Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer

Did you lose a loved one in an accident in Charleston, WV? Was the death someone else’s fault? In some cases, fighting for financial compensation is the only way to get justice. An experienced Charleston wrongful death lawyer at Farmer, Cline & Campbell, PLLC, can help you fight for the money your family needs and deserves. Call us at (304) 346-5990.

With over 315 years of combined experience, you can count on our lawyers to do everything possible to maximize your financial recovery. Since we started our practice, we’ve recovered over half a billion dollars on behalf of injury victims.

Now, we’re here to fight for you. Contact our law offices in Charleston, West Virginia, today to schedule a free consultation with our Charleston wrongful death attorneys.

How Can Farmer, Cline & Campbell, PLLC Help Your Family Recover Compensation for Wrongful Death in Charleston?

How Can Farmer, Cline & Campbell, PLLC Help Your Family Recover Compensation for Wrongful Death in Charleston?

While insurance companies may seem sympathetic, don’t expect them to be compassionate when it comes time to hand over a fair settlement. Instead, they’ll often fight tooth and nail to avoid paying the full amount your family deserves.

An experienced Charleston personal injury attorney can handle the legal battle while you take care of your family. Families across West Virginia have trusted Farmer, Cline & Campbell, PLLC, for legal assistance since we opened our practice back in 1996.

When you hire us to represent you, our Charleston wrongful death lawyers will:

  • Handle the investigation and gather evidence to prove what happened
  • Identify all parties who contributed to your loved one’s death
  • Document your losses and work with your family to determine your case value
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies for a full settlement
  • Protect you against victim-blaming tactics
  • Take your case to court if necessary to get a fair deal

If you have questions about your legal options, our Charleston personal injury lawyers are always available to discuss your case. Give us a call today to get started.

Overview of West Virginia’s Wrongful Death Laws

West Virginia law defines a wrongful death as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person. Survivors have the right to sue for damages if the victim would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived.

As a general matter, wrongful death lawsuits are based on the same types of situations that form the basis for personal injury lawsuits.

You may have a valid wrongful death case based on the following:

  • A motor vehicle accident
  • A medical error
  • Intentional wrongdoing, including assault or homicide

Even if the defendant is facing criminal charges, wrongful death cases are always handled in civil court. While criminal courts are concerned with punishment, civil courts award financial compensation to successful plaintiffs. In reality, most wrongful death cases are settled with insurance companies out of court.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in West Virginia?

The victim’s personal representative is responsible for filing the formal wrongful death lawsuit. However, surviving family members will actually receive the compensation.

In West Virginia, wrongful death lawsuits can be brought on behalf of:

  • The victim’s surviving spouse
  • Children, including stepchildren and adopted children
  • The victim’s parents and siblings
  • Other family members who were financially dependent on the victim at the time of death

When none of these individuals exist, the money will be distributed according to the victim’s will or via state intestate laws if the victim did not leave a will.

What Is My Charleston Wrongful Death Case Worth?

The value of a wrongful death claim will vary depending on the specific circumstances.

However, some factors are always relevant to the valuation process, including:

  • The victim’s age and life expectancy at the time of death
  • The identity of the surviving family members
  • How the victim contributed to the family
  • The victim’s earnings prior to death and their expected future earning capacity
  • The value of financial losses your family has experienced, including medical bills and burial costs
  • The circumstances of your loved one’s death
  • The nature of your family’s suffering and trauma

It’s important to discuss your case value with an experienced Charleston wrongful death attorney before taking an insurance offer. That way, you won’t risk leaving money on the table by taking a lowball insurance settlement.

What Types of Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Case?

In wrongful death cases, survivors can recover damages to compensate for all of the losses they had suffered due to the death.

Examples of the types of damages that are available under West Virginia wrongful death laws include:

  • Loss of the victim’s financial support
  • Loss of the value of household services provided by the victim
  • Medical expenses incurred between the date of the victim’s injury and the date of death
  • Reasonable funeral expenses
  • Workers’ compensation benefits in cases involving work-related accidents
  • Sorrow, mental trauma, and solace
  • Loss of the victim’s companionship and society or loss of consortium
  • Loss of the victim’s protection, care and assistance

Of course, money can never make up for the loss of a family member. It can, however, be critical to your family’s financial security. 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer in West Virginia?

Personal injury law firms in West Virginia work on a contingency fee basis. When you hire Farmer, Campbell & Cline, PLLC to handle your case, you’ll agree to pay us a percentage of your settlement or verdict. That way, your family won’t have to worry about upfront legal costs during this difficult time.

Can I Recover Damages If My Loved One is Being Blamed for a Fatal Accident in West Virginia?

Your loved one can’t defend themselves. Don’t expect that to stop the insurance companies from trying to blame them for their own death.

Because West Virginia follows modified comparative negligence laws, you can lose your right to compensation if your loved one shared too much blame for their own death. Once their share of fault exceeds the combined fault of other parties, you cannot recover compensation.

When they share some blame but not most of the blame, your family’s compensation is reduced accordingly. 

What Causes Most Deadly Accidents in Charleston, West Virginia?

Any type of situation has the potential to be fatal if it’s traumatic enough. However, some circumstances are more likely to result in death than others.

At Farmer, Campbell & Cline, PLLC, we handle all types of wrongful death cases in Charleston, including those involving:

Regardless of the circumstances, you’ve already suffered a tragic loss. Our lawyers are prepared to help you fight for justice. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact our law firm in Charleston to schedule a free case review with an attorney who can help.

How Do I Prove My Family Deserves Compensation After a Fatal Accident in West Virginia? 

As in any personal injury case, you’ll have to prove that someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death to recover compensation. Most often, you’ll have to prove negligence. 

Negligence is a legal concept. It means that someone failed to exercise a reasonable level of caution and harmed someone else as a result.

The four basic elements of negligence are:

  • A legal duty of care existed
  • The defendant breached their duty by failing to exercise due care
  • The breach directly caused your loved one’s death
  • Your family suffered damages as a result

In many situations, the surviving family members weren’t present when their loved one died. It can be tough to know exactly what happened. An experienced attorney can help you collect the evidence you’ll need to prove your case.

Evidence in wrongful death cases can take many forms, including:

  • Video footage
  • Vehicle recording devices
  • Physical evidence from an accident scene
  • Photos 
  • Safety reports
  • Witness statements
  • Maintenance records
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Statements from accident reconstruction specialists

Our lawyers are skilled in handling all types of accident and injury claims. If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, count on our lawyers to help you get justice. Contact us today to learn more about legal representation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, you have two years from the date of the deceased person’s death to file a lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations expires, you lose your right to pursue compensation from the responsible parties.

Contact an Experienced Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation

You’re already dealing with an unbearable loss. Farmer, Campbell & Cline, PLLC is here to help when your family needs it the most. We know how important recovering full compensation is to your family’s future, so call us to learn how an experienced Charleston wrongful death lawyer can help you get the money you deserve in Charleston, WV.