The death of a family member or loved one is one of the most stressful, emotional and difficult events in life. When that person's life was taken due to someone's negligence, grief that is already overwhelming can be all but unbearable. The civil justice system cannot do anything to bring back a lost loved one. It can, however, compensate a family during these incredibly difficult and emotional periods.
We know how difficult it is to reach out to a law firm following the death of a loved one, but taking decisive action by reaching out to an experienced team of lawyers can allow you to focus on personal business and healing.
Understanding Wrongful Death Law In West Virginia
West Virginia's wrongful death statute is long and complex. As attorneys, we feel it is our duty to ensure our clients fully understand the legal process and the specifics of their case. Below please find information about West Virginia's wrongful death law, which we hope you find informative and useful:
- Who may file a wrongful death lawsuit: In West Virginia, the person who has been appointed as the personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Personal representatives appointed outside of West Virginia may still bring a claim provided they post bond and pay any necessary costs.
- Statute of limitations: A personal representative has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. We encourage you to take action as soon as possible so you do not lose your right to your day in court.
- How wrongful death lawsuits are typically resolved: Wrongful death lawsuits are resolved either in court or by negotiating an acceptable settlement. Our firm always tries to obtain fair and just compensation without seeking court intervention as it can save time and reduce stress. We are, however, always prepared to protect our clients' right in front of a judge or jury if we feel settlement negotiations will not provide you with the outcome you deserve. Any settlement agreement must be approved by all beneficiaries with an interest in the outcome.
- The steps to take/requirements: There are many steps involved in filing a successful wrongful death claim. They include obtaining a death certificate, posting bond, conducting an investigation and gathering evidence. Please speak with an experienced attorney who has handled many cases similar to yours to discuss the details about how to proceed.
- Available damages: A judge or jury may award damages for loss of companionship and the sorrow surviving family members experience during this difficult time. Other damages can be awarded to replace lost income, for the loss of protection and other services offered by the deceased, to cover medical bills, and to pay for funeral expenses or burial services.
Decades of Experience on Your Side
Because we at Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP, have worked on personal injury and wrongful death issues for decades, we know how difficult they are for families. As such, compassion, empathy and patience form the bedrock of our approach. We are ready to take the expertise we have honed in our years of practice to do everything possible to recover compensation for:
- Medical services
- Memorial and burial expenses
- Injury to the deceased
- Injury to the deceased person's family
- Lost wage earning capacity of the deceased
- Punitive damages
- Pecuniary damages
Regardless of your unique circumstances, we are committed to obtaining the compensation you need and deserve, while obtaining justice and accountability. Decisive action is crucial, however. We are here for you and encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Attorneys
To get in touch and schedule a free initial consultation with our attorneys, call 304-553-0830.