Losing a loved one to a senseless accident caused by another person’s negligence can leave you reeling. Your grief feels overwhelming, and you wonder how you will find the strength to move forward without your loved one in your life. While your emotional reaction to loss is the primary issue you must deal with, in many cases, there is also a financial aspect to the situation.
If your loved one was the primary or equal breadwinner in your family, the loss of that income can also be a worry on your mind. You may know that you need to move forward with a wrongful death claim but may be uncertain as to how to proceed. Having a Petersburg wrongful death attorney from Tronfeld West & Durrett by your side can take this worry from you, leaving you the time you need to grieve and determine how your future will look without your loved one.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Personal Injury Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim that occurs when a person dies due to the negligence or carelessness of another. When an individual is injured as a result of negligence, he or she can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. For instance, if another driver hits you because they ran a stop sign, they are clearly negligent because they did not follow the law. If your injuries were severe enough to cause you to have serious injuries that could cost you a significant amount of money and last long enough to make you miss work, then you can potentially recoup those costs through a personal injury claim.
If, however, your injuries were catastrophic, causing your death three months after the accident, the personal representative of your estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your family members. While a personal injury claim usually results in medical expenses, lost personal wages, and pain and suffering, a wrongful death claim asks for burial and funeral expenses, medical expenses before the death, lost future earnings, and such things as loss of consortium or loss of guidance and care.
The “injuries” in a personal injury claim are actual physical injuries and emotional injuries. The “injuries” in a wrongful death claim are the damages sustained by the estate (loved ones) of the decedent. The statutes of limitations in some states are different between personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. In Virginia, however, both statutes (the window of time you have to file your claim) are two years.
For answers to your questions with a wrongful death serving Petersburg, call:
Why Choose a Petersburg Wrongful Death Attorney from Tronfeld West & Durrett?
At Tronfeld West & Durrett, you are gaining a law firm with more than 40 years of collective experience helping personal injury victims and families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one receive fair compensation for their losses. We understand the issues you are facing right now—and that thinking about obtaining compensation for the negligence of another can feel overwhelming. We will zealously work to hold the negligent party responsible, ensuring you are compensated for another’s negligence or carelessness.
Since 1972 we have represented thousands of clients in both state and federal courts. We are well-versed in the statutes of limitations that govern your window of time to file a wrongful death claim. We are equally experienced in gathering evidence to prove liability, then dealing with the insurance company. We will bring in expert witnesses and use all our resources on your behalf when necessary. Calling a Tronfeld West & Durrett attorney may be the best step you can take for your future.
Petersburg, Virginia is an independent city with a population of 34,000 and a long history. After Fort Henry was built in 1645, Petersburg grew quickly as a transportation hub, developing its own industries. The railroad soon connected commerce as far inland as Farmville at the foothills of the Blue Ridge. During the Civil War, the railroad network in Petersburg became crucial to capture the confederate states.
Battlefield sites are now preserved by the National Park Service as Petersburg National Battlefield. Petersburg has continued to evolve, and the Army has expanded activities at nearby Fort Lee, home of the Army’s Sustainment Center of Excellence. Those who live and work in the area love the beauty and diversity of Petersburg. Unfortunately, tragedy can strike those in Petersburg in the same way they can strike those who live elsewhere in the United States. If you have suffered a loss through wrongful death, the Tronfeld, West & Durrett attorneys will help you through this difficult time.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
Proving liability in a wrongful death claim is much like proving liability in a personal injury claim. Clear evidence must first show that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. This duty of care means there was an obligation to act in a certain way or to obey laws and rules. If the injury occurred as the result of a hazard on a property, the question will be whether the property owner owed visitors a duty of care to keep the property in a safe, hazard-free condition.
If the injury occurred as a result of a car accident, the question would be whether the driver owed other drivers a duty of care—i.e., did the driver break the law or violate any rules of the road? If there was a duty of care owed, then the question is whether that duty of care was breached. If there was a duty of care and that duty was breached, then the individual must have suffered injuries as a result, and those injuries must have resulted in financial losses. For a successful wrongful death claim, it must be shown that the decedent’s family members must have suffered losses due to the other person’s negligence or carelessness.
If you had to pay funeral and burial expenses following the death or depended on the decedent’s income to support you financially, you have suffered financial losses. Less concrete financial losses could be from children who have lost the care and guidance from their parents or even the loss of an inheritance. For a spouse, the loss of the household and childcare services lost when the loved one dies, or the loss of companionship and support can be considered financial losses.
Why is an Attorney Helpful in a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are many good reasons to have a strong Petersburg wrongful death attorney as your advocate during this difficult time. Your wrongful death attorney will have a deep knowledge of the laws surrounding wrongful death in Virginia. Your attorney can advise you on what steps to take, guiding and supporting you throughout the process. Your attorney will also do his or her best to ensure you get the most out of your claim, and that nothing compromises your settlement.
When you have a strong Petersburg wrongful death attorney fighting for you, you can focus on healing from your grief while your attorney deals with the paperwork, negotiations with the insurance company, and dealing with court proceedings. In the end, having a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney ensures savings in time, along with a full and fair wrongful death settlement.
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How Can a Petersburg Wrongful Death Attorney from Tronfeld West & Durrett Help?
Nothing can replace the emotional void of losing a loved one. While any death is a tragedy, a sudden death caused by the negligence or carelessness of another can be even more challenging to recover from. When you hire a Petersburg wrongful death attorney from Tronfeld West and Durrett, you are getting much more than just legal advice. You will get the guidance, decades of experience and knowledge, and emotional support. Contact Tronfeld West & Durrett today for assistance with your wrongful death claim.
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