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Workplace Injury Frequently Asked Questions

WARNING: All of the information provided here is of a general nature only. The specific facts of your case may require a completely different answer. Do not base any decision with respect to your case solely on any of the answers found herein. Prior to making any decision with respect to your case, you should speak with a competent attorney who is familiar with the laws that relate to your case.

Who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim?

In both Virginia and North Carolina, the claim must be brought by the personal representative or administrator of the estate of the deceased. Someone must go down to the Clerk of Court where the death occurred to qualify to be the personal representative or administrator of the estate of the deceased. After they obtain the Death Certificate from the Coroner, qualifying someone as the personal representative/administrator is the next thing I always advise families to accomplish.


Getting appointed administrator/personal rep for wrongful death claim purposes is not a complicated or difficult thing to do. Some Court Clerks require that you make an appointment with a specific Clerk, usually a probate clerk prior to coming down to the Courthouse. We have and will accompany family members to the Courthouse, if necessary, to insure the process goes smoothly , or to answer any questions they may have.


Whomever qualifies must pay a small fee to the Court and advise the Clerk that this is being done in order to move ahead with a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate of the deceased.


You must realize that even if suit has not yet been filed, and even it has been made clear that the insurance company is ready to offer their full limits of insurance immediately to settle the claim, it does not matter. The defendant’s insurance company will only deal with the person who has qualified as administrator of the Estate /Personal Representative. Until that qualification happens, there is no one to whom the Insurance Company can legally pay the settlement money.


In addition, if the family is interested in hiring an attorney to represent the Estate and pursue the claim, the agreement with the attorney is going to have to be executed by whomever is the personal representative of the Estate.

Virginia Beach Office

5500-B Greenwich Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Elizabeth City Office
(by appointment only)
507 E Main St #K
Elizabeth City, NC 27907

If you are looking at this site, you or a loved one has probably been hurt. If that's true, you've come to the right place. Helping people who have been hurt is what we do. In fact, it is all we do. Joe Miller Law is a law firm concentrating exclusively on representing people who are injured by the carelessness of others or those hurt on the job. We provide the highest quality legal services to people who have been seriously injured. We practice Personal Injury law and Workmens' Compensation law in both Virginia and North Carolina.