Coping with a loved one’s death may be the most difficult thing a Virginia resident will ever have to go through. When a family member is killed by someone else’s recklessness or negligence, the grief, confusion and anger can seem insurmountable. The legal system, however, offers surviving families a way to seek accountability in civil court, but this can be an overwhelming task without legal assistance.

Since demonstrating negligence requires discovering the cause or causes of fatal car accidents, surviving family members must take on this task following a deadly wreck. While official police reports are instrumental, sometimes an independent investigation is needed to round-out the overall review of what happened. A Virginia accident attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases can provide a family with the experience and legal know-how to put their minds at ease.

In addition to uncovering the real cause of an accident, a wrongful death action must meet several important elements. In order for a wrongful death suit to be successful in civil court, there must have been a death that was caused by another person’s negligence, or possibly with some intent to harm another. Moreover, there must have been some harm or damage caused by that death, be it medical expenses, funeral expenses or emotional pain and suffering.

The wrongful death lawsuit is aimed at making a surviving family or estate “whole” again after an unexpected death. This doesn’t mean the grief can be overcome, but rather that a negligent party is held accountable in court. Without a wrongful death suit, the negligent party may be able to move forward with his or her life while the family of the deceased suffers emotionally and financially.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful death overview,” accessed Aug. 30, 2014