Experiencing the tragic loss of a loved one due to an accident can inflict immense emotional and psychological distress on the surviving family members. Here at The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton, we empathize with the difficulties that arise in the aftermath of a sudden death of a spouse or family member. Therefore, our primary goal is to assist our clients in obtaining the rightful compensation they are entitled to for their profound loss.
Comprehensive Case Assessment
When grieving spouses and family members approach us, they often harbor doubts about the viability of their wrongful death claims. At The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton, we possess extensive experience in guiding them through the process and clarifying their rights and available courses of action.
Our journey together typically commences with our team conducting a careful evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the untimely passing of your loved one. We don't simply rely on the findings of external entities such as the police or other investigators. Instead, we go the extra mile by meticulously examining the evidence firsthand. We diligently strive to uncover the fundamental causes of your tragedy and identify those individuals or entities who should be held responsible.
Compassionate and Reliable Lawyer for Wrongful Death
At The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton, we consider it our paramount responsibility to ensure that you are fully informed about your legal rights and choices when it comes to pursuing a wrongful death claim in accordance with Virginia law. Our clients depend on us to offer sharp and precise guidance regarding significant decisions that can impact their overall welfare and future. Therefore, we genuinely listen to your concerns, prioritize your needs, and respond to your inquiries using clear and straightforward language that is easily comprehensible to you.
Thorough Preparation of Wrongful Death Claims
Once our clients make the decision to proceed with a wrongful death claim, the dedicated team at The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton takes charge of every aspect involved in planning and preparing a compelling case. We gather evidence, conduct witness interviews, and draft well-reasoned claim filings that effectively present our clients' positions to both the courts and opposing parties.
It is crucial to note that we never rely solely on the anticipation of a settlement. Instead, we steadfastly engage in the demanding task of constructing a substantial body of evidence and arguments that can withstand the scrutiny of a trial, should it be necessary to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients.
Advocating for Your Best Interests
Following the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, our clients often require the necessary time and support to mourn and reconstruct their lives. At The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton, our attorney and legal professionals serve as your dedicated representatives, shielding you from the intrusion of journalists, investigators, insurance companies, and other individuals who may attempt to encroach upon your privacy during this challenging period. Instead, we unwaveringly advocate for your interests, ensuring that you and the cherished memory of your loved one are treated with the utmost dignity and respect you rightfully deserve.
Expertly Guiding the Settlement Process
In many instances of wrongful death cases in Virginia, resolutions are reached outside the courtroom, where the responsible party (or parties) agree to provide compensation to the bereaved spouse and/or family. At The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton, we diligently work towards securing favorable settlements for our client's wrongful death claims.
Our attorney is an adept negotiator, proficient in achieving optimal outcomes even in the most challenging scenarios. Equally important, we recognize the significance of offering clear and patient guidance to our clients, aiding them in determining the appropriate time to accept a settlement or continue pursuing legal action. We will never impose undue pressure upon you to settle your Virginia wrongful death case against your wishes. The decision to settle rests entirely in your hands, and we respect your independence in making that choice.
Bringing a Claim for Damages
Who can file? The administrator of the estate of the deceased has a two-year window following the death of the individual harmed to initiate a lawsuit based on the negligent or wrongful actions of another party. In Virginia, wrongful death claims can be filed by family members or dependents recognized as statutory beneficiaries. The order of priority for filing is as follows:
- Surviving spouse and children or grandchildren of the deceased
- Surviving parents and siblings of the departed, or any relative that resided with the deceased and was dependent on them
- Surviving family members are entitled to inherit the deceased's estate under Virginia's intestacy laws
In cases where no surviving children exist, a surviving spouse and parents may file a claim jointly. However, parents whose parental rights have been terminated are not eligible to seek damages in a wrongful death claim. The grounds for filing a wrongful death claim can be complex, but the attorney at The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton can provide guidance to help you and your family understand the applicable laws and distribution methods established by statute.
When assessing the aftermath of a wrongful death, the judge or jury takes into account the personal and financial burdens experienced. Therefore, both economic and non-economic damages are considered, including the following hardships:
- Mental anguish: Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, society, kindly offices, and advice from the deceased
- Compensation: Loss of income, services, protection, care, and assistance provided by the deceased
- Expenses: Medical care, hospitalization, and treatment for the injury that led to the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages: These apply when the defendant's conduct demonstrates willful or wanton behavior or a reckless disregard for the safety of others
Quantifying the tangible and intangible losses in a wrongful death situation can be challenging. The weight of medical bills and service costs, coupled with the absence of your loved one, may be overwhelming. Engaging a wrongful death lawyer can potentially alleviate the financial burdens, allowing your family to grieve in peace.
If the deceased person would have had grounds for a personal injury claim had they survived, the designated family member mentioned above may pursue a wrongful death claim. To establish liability and seek compensation, it must be proven that the negligent or wrongful actions of another party breached the duty of care owed to the deceased and directly caused their death. Various situations where such negligence or wrongful conduct may arise include:
- Airplane injuries
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Gun accidents
- Injuries caused by drunk drivers
- Pulmonary embolism
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful diagnosis
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Defective products
- Pharmaceutical prescriptions
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Premises liability, such as swimming pool accidents and slip-and-fall cases
- Criminal acts, including assaults and shootings
While not all accidents, medical errors, or workplace fatalities qualify as wrongful deaths, certain circumstances may warrant valid claims. Each case will have unique factors and may require the focused attention of an experienced attorney to meet the burden of proof in linking the death to a specific party. For instance, a car accident may result in severe injuries that prove fatal due to inadequate medical treatment by a healthcare professional, breaching their duty of care to the deceased.
It is crucial to consult with a Virginia wrongful death attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and understand your rights.
Schedule a Consultation with Experienced Virginia Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
The Law Offices of Clinton O. Middleton have been providing knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation to grieving spouses and families in wrongful death cases. We understand the immense challenges you are facing during this difficult time, and we are committed to guiding you, advocating for you, and seeking justice and financial compensation for your loss.
If you have tragically lost a loved one in Virginia due to someone else's actions, such as an automobile accident, truck accident, defective or unsafe product, or a serious slip and fall, we encourage you to reach out to us today at 703-777-9630 to schedule your free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation.
During this consultation, which comes at no cost to you, our attorney will carefully assess the circumstances surrounding your loved one's passing and provide an initial evaluation of your rights and available options for pursuing a wrongful death case under Virginia law.