WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
Alexandria, Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a family member or loved one is never easy. The loss itself is traumatic, and you are often overwhelmed with calls about medical bills, insurance, funeral arrangements, and more, all adding an unwelcome burden to an already-stressful time. No one can bring back your loved ones, and no recovery can ever replace them. But just compensation may ease some of the burdens with which you have to deal. and help get justice against the person or persons whose negligence caused you and your family's loss.
When can you bring a claim?
A claim may be brought for Wrongful Death due to a death arising out of the negligence of another person, persons, or entity (such as company, corporation, government, etc). Negligence can be thought of as a) doing something wrong, or b) failing to do something that should have been done, or c) failing to do something that a reasonable person in the same situation would have done.
General, from the date of death, you have two years to bring a claim for wrongful death.
It is absolutely vital to engage a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney immediately, to help gather evidence, and shield you and your family from the onslaught of outside stressors that you are going through.
What damages can be sought?
People whose loved ones have died before their time as a result of negligence, recklessness, carelessness, malicious actions, industrial accidents, unsafe conditions, car accidents, or other causes may be entitled to pursue legal action against those responsible. In Virginia, for example, the law permits wrongful death suits to seek damages for:
Hospital and medical expenses
Funeral arrangements and burial expenses
Loss of protection, services, and financial support to survivors
Sorrow and mental anguish of survivors
Who can file a Wrongful Death claim?
The law in Virginia is very specific in who can bring the claim for Wrongful Death against the people responsible. A personal representative of the decedent's estate will be the person bringing the claim, and that person can be a spouse, parent, sibling, or even an attorney - but the appointment be made, officially, by the Circuit Court's Probate Office. In certain cases, our office has sought to have an independent attorney appointed to protect the interests of all involved.
What is the different between a Wrongful Death claim and a Survival Claim?
Virginia law allows for two distinct types of Wrongful Death claims. Only one can be "elected," or pursued to trial.
A Survival Claim seeks damages for injuries, suffering and anguish endured by the decedent leading up to death. This type of claim is generally considered to be a claim for what the decedent suffered.
A Wrongful Death claim seeks to compensate family members for the loss that they have suffered, specifically in terms of emotional and financial loss.
When should I contact an Attorney?
Immediately. This is not meant to be intrusive, but the wheels of justice do not turn quickly. The filing of an estate takes considerable time, and the more time that passes before an Attorney is retained, evidence can be lost or misplaced, and witnesses' memories can fade. Blaszkow Legal's team of attorneys, paralegals, and investigators will get to work immediately to prove the case for you and your family.
Blaszkow Legal, PLLC will do everything in its power to guide you through the claims process and assist you in recovering everything to which you are entitled to ease the strain placed on your family by the loss you have suffered. Call our Alexandria office to schedule an appointment and consultation, or email us now.
Do you handle DC and Maryland Wrongful Death cases?
Yes! Blaszkow Legal's attorneys practice law in all Courts in Maryland, Virginia, and DC, including wrongful death cases, especially those caused by car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian strikes, and more.
Virginia Wrongful Death statute: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter3/section8.01-50/
Virginia Wrongful Death damages: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter3/section8.01-52/
Maryland Wrongful Death statute: https://law.justia.com/codes/maryland/2021/courts-and-judicial-proceedings/title-3/subtitle-9/
DC Wrongful Death Statute: https://code.dccouncil.gov/us/dc/council/code/titles/16/chapters/27
Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a Virginia Wrongful Death claim take?
Wrongful death cases often take years to complete, because the at-fault insurance companies know how much is at stake. They will use every trick in the book to drag things out, minimize the claim, and make us fight. We are very adept at dealing with these insurance companies, but the court processes are not fast. The average Wrongful Death case usually takes 1.5 to 2 years before settlement, or a verdict (in court) is reached.
Unfortunately, this deadline can be pushed even farther, because insurance companies will often appeal verdicts. Appeals courts are very slow.
How long does a Maryland Wrongful Death claim take?
Just as in Virginia, Maryland wrongful death cases take years.
However, some insurance companies will offer settlements to move things along - but prompt settlement offers are almost always under-valued. The insurance companies are betting that the family wants to settle quickly, for less money - instead of fighting, and holding out for more.
Fighting is not appropriate in every case. Each case is handled separately, based on the evidence and the facts.
What is the statute of limitations?
For Virginia Wrongful Death claims, the family has 2 years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit.
In Maryland and DC, the family has 3 years to file a lawsuit.
What is the case worth?
No experienced, competent attorney can give you an off-the-cuff answer to that question without reviewing the facts. Each case is independent of others: just because recovery X was gotten in the news, does not mean the case before us is going to, as well. The law is different from state to state - recoveries that are often televised come from comparative negligence states. Virginia, Maryland, and DC practice contributory negligence. This means that the decedent cannot have been even 1% responsible for his injuries, or death.
This can be a very harsh standard, but it is the law in the DMV.
Some other FAQs for Virginia Wrongful Death Claims (link).
Negligence and Wrongful Death Claims
We have the burden of proof in bringing a wrongful death claim. We have to prove that 1) another person, or company (or more!) were negligent, reckless, and/or careless, and 2) that such negligence, recklessness, and/or carelessness was the direct and proximate cause of the decedent's death.
The best way that we can prove that negligence is through thorough and immediate investigation. This is true in Virginia, Maryland, and DC cases - the sooner we can begin to gather camera footage, interview witnesses, and secure evidence, the better chance we have of proving our claim, and defeating the arguments that the insurance companies are going to make.
Contacting a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one as the result of negligence, then you should hold the negligent party, or parties, accountable. Filing a claim can never bring your loved one back, but it can sometimes bring you peace of mind, and offer some sliver of hope to you and your family as you grieve your loss.
Call the team at Blaszkow Legal today, and let us begin to fight for you. Call 703-879-5910 for a free consultation!