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Wrongful Death Lawyers in West Virginia Get Justice for Families

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    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.

    What are the Causes of Wrongful Death?

    If you think you might have a wrongful death claim, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review the facts of your case, advise you as to your legal rights, and help you take the necessary steps to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires.

    Some common causes of wrongful death in West Virginia include:

    1. Car accidents
    2. Motorcycle accidents
    3. Pedestrian accidents
    4. Commercial Truck accidents
    5. Workplace accidents
    6. Medical malpractice
    7. Nursing Home Abuse

    In some cases, the cause of death may not be immediately clear. In those cases, an attorney may retain an independent medical expert to review the medical records and provide an opinion as to whether a wrongful act or negligence caused the death.

    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.

    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.

    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
    • Sorrow
    • Medical expenses
    • Mental anguish
    • Funeral expenses
    • Solace (including comfort, advice, society, and companionship)

    The personal representative only has one year 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 its 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.

    What is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Lawsuits in West Virginia?

    In West Virginia, the deadline for filing a wrongful death claim is one year from the date of death. If you try to file your claim even one day after the deadline has passed, your claim will be dismissed outright and you will be barred from ever bringing it again.

    There are a few exceptions to the general rule:

    1. If the death was caused by someone under 18 years old, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the person who caused the death turns 18, unless medical malpractice is involved, in which case the time period may be shortened.
    2. If the person who caused the death was convicted of a crime and sent to prison, the statute may be tolled (delayed) while that person is incarcerated.
    3. If the person who caused the death was out of state when the claim accrued, the statute may be tolled as well

    What is the First Step in Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in West Virginia?

    The first step in filing any civil lawsuit is to consult with a lawyer to determine whether you have a valid case. If you bring a case that has no legal merit, you will end up wasting time and money. You may also be forced to pay the attorney’s fees and court costs of the party that you sue if you brought the suit without good cause.

    The best way to avoid all of these potential consequences is to simply speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer about your case. The consultation is free.

    If you decide to move forward with your case, the lawyer will help you gather the evidence that you need to support your claim. This may include things like medical records, police reports, and witness statements.

    The wrongful death lawyer will also file the necessary paperwork with the court and will keep you updated on the progress of your case. If you have any questions along the way, your lawyer will be there to answer them.

    Speak With a Lawyer Today

    If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you may be struggling with funeral costs, medical bills, and living expenses on top of your grief. The lawyers at Kaufman & McPherson PLLC can help you get the compensation you deserve.

    Our wrongful death lawyers will review your case for free and help you decide if you have a case. We only get paid if you win your case, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us. Call us today at 304-842-4300.

    About Us

    The Law Offices of Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC, located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, serves clients in communities throughout the state, including Charleston, Dunbar, Huntington, Beckley, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Grafton, Wheeling, Weirton, Moundsville, Weston, Martinsburg, Moorefield, Summersville, Logan, and all points in between.

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    Kevin Kaufman

    Kevin S. Kaufman is a 1977 graduate of Bridgeport High School, where he received a National Merit Scholarship, a Consolidated Natural Gas Company full scholarship, and a West Virginia Achievement scholarship. Mr. Kaufman completed his education at West Virginia University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, an MBA, and his law degree.

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