can be quite complicated. Your best chance at recovering maximum financial compensation is to have a Virginia wrongful death attorney in your corner.
All wrongful death cases begin with the plaintiff (the surviving family member who files the wrongful death claim) suing the negligent party or parties. To do that, your wrongful death lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene to determine who exactly should be held liable for the death of your loved one.
Your wrongful death attorney will use the police report, eyewitness testimony, accident reconstruction, medical experts, and even crime scene forensics to comb through every detail of how your loved one died. It is through thorough research that they will be able to determine the liable party.
For example, if your loved one died during a hospital stay, your wrongful death lawyer will investigate the hospital, the medical personnel, the prescriptions administered, and the tests and scans ordered. The wrongful death lawyers will pour over medical charts, patient logs, and even the history of the hospital to determine whose negligence led to the death of your loved one.
At the end of the investigation, your attorney will be able to pinpoint who to file the claim against. This could be one party or multiple parties.
Once the liable party or parties are determined, your lawyers will work to build a successful case around your claim. As mentioned before, the burden of proof is on the families who filed the claim. Your attorney will prove the following:
The first thing to prove is that the defendant had a legal duty to your loved one. We will take a truck accident as an example. A truck driver, like any other driver on the road, has a duty to other drivers to be as safe as possible when traveling. This means focusing only on the road, staying alert, and driving sober.
In the same respect, the truck company that hired the driver has a duty to other drivers on the road, as well. They have a duty to do a thorough background check of all their new employees to make sure they have clean records before allowing them on the road.
A breach of duty is when the person’s actions fail to meet an applicable standard of care. Let’s go back to the truck accident. The standard of care for a truck driver is to refrain from distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, drowsy driving, etc. If the driver was intoxicated and caused an accident that killed your loved one, he committed a breach of duty.
The truck company may also be liable for a breach of duty. If your attorney finds that the company forced the driver to work long hours without a break (increasing chances of driving with fatigue) or did not check if the driver had a criminal record, the truck company would also be one of the parties that would be held responsible for the victim’s death.
Causation is the proof that the defendant’s negligence was the direct and only cause of the victim’s death. In our truck accident example, if the victim suffered a heart attack at the same time of the accident, it could be argued that he or she died of the heart attack rather than injuries from the accident.
Damages are the money you will receive as financial compensation for your family member’s death. The Regan Zambri Long wrongful death lawyers will seek compensation for the following:
Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who aren’t afraid to take on truck companies, hospitals, or large insurance companies. We are confident we will negotiate a favorable settlement. If a settlement can’t be reached, we will use all our resources to take your case to trial.
The wrongful death lawyers at Regan Zambri Long firmly believe you and your family should not live with financial burden because of someone else’s negligence. Our clients know that when they partner with us, their legal rights are protected.
The Regan Zambri Long law firm has been practicing in Arlington Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. for over three decades. Our wrongful death attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience. We know Virginia insurance policies. We know Virginia law. And we know the Virginia court system.
We understand we are meeting you and your family at the hardest time in your lives. You never asked to be our clients and we don’t want you to be our clients for a second longer than you have to be. That’s why we work diligently to investigate, file, build, and resolve your case as quickly as possible. Our caring lawyers will be there every step of the way to guide you through the process.
Our promise to our clients: we don’t take a fee upfront and we don’t get paid unless we settle in your favor. Your family is going through enough. You don’t need the added stress of funding a wrongful death lawsuit. Let us carry the financial burden while you focus on rebuilding your life.
The most important law to pay attention to when filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia is the statute of limitations. Virginia’s statute of limitations is two years. Once the window is closed, you may forfeit your rights to compensation, so speak to an attorney right away. The statutory beneficiaries in Virginia are the deceased’s:
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by a personal representative, or executor, of the estate. The statutory beneficiaries may collect compensation for medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, and lost wages.
Beneficiaries may also recover compensation for punitive damages, which is money that exceeds simple compensation and is meant to punish the defendant. This is when the defendant acted with willful or wanton conduct and consciously disregarded others’ safety.
Punitive damages are very difficult to prove. If you believe the defendant owes you punitive damages, speak to your Regan Zambri Long lawyer. He will be able to give you a reasonable assessment of your case and guide you on the legal action you should take.
Intestacy is when someone dies without a will. When that happens, the person who died is said to have “died intestate.” While a direct will would have obvious answers as to who the beneficiaries are, when a victim dies intestate, Virginia law dictates the beneficiaries of the estate.
The compensation of a wrongful death lawsuit would go to the surviving spouse. If there are children, then one-third of the estate goes to the spouse and the remaining two-thirds are divided among the children. If there is no spouse, all the money goes to the children. If there are no children, the money will go to the deceased’s parents. Virginia law dictates more beneficiaries if the victim does not have any immediate family.
Loss of consortium is one of the damages a family member can try to claim. Loss of consortium is the deprivation of a family relationship due to an injury caused by someone else. This includes loss of affection, loss of sexual relations, loss of parental guidance, and loss of companionship. Although the loss of consortium is not a tangible loss, like money for medical expenses and burial costs, it is very meaningful and should be compensated.
If your loved one was killed in an accident, reach out to a Regan Zambri Long wrongful death attorney today. We have secured millions for our clients over the years, including $19.5 million in a wrongful death verdict. We treat every client as if they were our own family member. We are communicative, patient, compassionate, and understanding. Your circumstances are tragic and we work hard to recover damages, but also help your family cope with a new normal. Call today for your free consultation.