Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Insurance Disputes
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact BenGlassLaw. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you can either use the ChatBox on the left or send attorney Ben Glass a confidential message.
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Who can be compensated for a wrongful death claim in Virginia?
When you file a Virginia wrongful death claim, there is an order of beneficiaries eligible to collect the damages won in the lawsuit. The Virginia Code sets forth this order to determine how any damages will be distributed. The order is determined by the beneficiary's level of dependence on the deceased.
It should come as no surprise, then, that family members and relatives are first to be considered for compensation in a wrongful death claim in Virginia, unless otherwise stated in the deceased's will.
In Virginia, the spouse of the deceased is first to be considered for compensation from a wrongful death claim. If no spouse is present, the children of the deceased are considered next, or if they are deceased, their surviving children. If no children are present, the parents of the deceased are next in the order of beneficiaries, followed by the deceased's siblings.
After all of these beneficiaries are depleted, the damages may be awarded to any other relative who was dependent on the deceased for support and lived in the same household. When you file a wrongful death claim, it's best to have a wrongful death attorney to help make sure you are fairly represented.
Contacting a Fairfax Wrongful Death Attorney
The unexpected loss of a loved one is a difficult time in your life that shouldn't be made worse by the stress of dealing with insurance companies. Fairfax wrongful death attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in northern Virginia settle their wrongful death claims.
What Do You Need for Your First Meeting with an Lawyer?
First, I want to express my condolences. It's never easy when a loved one has died. It's even more difficult if you believe that their death was caused by someone's wrongdoing or carelessness.
Second, here are the documents that will help greatly and will allow me to proceed with an investigation into your case:
- An original death certificate (the funeral home will be able to provide this. Also, ask the funeral home for a bill marked "fully paid."
- Let me know whether an autopsy has been performed. If so, I can arrange to obtain a copy of it from the medical examiner's office.
- A list (handwritten is just fine-it doesn't need to be typed) of the names and addresses of any doctor your loved one saw within the last two years.
- A list of the immediate family members, together with their ages, dates of birth and social security numbers.
- If your loved one had a will, please bring a copy with you. (I need this to know who the executor or executrix (female executor) is.)
- If your loved one did not have a will, one of the close family members, (you'll choose) will need to be named as the administrator of the estate. This simply means that that person will stand in place of the deceased loved one. He or she will have their name put on the litigation documents. However, that person does not receive any different or greater share of the recovery simply because they are the administrator.
- If you have copies of any medical records, bring them.
- Bring any medical insurance cards, bills and receipts from any health insurance company about the treatment your loved one received recently.
- If your loved one was employed, bring copies of their tax returns and W-2 forms for the last three years.
- When you meet with me, try and bring any family members who have knowledge or information about the specific events that led to your loved one's injuries and untimely death. All of these documents assist me in promptly evaluating and processing your matter.