The wrongful death of a loved one can cause pain and grief that ripple through a close circle of family and friends. However, Virginia law dictates who is entitled to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one and how damages can be distributed. Scenarios are different depending on each family:
- First, the spouse, children, and – in cases where your loved one’s child preceded him or her in death – grandchildren are entitled to pursue compensation.
- If there is no spouse or children, a wrongful death claim could be filed by the parents, siblings, and any other relative who was primarily dependent on the lost loved one and was living with the person.
- If your loved one had no children or grandchildren, a surviving spouse and surviving parents would both be entitled to seek damages.
- If your loved one had no immediate family members, Virginia law outlines the line of kin who could file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one.