West Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer
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It can be challenging to muster the energy to sue for compensation when a loved one dies. However, the damages awarded will go a long way in helping with the residual medical bills, funeral expenses, and the surviving family’s future needs.

You can bring a wrongful death claim against those responsible for losing your loved one with the help of a West Virginia wrongful death lawyer to prove your case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

West Virginia wrongful death law only allows the representative or executor of the deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. They can do this on behalf of the surviving family members, who will then receive any compensation paid out. The surviving family members include spouses, children, parents, siblings, and anyone financially dependent upon the deceased. West Virginia law is slightly different from other states that may allow a family member to file a wrongful death directly.

Proving Fault in West Virginia Wrongful Death Claims

West Virginia is a comparative fault state. That means even if the deceased person was partially responsible for the events that led to their death (not more than 50% at fault), their estate could still recover compensation up to a certain percentage.

In a West Virginia personal injury or wrongful death suit, you must show that someone else’s negligence, fault, or error caused the deceased’s demise. Wrongful death cases are civil cases, not criminal cases.

If you win, you can only seek financial compensation from the defendant but no jail time as you would in a murder case. However, you only have to prove that it is “more likely than not” that the defendant is guilty of wrongful death.

What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If you file a successful wrongful death claim, you will be eligible for various wrongful death claim damages.

These damages can range in value from tens of thousands to millions of dollars and are calculated from the following:

  • Medical bills and funeral expenses from the victim’s injury and death
  • The pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to their death
  • Lost wages from the deceased’s expected future earnings
  • Compensation for the loss of care, protection, guidance, and society of the deceased
  • Punitive damages against the responsible party

Most of these require expert valuation and evidence. A wrongful death lawyer’s job is to work hard and use their networks to secure the testimony of psychologists, medical experts, accountants, and more.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

There are different types of wrongful death cases based on the wrongful act that led to the death of your loved one.

The most common ones include:

You need a wrongful death attorney experienced in your particular case type to increase the chances of winning.

Why You Need a WV Wrongful Death Lawyer

In West Virginia, you only have two years from the death of your loved one to file a wrongful death claim—that is West Virginia’s statute of limitations. After that period, the court might dismiss the case entirely.

Every detail counts when you’re fighting against powerful defendants. As veteran West Virginia wrongful death attorneys, we have represented clients in thousands of wrongful death lawsuits, including medical malpractice claims, oil and gas accidents, and many others.

With an experienced accidental death lawyer, you can fight and win against large corporations, hospitals, and even insurance companies. Contact us at Miley Legal today for a free case review.


What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death results from the negligent, willful, or wrongful act or omission of another party. In West Virginia, a wrongful death claim is brought forward by a representative of the deceased’s estate against the party responsible for their death.

What is the statute of limitations of wrongful death in West Virginia?

West Virginians have two years from the death of a loved one to file wrongful death action. However, there are a few exceptions, such as in medical malpractice suits or when children under 18 want to sue.

What compensation is awarded in a wrongful death case in West Virginia?

The law allows three types of damages to be awarded in a wrongful death claim. These are intangible and emotional losses such as mental anguish, financial losses such as lost earnings, and punitive damages against the party responsible.

Do you need a West Virginia wrongful death lawyer to file a claim?

West Virginia doesn’t allow the deceased’s family to file a wrongful death case directly. An appointed representative will do that and is required by law to act in the best interests of the deceased’s estate. That representative may or may not be a lawyer. Whatever the case, you need an experienced wrongful death lawyer to maximize your chances of winning the claim.

How much do wrongful death attorneys charge?

Wrongful death lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay them anything upfront, but they get a percentage of the winnings. This means you don’t need any money upfront to file a claim. Moreover, the shared incentive means that your lawyers will work very hard to ensure you win.

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