West Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyers Get Justice for Families
Helping clients get compensation after the loss of a loved one in Bridgeport and throughout West Virginia
The law provides relief to families who have lost a loved one in an accident or due to the negligence of a person or company. This relief comes in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. These suits attempt to compensate the deceased person’s (decedent’s) estate for the injuries the decedent suffered and the costs they incurred, as well as the surviving family for their loss. The wrongful death attorneys at the firm of Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC help families get justice for the loss of their loved ones. We provide dedicated and compassionate service to grieving families throughout West Virginia.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in West Virginia?
West Virginia’s law only allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring a wrongful death claim. This means that a person named as a representative in the will or a person appointed by the court is the proper party to bring the claim. While the personal representative is the only one who can bring the wrongful death suit, they are not the only party who can recover damages in the suit. The court will distribute any damages to the surviving spouse and children, as well as to siblings, parents and dependents. Your personal injury lawyer will help you understand the distribution process.
Compensation available in wrongful death cases
Families may receive the following types of damages in WV wrongful death claims:
- Loss of income (of the decedent)
- Loss of services, assistance, care and protection
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Funeral expenses
- Solace (including comfort, advice, society and companionship)
The personal representative only has two years from the date of death to file the wrongful death claim. Our attorneys can help families get a personal representative appointed so that a claim can be brought in a timely manner.
The effect of the comparative fault rule on recovery
West Virginia apportions damages based on a doctrine called “comparative fault.” Comparative fault means that each party pays their share of the damages directly in proportion to that party’s percentage of the fault. Your deceased relative’s action will be used against you in court because the defendant is only responsible for paying the share of damages that are proven to be their fault. If your loved one is found to be 10% responsible for the accident, the defendant will only be responsible for paying 90% of the damages. In cases where the deceased person is found to be more than 50% at fault, recovery is barred completely. Our attorneys work hard to prove that your loved one’s injuries were not their fault so that your family can get the compensation they deserve.
Contact a personal injury law firm you can trust
If your loved one has been killed in a crash, a fall or any other type of accident, you need an attorney. The wrongful death claim lawyers at the West Virginia firm of Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC help families appoint a personal representative and file a wrongful death claim. We offer free consultations in personal injury cases. Call us today at 304-842-4300 or contact us online to speak with an experienced attorney.