Wrongful death lawsuits are a way for surviving family members to seek compensation from a neglectful party. In the state of West Virginia, there are only specific people that are allowed to file a wrongful death suit. Your ability to file one of these lawsuits depends on your relationship with the deceased person.
Who has grounds for filing a lawsuit?
Any good personal injury lawyer can reveal that you’ll need to have grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit before you do so. Grounds is simply defined as a legal standing to file a lawsuit against another person or entity. Typically, any surviving spouse and children are authorized to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Some states do allow extended family members like grandparents and siblings to file a lawsuit.
What must be proven in a lawsuit?
While you may have legal grounds for filing a lawsuit, there are two things that you’re going to need to prove in order to win your case. The first thing that you need to prove is that your loved one’s death was a direct result of another person’s negligence, deliberate act or recklessness. The events that led to the death of your loved one must not have been brought on by their own accord.
The second thing you’ll need to prove is that you suffered measurable damages due to the death of your loved one. In most cases, this means that you financially relied on them, and your life is significantly affected due to the lack of monetary support.
Filing a wrongful-death lawsuit can be a bit tricky to do as the burden of proof is on your shoulders. For this reason, it’s always advisable to hire an attorney to assist you with your case. They can help to take some of the burden off of your shoulders and assist you in understanding various legal practices that you may not understand.