WAVY – Channel 10 in Portsmouth, Virginia reported, on June 8, 2013 that a man was charged DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and Involuntary Manslaughter when his Toyota pickup truck entered the opposing lane and struck a Ford Taurus driven by an 84 year old man. The wife of the 84 year old man survived but was heartbroken. The accident happened in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The family of the 84 year old man is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim against all responsible parties.
Wrongful death cases vary from state to state. In Virginia, the Virginia Wrongful Death law (§ 8.01-50 through § 8.01-56) details who can see and what can be recovered. Other laws apply for North Carolina and other states.
The personal representative (if there is a will) or the administrator (if there isn’t a will) of the decedent’s Estate stands in the shoes of the victim and can bring the lawsuit against the responsible parties. The personal representative/administrator collects the money. The beneficiaries and the health and funeral bill creditors get the money.
For more on how someone becomes the personal representative please see my FAQ post.
There is NO claim for compensation for pain and suffering of the decedent
The people allowed to claim damages are set forth in the Virginia Code § 8.01-50.
The first determination that is made is the relationship of the beneficiary to the decedent – spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, sibling, a relative who was dependent on the decedent. If none of these relatives exist then the Virginia laws on intestate succession determine who the beneficiaries are.
The second determination that is made is the amount the relative depended on the deceased. Minors are generally considered to be the most dependent.
If an agreement can’t be made as to who are the beneficiaries and what amounts they get, then the jury or the judge decides.
In Virginia, the parents of a fetus may be able to claim damages.
If you know someone who was died through the wrongful death of another, in Virginia, make sure that you really do contact an attorney. It is easy to do.
When it comes to wrongful death cases in Virginia, make sure you visit www.JoeMillerInjuryLaw.com or call Wrongful Death Lawyer Joe Miller at 888-694-1671 to get all of the information that you need. We also suggest you visit our pages relating to wrongful death cases for a full list of helpful hints.