Getting Our Clients The Compensation They Deserve In Every Wrongful Death Case
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, PLC has advocated for the families of those who have died due to the carelessness of others. Our senior attorneys each have over 40 years of 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.
What Constitutes A Wrongful Death?
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 survive their injuries, they are entitled to file a personal injury claim against all responsible (liable) parties, in order to receive compensation for their injuries and losses (damages). If the victims die from their injuries, their family (their “estate”) has the right to file a claim against those responsible.
Common causes of wrongful death claims include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
The victim’s death must have occurred under circumstances that would have supported a personal injury action if they had survived, such as in the case of 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.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
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.
Recoverable Damages In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
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:
- Sorrow and mental anguish
- Loss of the deceased’s care, comfort, guidance, companionship, society, advice and kind offices
- The value of lost wages and benefits, including those wages and benefits the deceased might reasonably have been expected to earn, if he or she had lived
- Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final illness or injury
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your case and determine what damages you can pursue. Your best interests are always our first priority, and we will aggressively fight to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Examples Of Our Assistance To The Families Of Wrongful Death Victims
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 a 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 a “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 oncoming 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.
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