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Do You Need a Morgantown, WV Wrongful Death Attorney?

Submitted by on Thu, 19/12/19 - 01:54

Losing a loved one is always a difficult part of life. These losses can be even harder to accept when the death occurs as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence

When this happens in West Virginia (WV), WV wrongful death liability laws provide for compensation from the party at fault to the affected family members. Although no amount of money can replace your loved one, a Morgantown, WV wrongful death attorney from the firm of Allan N. Karlin & Associates PLLC can help your family receive full compensation as part of a WV wrongful death settlement or award.

 

Determining Fault in Wrongful Death Cases: How a Morgantown, WV Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

 

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that alleges that a death resulted from the actions or inactions of another person, persons, or entity (such as a business or organization). Those family members negatively impacted by the death are entitled to compensation for financial losses and emotional distress under WV law.

 

First, however, the surviving loved ones must prove fault. It is wise to seek an experienced attorney who can assist you in determining fault in wrongful death cases. Your lawyer must also be skilled in gathering and presenting the facts of the case to the court in a convincing manner.

 

Causes of Death that Warrant a WV Wrongful Death Settlement or Lawsuit

 

Under WV law, a lawsuit may be filed for wrongful death when an individual dies of injuries that would have warranted compensation from an at-fault party if death had not occurred. Common causes of wrongful death in WV include the following:

 

An image of “wrongful death” on a document, representing how a Morgantown, WV wrongful death attorney from Allan N. Karlin & Associates can help families whose loved ones died as a result of wrongdoing or neglect.

·         Work-related incidents where the employee was required to work under unsafe conditions;

·         Medical malpractice or negligence;

·         Vehicle accidents (cars, trucks, and motorcycles);

·         Accidents involving driving under the influence (DUI);

·         Nursing home abuse;

·         Incidents related to hazardous waste or other harmful exposures; and 

·         Criminal acts.

 

This is not a comprehensive list of the potential incidents that can cause death and result in a WV wrongful death settlement or award. If you are unsure about your case and need help determining fault in wrongful death cases, a Morgantown, WV wrongful death attorney from our law firm can discuss the details of your case with you and help you establish the best path forward.

 

Determining Fault in Wrongful Death Cases

 

Determining fault in wrongful death cases is a vital step in the legal process. Wrongful death claims are filed by the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased, who can be anyone who qualifies and is appointed by the county commission in the county where the deceased lived. Accurately identifying the person, persons, or entity that caused the death is a critical early step.

 

Showing the nature of the cause of death is necessary for any recovery. However, there are limitations. For example, if the person was killed in the act of or as a result of committing a felony, the estate and family are not entitled to a WV wrongful death settlement or award. This is one of several limitations placed on WV wrongful death claims.

 

What Is Modified Comparative Fault?

 

WV uses a modified comparative fault standard when determining fault in wrongful death cases. This has multiple implications for families alleging WV wrongful death liability. First, the deceased individual cannot be more than 50 percent at fault in the incident causing death. If the court or jury finds the person was more than 50 percent at fault in wrongful death cases, a WV wrongful death award will not be granted.

 

Second, if the decedent was less than 50 percent responsible for the incident that led to his or her death, the percentage of fault corresponds directly to the amount of compensation for which the estate is eligible. For example, if a deceased person is determined to have been 20 percent at fault and another person 80 percent at fault for an accident, a WV wrongful death award would be reduced by 20 percent in court.

 

Finally, if multiple individuals or entities are found to be at fault in a wrongful death case—even if a party or parties is not specifically named in the claim—the resulting WV wrongful death settlement or judgment is divided among those parties based on the liability of each.

 

Unsure about WV Wrongful Death Liability? Consult with a Morgantown, WV Wrongful Death Attorney

 

Wrongful death cases require quick action to evaluate and investigate followed by steadfast commitment to see the case through to completion. When you have lost a loved one, this process can be overwhelming.

 

You can trust that a Morgantown, WV wrongful death attorney from Allan N. Karlin & Associates PLLC will provide the compassionate and dependable service you need. Contact our office today by calling 304-296-8266 or 800-540-2159, or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.