When our loved ones get older, we often opt to check them into a nursing home. Nursing homes are supposed to provide around the clock care for their patients. However, unfortunately this is not always the case — staff members may neglect their duties or abuse their position. In the state of Virginia, investigating abuse in the nursing home necessitates certain steps.
In the state of Virginia, a wrongful death is considered to be any death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another party. In other words, had the victim lived, the accident would’ve been treated as a personal injury case. Thus, it can be thought as a personal injury claim with one caveat — the injured person is being represented by a statutory beneficiary, as they are no longer able to bring their own case to court.
Who May File?
A wrongful death claim in Virginia may be filed by one or more of the “statutory beneficiaries,” according to Virginia Code section 8.01-53. These statutory beneficiaries include the following people related to the deceased:
- Surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren
- Surviving parents and siblings
- Surviving family member entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate
Any of the aforementioned family members may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. However, if multiple family members each wish to file a claim, a special wrongful death claim order entails.
Wrongful Death Damages
In a wrongful death claim, damages may be awarded for a variety of aspects. According to Virginia Code section 8.01-52, damages may include, but are not limited to compensation for the following:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of the deceased’s care
- Lost wages and benefits
- Medical expenses
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages
Although these damages can never replace the life of a deceased loved one, they can aid with any potential financial turmoil caused by an unforeseen death. Further, they can be punitive to the individual or company that was responsible for the tragedy.
Contact A Wrongful Death Attorney
If you believe a loved one was the victim of wrongful death in a nursing home, it is important to seek the proper legal guidance. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you pursue the proper course of action and tirelessly fight for and represent your loved one in court. Contact a wrongful death attorney about your case today.