Wrongful death claims in a personal injury context

When a loved one dies due to old age or a prolonged illness, their survivors will certainly grieve, but may also understand that death is a part of life and their loved one's passing was nobody's fault. However, if a person in West Virginia or Kentucky dies due to another person's negligent act or misconduct, their loved ones' grief will be amplified, especially considering that such deaths could have been avoided had the responsible party not behaved negligently. When this happens, the victim's survivors may want to pursue a personal injury claim known as a "wrongful death" suit.

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit. Unlike criminal trials where guilt must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt," in a wrongful death claim the defendant's fault only needs to be proven "by a preponderance of the evidence." Thus, even a person who was found "not guilty" in a criminal trial still could be held responsible in a wrongful death suit based on the same death.

To succeed in a wrongful death claim, certain elements must be proven. First, there must be the death of a human being. Second, that death must have been caused by another person either intentionally or negligently. The victim's survivors must have suffered financial damages due to their loved one's death. Finally, in general wrongful death claims are brought be a personal representative of the decedent's estate.

This basic overview of wrongful death claims may be useful to those who have lost a loved one due to the actions of another. However, this post does not provide the legal advice necessary to bring a wrongful death claim. Those who need more information on this topic and how it applies to them should seek the professional guidance they need to determine how to proceed.

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Jon has received several honors for his work by his peers and the legal community.

One Of America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys: In 2019, Jon D. Hoover was selected among America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys. Attorneys must be invited for selection. Invitations are reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional litigators for high-value personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice matters. With high standards for selection, less than 0.5 percent of active attorneys in the United States receive this honor.

  • America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys 2019 Top 100
  • Nation’s Premier Top Ten Attorney Personal Injury | NAOPIA
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • National academy of family law attorneys | NAFLA
  • Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Peer Rated For High Professional Achievement
  • American academy of trial attorneys | AATA | Premier 100
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars
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