When an individual dies as a result of another's carelessness, the impact on family members can be devastating. The spouse, children and parents of a wrongful death victim can never get back their loved one, but they can hold the negligent party responsible for the damage they have caused. The laws of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. provide that compensation shall be awarded to family members of a wrongful death victim.
Some common causes of wrongful death are
- fatal car accidents;
- police misconduct;
- defective products;
- nursing home abuse, error or neglect;
- medical malpractice.
Regardless of the cause, Ackerman & Falcon can help a client cope with their loss by holding the responsible party accountable for their wrongful actions.
Ackerman & Falcon has successfully represented the families of wrongful death victims. This type of case will almost always require that a lawsuit be filed and aggressively pursued in order to achieve a fair outcome for the family. While, clearly, no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one, surviving family members are, under the law, entitled to compensation for both the monetary and nonmonetary (e.g., grief) damages they suffer, and Ackerman & Falcon has the experience and knowledge needed to successfully pursue such claims.
The first step to getting fair compensation in a wrongful death case is to prove that the accident and death were caused by an act of negligence. This is done by demonstrating that the responsible party owed a duty of care to the victim. Ackerman & Falcon will build a case to show that reasonable care was not taken, and that the death was the direct result of that lack of care.
Virginia, Maryland and D.C each have differing laws regarding the time limitations for making a wrongful death claim (statute of limitations), who is eligible to make a wrongful death claim and receive compensation, and the way money damages are determined. Depending on the facts and circumstances, a lawsuit may be filed in either state or federal court.
No matter how strong a wrongful death case may be, the highest priority of any insurance company involved will always be to protect its bottom line and resolve the claim as cheaply as possible. It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to offer a lowball settlement to resolve the claim as fast as possible. Family members of a wrongful death victim should never accept a settlement or even talk with an insurance company representative without first consulting with a qualified personal injury and wrongful death attorney.