There is nothing more painful than the loss of a loved one. If you have reason to believe that someone else caused or contributed to the death, this can make it even more difficult to cope. Filing a wrongful death claim could bring your family the answers, justice, and closure it needs during this difficult time.
Bailey & Glasser, LLP is a team of experienced and compassionate attorneys who are dedicated to helping families navigate wrongful death claims. If you recently lost a loved one in Charleston, West Virginia, contact us to request a free case consultation.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Speaking to a wrongful death attorney can give you more information about your family’s rights after the unexpected loss of a loved one. You can tell your story to an attorney who understands the state’s wrongful death laws and can explain your legal options. If you have grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim, an attorney can aid your family with all of the necessary steps and procedures.
A law firm will have the resources and personnel to thoroughly investigate the fatal accident, identify the cause of your loved one’s death, determine the liable party or parties, collect evidence, and complete the claims-filing process on your behalf. From there, your lawyer can negotiate with an insurance company or take your case to trial, if necessary, to pursue fair financial compensation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil case brought after the death of an individual under preventable circumstances, such as a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, construction accident, dog attack, or criminal act. According to West Virginia Code Section 55-7-5, when the death of a person is caused by someone else’s wrongful act, neglect, or default, the at-fault party can be held liable for damages.
If the deceased person (decedent) would have been entitled to maintain an action to recover damages from the liable party had death not ensued, a wrongful death action can typically be maintained after the death. The death does not need to have been caused by a crime such as homicide to lead to a wrongful death claim. Negligence, carelessness, or a wanton disregard for the safety of others are enough to hold someone liable for a fatal injury or illness.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Charleston
State law restricts the right to sue for wrongful death to only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This person, also known as the executor or administrator, may have been named in the deceased person’s will prior to death. The unexpected nature of wrongful death, however, often means there is no will left behind. In this scenario, the courts will appoint a personal representative to bring the claim.
The personal representative will file on behalf of all eligible beneficiaries, including a surviving spouse, children, parents, and siblings. The claim must be filed within two years of the date of death. This is West Virginia’s statute of limitations on most wrongful death claims, with some exceptions. If the claim is based on medical malpractice – including malpractice in a nursing home or similar facility – a shorter deadline of just one year applies.
Don’t Wait – Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you wish to examine your family’s right to file a wrongful death claim in Charleston, West Virginia, contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP without delay to request a free consultation. Our attorneys understand how devastating a loss in the family can be. We can provide sound legal advice and guidance to help your family pursue justice on behalf of a loved one for personal injury incidents. We are here to help you hold another person or party accountable for a tragic loss. Call (304) 345-6555 today.