Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer

Don’t hesitate to call Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers after losing a family member in a fatal accident in Charleston, West Virginia. You may be entitled to compensation for your tragic loss, and our Charleston wrongful death lawyers can help you maximize your recovery.

Since 2007, grieving families have trusted Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers to help them get justice after fatal accidents in Charleston. We’re award-winning litigators with over 71 years of experience and an unrivaled ability to win tough cases. Our case results speak volumes, with hundreds of millions in damages recovered.

Ready to get started? Contact our law office in Charleston, WV, today at (304) 720 1000 to set up a time for your free case evaluation.

How Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Family After a Fatal Accident in Charleston, WV

How Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Family After a Fatal Accident in Charleston, WV

What caused your loved one’s fatal accident? Who’s responsible for your gut-wrenching loss? What happens if your family member is blamed – in whole or in part – for the accident that caused their death? How much should you expect to recover from an insurance company? 

Don’t stress about finding answers to these questions right now. Take the time you need to grieve, and trust our personal injury Lawyers in Charleston, WV, to be your most passionate advocates as we pursue justice on your behalf.

When you choose Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers, three top-rated West Virginia trial attorneys invest in your story, case, and future. Through client-driven legal strategies, we’ve won hundreds of millions for our clients. Now, we’re here to make the most of your fight for compensation, too.

You’ll be able to count on us to:

  • Launch a timely investigation into your family member’s fatal accident and resulting death
  • Gather key pieces of evidence through our inquiry and throughout the discovery process
  • Enlist qualified expert witnesses to offer testimony in support of your case
  • Calculate what your wrongful death case is worth
  • Represent your family throughout the entire legal process, including settlement negotiations with the insurance company and other defendants
  • Bring your family’s wrongful death lawsuit to a Kanawha County jury, if necessary

Ask for our help and we’ll do everything we can. Since we work on contingency, it will cost nothing to hire our wrongful death attorneys in Charleston unless we win compensation for your case. Now’s the time to get started, so reach out to our law office to set a time for your free case evaluation now.

How Does West Virginia Define Wrongful Death?

Under West Virginia’s wrongful death statute, wrongful death is defined as a death “caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default” that, if it hadn’t been fatal, would “ have entitled the party injured to maintain an action to recover damages.”

In other words, wrongful death lawsuits essentially transfer the right of litigation from the decedent (a person killed in an accident or as the result of a criminal act) to another party.

If you’ve recently suffered the unexpected and untimely death of someone you love, you may have the right to benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Charleston?

Almost any accident or act of violence has the potential to be fatal.

At Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have over 71 years of collective experience representing families in all types of wrongful death cases, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Mass transit accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Toxic exposure
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Birth injury
  • Accidents involving defective products

Don’t underestimate what a difference experience can make as you pursue compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death. Learn more about our seven-plus decades of legal experience and discover how we can make a difference in your life by calling our Charleston, WV, law office today.

Can Families File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?

Not unless a family member is recognized as the victim’s personal representative. While some states provide spouses, children, parents, and other family members with the right to initiate wrongful death claims, in West Virginia, this right belongs to the estate.

Specifically, the personal representative – who is named in the victim’s will or appointed by a court – has the power to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Damages recovered by a wrongful death case are distributed to the victim’s surviving family members. A jury has the power to decide how a fair and just award of damages should be awarded to the victim’s:

  • Spouse
  • Children, including adopted children and stepchildren
  • Siblings
  • Parents

Additionally, anyone who was financially dependent on the victim or who would “otherwise be equitably entitled to share in such distribution” can receive a share of the damages recovered in a wrongful death case.

What Damages Can Be Awarded in a Charleston Wrongful Death Case?

First, it’s important to understand that while a wrongful death case is a matter of personal injury, it differs from other types of personal injury cases in many ways.

One of the biggest differences involves damages.

Personal injury lawsuits are designed to help victims recover compensation for injuries and losses they’ve suffered because of an accident. Wrongful death lawsuits, on the other hand, are intended to help families recover compensation for their losses resulting from a loved one’s death. As a result, the damages that can be awarded differ.

West Virginia allows plaintiffs in wrongful death actions to seek both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages can help to offset the financial consequences of a person’s death, such as:

  • Reasonably expected loss of income
  • The value of household services, protection, care, and assistance provided by the victim
  • Medical bills and related expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death
  • Costs of the victim’s funeral

Non-economic damages are intended to help families cope with harder-to-value struggles they experience in the wake of their loss, including:

  • Sorrow
  • Mental anguish
  • Solace
  • Loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice

If a wrongful death lawsuit moves forward to trial, punitive damages can also be awarded by a jury. In these situations, a jury would have to agree that there’s convincing evidence that the defendant displayed “actual malice” or “a conscious, reckless and outrageous indifference to the health, safety and welfare of others.” 

While there aren’t caps on economic and non-economic awards, punitive damages are limited to four times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

How Will Allegations of Shared Fault Affect a West Virginia Wrongful Death Settlement?

West Virginia’s modified comparative negligence statute applies to all civil personal injury cases – including matters of wrongful death.

In wrongful death cases, a victim’s shared fault is a factor when determining damages. Under the state’s law, damages will be prohibited if your family member shares 51 percent or more responsibility for their fatal accident. 

You can recover a limited monetary award if their liability is equal to or less than 50 percent.

Damages are reduced proportionately, so sharing 10 percent of the blame would result in a 10 percent reduction in a wrongful death settlement or jury award.

Our wrongful death lawyers in Charleston will fight back against any claims of contributory fault, especially if they’re made without anything to back them up. We’ll defend your loved one’s good name and work to make sure that your right to get compensation is protected.

What Is West Virginia’s Time Limit for Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Once a victim dies from injuries sustained in a Charleston accident, the estate will have up to two years to formally bring a wrongful death action.

The wrongful death claim must be filed within this two-year statute of limitations. If you miss the filing deadline, your family will lose the opportunity to demand justice for your loss. 

However, exceptions to the statute of limitations could change the exact time limit for your case. Contact our attorneys as soon as you can for legal help. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer

Have you lost a close family member because of another person’s negligence in Charleston, West Virginia? Now is the time to call Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers. Our Charleston wrongful death lawyers want to help you move forward and work toward a life-changing monetary award.

Money won’t bring your family member back. However, it can make a difficult time a bit easier to navigate. Our personal injury law firm has helped victims and families win hundreds of millions in damages. Let us take on the insurance company, government agency, or corporation you’re up against and get justice for you, too.

Your first case evaluation is free, so contact our Charleston law office to get started now. We’re always available to take your call – 24/7/365.