Wrongful Death Attorney
Top Fairfax Wrongful Death Lawyer
Accidents are a fact of life in Virginia and throughout the US, but you may not realize how frequently these incidents can be fatal. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death across all age groups and they rank at the top in terms of fatalities among individuals aged 1 to 44 years old. Unfortunately, these tragedies do not just lead to grief for survivors. Family members can also suffer from financial woes, uncertainty, and many other losses.
Though legal action cannot bring the victim back, you do have options to ease some of the stress and hardship you face upon his or her passing. It is possible to recover compensation from the responsible party, and our attorneys at Leary Law, P.C. can assist with the process. Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Virginia wrongful death lawyer, and check out some basic information about these cases.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims: Any incident that presents a threat of bodily harm can also lead to a fatality. As such, a wrongful death case is a type of personal injury claim, except that the victim is killed instead of merely being hurt. Our attorneys represent clients in a wide range of wrongful death matters, including:
- Motor Vehicle Collisions: Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are a top cause of death in the US, and they are usually caused by driver carelessness. Examples include speeding, drunk driving, running red lights, distracted driving, and other violations of traffic laws.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: Vulnerable road users are at extreme risk because they share the road with motorized vehicles that are much larger and heavier. Plus, in a collision, the person on foot or bike is not protected by a metal shell.
- Slip and Fall and Premises Liability Incidents: Virginia property owners have a duty to keep the premises safe, but many fail in their legal obligations. Dangerous conditions can lead to serious, fatal accidents.
- Medical Malpractice: Health care providers are required to deliver care in accordance with generally accepted medical standards, so a deviation through medical errors can be deadly. Some of the most common forms of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, prescription errors, surgical mistakes, and many others.
Liability in Virginia Wrongful Death Cases: Though the details may vary, the underlying cause of most unintentional fatalities is negligence. The term has a specific definition in the practice of law compared to its familiar meaning, and it requires you to prove four essential elements in a wrongful death case. Our lawyers at Leary Law, P.C. will gather evidence to support each of the following:
- You must show that the responsible party had a duty to exercise reasonable care when acting;
- You need to prove that this person or business entity breached this legal duty through careless acts or omissions;
- There must be a direct causal link between the breach of duty and the accident that caused your loved one’s death, such that he or she would not have died but for the breach; and,
- You must show that you suffered losses because of your loved one’s passing.
In addition, you must have legal “standing” to bring a wrongful death claim. Under Virginia’s statute, the personal representative is eligible to file a cause of action for an accidental fatality. This individual may be someone who was named as an executor in the decedent’s will, or a person appointed by a probate court if there was no will. The personal representative files the case on behalf of the victim’s relatives, who can recover compensation for the losses they sustain. Potential recipients of monetary damages in a wrongful death claim include:
- Surviving spouse;
- Parents who relied upon the decedent for care and support; and,
- Further distant relatives, under certain circumstances.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses: The focus of a wrongful death case is the losses suffered by the surviving family members, which may be financial and emotional in nature. If you qualify to receive monetary damages, our team at Leary Law, P.C. will help you recover:
- Costs related to the decedent’s medical care before death;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Lost financial contributions the deceased individual would have supplied had he or she lived;
- Losses related to companionship, consortium, education, guidance, love, and emotional support; and,
- Many others, depending on the details of your case.
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney
At Leary Law, P.C., our lawyers are prepared to fight for your rights after a loved one’s life was abruptly taken through the negligent acts of another. For more information about your legal remedies, eligibility, and the claims process, please contact our offices in Manassas or Fairfax, VA to set up a no-cost consultation.