Who Has the Right to File a Virginia Wrongful Death Suit?

Written by: Virginia Beach Injury Law

Any accident has the potential to be catastrophic to life-ending. Some of the most common accidents that have higher rates of fatalities include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Drowning accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Jet ski accidents

When you lose a loved one in an accident that was not their fault, you have the right under Virginia law to file a Virginia wrongful death suit. If a situation where a life is lost is due to a wrongful act, negligence, or through default of either a person or corporation there are certain designated individuals that can file a claim on behalf of the deceased individual. 

Working with a Virginia Beach wrongful death attorney will help you learn about your legal options and how to obtain the compensation you deserve for your losses. At Virginia Beach Injury Law, we have an incredible amount of compassion for families who are grieving a loss and understand why it can be so difficult to think about having to take on the legal challenges of a Virginia wrongful death suit. When you work with Virginia Beach Injury Law, we will take the legal burden off of your shoulders and while no amount of money can take away the pain, it can help you pay for final expenses and other financial implications your loss has caused you to endure.

Who is Able to File a Virginia Wrongful Death Suit?

Not everyone has the right, under the law to file a wrongful death suit. Virginia wrongful death statutes say that only family members may file a claim. It depends on how the victim is related to the family member that will determine who has the right to file a wrongful death claim. When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia, the name on the suit will not be that of the deceased or the name of the statutory beneficiaries. Also, a personal representative of the estate is the entity that will be lawfully able to file a claim on behalf of the statutory beneficiaries.

In Virginia, statutory beneficiaries include, in order:

  1. A surviving spouse and children may file a wrongful death suit, and when the parents are dead, a grandchild can file.
  2. In the absence of a surviving spouse, when there are no children and no grandchildren, a parent and siblings may file. Also, in this situation, other family members who may have been living with the deceased individual and were dependant on the deceased individual also may file a suit.
  3. When there is a surviving spouse with no children or grandchildren, the spouse can file a wrongful death claim together with the deceased individual’s parents.
  4. When there are no family members left behind, Virginia’s intestacy laws would dictate who is next in line to have the right to file a suit.

Speak to a Virginia Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Today

The loss of a loved one in a fatal accident is tragic and it is important that the surviving loved ones see their full legal justice. Call the Virginia Beach catastrophic injury attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law today at (757) 802-4662 to schedule your free consultation.

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