Since 1970, the attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., have helped families like yours with recoveries after a loved one was taken from their lives too soon. While we understand that no amount of money can make up for your loss, we can help you get answers and recover just compensation under the law through a wrongful death suit.
Who Can Recovery Compensation in a WV Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The sudden and unexpected death of a family member can be devastating. This can be particularly the case when a life is lost due to another party’s negligence. West Virginia has laws in place to ensure that a family member impacted by such an event can make a claim for compensation from the responsible party.
Under West Virginia law, the family members and dependents who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- A surviving spouse
- Children, including stepchildren and adopted children
- Any other person that was financially dependent on the deceased at the time of their death
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in West Virginia
Dangerous and deadly accidents occur each day in West Virginia and loved ones are left to deal with shocking circumstances and overwhelming grief. The leading cause of wrongful death is motor vehicle crashes. This includes auto accidents and truck crashes.
When a loved one is already ill or injured, they trust healthcare providers to give them the best and safest medical care. Unfortunately, medical negligence is now a top cause of wrongful death as well. A misdiagnosis or mistake made in a treatment setting can be fatal.
Workplace accidents are also a leading cause of wrongful death accidents in this state. There are dangerous work conditions related to transportation, construction, coal mining, and fracking that lead to industrial deaths and serious work-related illnesses.
Other common causes of wrongful death include accidents caused by unsafe premises and defective products. Recreation accidents can also have fatal results.
Representing West Virginia’s Fallen Miner’s and Their Families
Have you lost a loved one due to a mining accident or mining-related illness? Our firm has built a positive reputation on the basis of our successful representation of victims of coal mine accidents as well as black lung and other diseases. We’ve represented fallen miners and their families from all over West Virginia including the following mines.
- Seneca Coal Pinnacle Mine
- Patriot Coal Body Mine
- Upper Big Branch
- Rock Springs Development Mine
- Robinson Run Development Mine
- Spartan Mining’s Roadfork 51 Mine
- Murray’s Marion County Coal Mine
- Pocahontas Mine
Compensation for Those Left Behind
West Virginia’s Death Statute outlines the types of losses that family members can claim in a wrongful death case. If another party was responsible for the death of your loved one, you have every right to seek full and fair compensation for:
- Expenses related to the treatment, hospitalization, and care of your loved one after the accident and prior to their death;
- Compensation for the anticipated loss of income;
- Compensation for the expected loss of care and assistance, service, and protection provided by the decedent;
- Lost love and support of the decedent, sorrow, and mental anguish;
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
The Complicated Nature of Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death case is often complex, in part because the damages are steep. Families deserve every penny of compensation they claim, but an insurance company is likely to disagree and fight aggressively to undermine your case. Some of the factors that might impact the value and outcome of your wrongful death claim include:
- Whether or not the party being sued has insurance and their coverage limits;
- The facts of the accidents causing the death and the ability of plaintiffs to prove negligence;
- The degree of pain and suffering by the decedent prior to their death;
- The identity of the party responsible for the death;
- The number of potential beneficiaries and the age of the deceased;
- The experience and reputation of your wrongful death attorney.
A wrongful death case can be quickly undervalued or even lost on a technicality. For these reasons alone, it’s essential that you work with a qualified attorney that has a reputation for success in handling these types of cases.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
West Virginia places time limits on filing personal injury lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. Generally, you will have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file suit. However, there may be some exceptions. These rules can be complex, and missing a deadline will mean that you will not be able to recover the compensation you deserve.
Meeting legally-imposed deadlines and dealing with insurance companies are just a few of the reasons it’s vital to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible about your situation. At Bailey, Javins & Carter, we are known for providing precise and personalized service to each client.
Speak with a Qualified West Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney
Our experienced and compassionate legal teams give you assurances that we will be here for you throughout this process, and not just in terms of your wrongful death claim. These cases can be complicated, but we can also help with your loved one’s estate, which may need to be settled before the claim is pursued.
You should have the peace of mind knowing that you are free to be with your family during this difficult time. We will take care of any legal issues that arise so that you can focus on healing.
If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, you should not have to concern yourself with additional financial worries. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you do.
Contact our firm at 800-497-0234 or online to schedule a free initial consultation with our personal injury lawyers in Charleston, Logan, or Summersville.