Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

What are the necessary elements in a wrongful death lawsuit?

It can be devastating for any Virginia resident when a family member is killed in an unexpected accident. It can take people months or years to move on from this person's death. In many cases, surviving family members are a left without a breadwinner, someone to look after the children, without the love and support of a husband or wife or without the guidance of the parent.

When this happens families may look for answers about why the accident occurred. In some cases, it may be discovered that the accident was the result of another person's negligence. When a negligent party causes a fatal accident, that person can be held responsible for the financial costs that resulted from the person's death. This occurs in a wrongful death lawsuit.

There are several elements in a wrongful death lawsuit. First, the accident must have caused the death of another human being. Second, the person's death must have been caused by the negligence of another person. A person acts negligently when the person fails to uphold the duty of care that the individual owes to another human.

Third, the family of the fatal accident victim must have suffered some sort of financial harm as a result of the person's death. This financial harm can include lost wages, funeral expenses, loss of companionship and other financial losses. However, these losses must include some sort of monetary injury that directly resulted from the death of the person.

Finally, a personal representative must be pointed from the decedent's estate. This person must bring the lawsuit on behalf of the family members. If these elements are met, fatal accident victims' families may be able to receive various types of compensation in the wrongful death lawsuit.

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