Who can file a wrongful death claim in West Virginia?

If someone you love was killed due to another person or company's negligence, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. These civil lawsuits allow plaintiffs to seek compensation for losses they sustained as a result of their loved one's untimely death, as well as for the damages the victim suffered prior to dying. 

West Virginia wrongful death lawsuitExamples of common damages awarded in West Virginia wrongful death cases include:

  • Medical expenses related to the victim's final injury or illness
  • Reasonable funeral and burial fees
  • Property damage repair or replacement costs 
  • Compensation for the victim's lost wages and benefits
  • Surviving family members' sorrow and mental anguish
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and support 

However, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in West Virginia. That's because state law restricts that right to just one person: the personal representative of the victim's estate. A personal representative is often named in the victim's will. If there isn't a will or an executor isn't specified, a surviving spouse or another family member can apply to be appointed to the role.

The executor represents the interests of the estate and surviving family members in the wrongful death case. If the lawsuit is successful, the victim's surviving spouse, children (including stepchildren and adopted children), parents, siblings, and other financially dependent relatives are entitled to a share of the settlement or monetary award.

Consult an Experienced Elkins, West Virginia Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Claim

Considering taking legal action after the negligence-related death of a loved one? If you're the executor of the victim's estate, attorney William “Ty” Nestor can review the details of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options for compensation. 

Call the Nestor Law Office now to schedule an appointment for a free, initial case consultation. Don't wait—the state's statute of limitations laws restrict how long you have to file your case.