Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating experience, but the pain can be compounded when that loss occurs because of someone else’s actions or inaction, whether negligent or intentional. In such cases, filing a wrongful death claim may be the best way to seek justice for the untimely demise of your family member. In this blog, Logan County wrongful death lawyer Jason Harwood will guide you through the necessary steps involved in filing a wrongful death claim in West Virginia (WV).
Additionally, we will discuss the relevant wrongful death laws in WV and explain how a Logan County, WV wrongful death lawyer like Jason can offer essential assistance during this difficult time.
WV Laws Explained by a Logan County Wrongful Death Lawyer
The West Virginia Legislature has enacted specific laws to address wrongful death claims. These laws outline when a claim can be filed and by whom, among other matters:
- WV Code § 55-7-5 sets forth the circumstances under which a claim can be filed;
- WV Code § 55-7-6 designates who can file a claim, the amount of damages allowed, how those damages are distributed, and the time limit to file;
- WV Code § 55-7-7 discusses the authority of the deceased’s personal representative to settle the claim; and
- WV Code §§ 55-7-8 and 55-7-8a outline what happens when a personal injury claim is filed and the individual later dies from the injuries, which involves conversion of the injury claim to a wrongful death claim.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia
According to WV law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is typically responsible for initiating a wrongful death claim. However, if there is no appointed personal representative, the surviving spouse or children may file the claim. In the absence of a spouse or children, the claim may be filed by the deceased’s parents or siblings.
For residents of Logan and the surrounding areas, consulting with a Logan County wrongful death lawyer can help you determine your eligibility and navigate the legal complexities of these cases.
The Timeline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia
It is crucial to be aware of the time limits imposed by the law for filing a wrongful death claim in WV. Generally, the claim must be filed within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. Failing to meet this deadline may result in the claim being dismissed by the court. However, there may be exceptions in certain circumstances, such as cases involving intentional actions or ongoing criminal investigations.
Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable Logan County, WV wrongful death lawyer like Jason Harwood can get your case moving quickly and ensure compliance with these strict deadlines.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in WV
Filing a wrongful death claim in West Virginia requires adherence to specific steps and procedures. Understanding and following these steps can help you navigate the legal process effectively.
1. Gather Documentation and Evidence
Start by gathering all relevant documents and evidence related to the incident causing the wrongful death. This may include medical records, accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and any other supporting evidence. Your Logan County wrongful death lawyer can assist you in gathering and organizing these crucial pieces of information.
2. Consult with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Seeking legal counsel is highly recommended in wrongful death cases. A wrongful death attorney will help evaluate the strength of your claim, provide guidance, and ensure that all necessary legal requirements are met. They will help you navigate through the complex legal procedures while offering support during this challenging time.
3. Initiate the Claim
Once you have consulted with a wrongful death lawyer, they will help you file the wrongful death claim with the appropriate court in West Virginia. Your lawyer will prepare and submit the necessary legal documents on your behalf, ensuring that all requirements are met.
Contact Logan County Wrongful Death Lawyer Jason Harwood
Losing a loved one because of someone else’s actions makes the loss that much harder. By understanding the wrongful death laws in West Virginia and following the proper steps, you can understand how to file a wrongful death claim in WV and seek justice for your loved one’s untimely passing.
Jason Harwood is a Logan County wrongful death lawyer at Harwood Legal, PLLC. He can provide invaluable assistance throughout the process, ensuring your claim is filed correctly and maximizing your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Remember, time is of the essence, so do not hesitate to consult with a skilled attorney to protect your rights and secure justice for your loved one. Contact Jason by calling 304-752-5015 or completing this online contact form now.