Legal options in West Virginia’s wrongful death law: recent changes

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2023 | Wrongful Death Auto Accidents |

If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death auto accident in West Virginia, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your loss. Under West Virginia law, wrongful death is caused by the negligence, recklessness or intentional act of another person or entity.

Entitlements under the law

Only certain family members of the deceased person are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in West Virginia. These family members include the deceased person’s spouse, children and parents.

It’s worth noting that the recovery of damages in a wrongful death auto accident lawsuit in West Virginia include medical and funeral expenses, lost income and future earnings and loss of companionship and support. However, the wrongful death claim filing must happen within two years of the date of death.

New developments in West Virginia’s wrongful death law

In recent years, West Virginia’s wrongful death law has undergone changes that may impact your case. One significant change is the introduction of the comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, a person can still recover damages in a wrongful death case, even if the deceased person was partially at fault for the accident. However, there is a reduction in damages in proportion to the degree of responsibility assigned to the deceased person.

Another significant development is the recent Supreme Court decision that clarified that damages in a wrongful death case can occur for emotional harm to the deceased person’s family. This means that damages can be given for the loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance and advice that the deceased person provided to their family members.

Seeking justice

Pursuing a wrongful death claim can be a complex and emotionally difficult process. However, you can seek justice for your loved one in court and provide for your family’s financial and emotional needs.