Basics of Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Because West Virginia has a statute of limitations regarding how long you have to file a claim after a fatal car accident, it is advised to get help from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss this important deadline. The attorney can help you gather the required evidence and paperwork to begin the claims process.
In order for a claim to be successful, you must prove that the accident was caused by another party. The accident may have been caused by a negligent driver (of either your loved one’s vehicle or another vehicle) or the automaker if the vehicle was defective. An attorney has the power to review the police reports and launch an independent investigation to determine who was responsible.
In addition to proving fault, the responsible party must have enough insurance and/or assets in order for you to recover compensation. If the driver was underinsured or uninsured, recovering damages can be difficult, but do not panic because other assets or insurance policies may be used for your settlement. Sometimes business insurance and homeowners’ policies may be used to compensate the families of fatal accident victims.
Wrongful Death Damages
Filing a claim allows you to seek financial damages from the party who caused the accident. You can request compensation for the following:
- medical expenses;
- funeral and burial costs;
- lost income;
- value of household services your loved one would have provided;
- loss of companionship; and
- pain and suffering.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are designed to punish the responsible party and provide you with restitution for his or her actions.
Need legal help in Bridgeport? Call a Personal Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on West Virginia roadways such as I-79, I-77, Route 50, Route 33, and I-68. In fact, our state averages over 40,000 car crashes, over 400 deaths, and over 11,000 serious injuries each year. If your loved one was killed in an auto accident, order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your West Virginia Car Accident Claim then contact the Bridgeport personal injury attorneys at The Miley Legal Group for a FREE consultation – 304-326-1800.