According to the National Safety Council, an American is injured accidentally every second. Even more sobering, an American is killed every three minutes by a preventable event, such as an accident. Losing a loved one is heartbreaking. The grief and sense of loss can be overwhelming. While nothing can replace your family member, there are legal options that you can pursue.
Since 2000, Weiner, Spivey & Miller has advocated for the families of those who have died due to the carelessness of others. Our attorneys have over 190 years of combined experience in investigating, negotiating and trying wrongful death cases across Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The primary reason to speak with a knowledgeable attorney soon after the loss of your loved one is to protect your interests. The insurance company of the other party/parties involved will begin working immediately to protect their “insured”. The insurance companies are not your friends! You need an advocate to protect you!
All personal injury claims are based upon one premise: an individual has been injured in an event that was someone else’s fault. When the victims survives their injuries, he or she is entitled to file a personal injury claim against all responsible (“liable”) parties, in order to receive compensation for their injuries and losses (“damages”). If, unfortunately, the victims dies from their injuries, their family (their “estate”) has the right to file a claim against those responsible. The victim’s death must have occurred under circumstances that would have supported a personal injury action, if they had survived (such as a car accident).
In this way, a wrongful death claim can be thought of as a personal injury claim in which the injured person is no longer able to bring his or her own case to court. Instead, one or more of the "statutory beneficiaries" must file the wrongful death claim.
Common causes of wrongful death claims include:
Determining who has the authority to file a wrongful death claim is essential for the case to move forward. Because the laws vary by state and change frequently, it is critical to work with experienced legal counsel. The laws vary by state and change frequently, so working with experienced legal counsel is critical. Having effective counsel will directly impact if, and how much, you receive in compensation later.
Depending upon the state where the case is filed, and the specific circumstances of the case, compensation may be available to the victim’s family and the estate for certain categories of “losses”.
These may include:
Woman Killed by Snowplow in Parking Lot:
Helen had just found a perfect birthday gift for a family friend. As she left the store and entered the crosswalk leading to her car in the shopping mall parking lot, she was struck and run over by a snowplow. The snowplow driver was cutting across the lot to meet up with other drivers for lunch in advance of a snowstorm. Helen died before EMS arrived. Her "estate" (Helen’s husband and two young children) brought a lawsuit against the snowplow company. Ed Weiner mediated the case and negotiated a confidential, mid-seven figure settlement on behalf of Helen's family.
Principal of a School for Disabled Children Killed After Truck Failed to Yield:
Sara was a retired college professor and principal of a school for disabled children. Though she was 87, Sara was very active. She had recently won an award for volunteer tutor of the year and took Pilates classes every week. She was very involved with her loving family of grown children and grandchildren. Sara was returning home from lunch with a dear friend when a commercial truck made a left turn without yielding and crashed into her car. Sara died just before the ambulance arrived; a police officer was holding her hand. After an initial offer from the insurance carrier of $300,000, Gene Miller and Paul Pearson negotiated a settlement just before trial of $625,000.
Pedestrian Struck and Killed by "Daydreamer":
Sofia was an elderly and beloved "lunch lady" at a local middle school. She was crossing the street in the crosswalk on her way to work early one morning, when she was struck by a car and thrown into on-coming traffic. Sofia was struck by two additional vehicles and was killed. The driver of the first car was a high school student, who "never saw Sofia - at all". The Police Crash Report later indicated the student was "daydreaming". Lawson Spivey negotiated a settlement on behalf of Sofia's "estate" of $125,000, which was, unfortunately, the total amount available through the insurance policy of the driver who struck her initially.
Click here to see our results on behalf of our other clients.
We are counselors at law. Our objective is to help you understand your legal options and work closely with you on each step of your case. We are committed to your receiving the maximum compensation available for the loss of your loved one.
Choose us because:
We will handle the legal aspects of your loss, so you can focus on healing.