Virgin Islands Wrongful Death Attorneys
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In life, nothing is more difficult than the sudden loss of a loved one. Sadly, many people pass away due to tragic accidents and catastrophic events they have no control over. All too often, these incidents occur because of the careless, reckless, or negligent conduct of others. When this is the case, surviving family members and loved ones can seek justice by taking legal action.
At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we know that nothing can ever make up for your loss. However, a successful wrongful death lawsuit allows you to recover critical monetary resources to aid with unexpected costs and other hardships associated with your loved one’s death. Our Virgin Islands wrongful death attorneys can help you navigate the legal process, all while protecting your rights and providing the compassionate, personalized representation you need during this incredibly difficult time.
What Is Considered a “Wrongful Death?”
The law defines a “wrongful death” as “the death of a person… caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters.” It goes on to specify that a wrongful death action may be brought on behalf of the person who died (known as the decedent) when “the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.” In other words, if the decedent would have had legal grounds to file a personal injury claim had they lived, their death is considered “wrongful.”
Wrongful death claims often arise from the following types of incidents:
- Negligence-based acts, such as car and truck accidents
- Unsafe property conditions, leading to slip and falls and other accidents
- Malpractice, including medical malpractice
- Recreational accidents, such as boating accidents
- Accidents caused by defective products
- Intentional conduct, including assault and other acts of violence
If your loved one passed away after suffering a serious injury or illness, and you believe someone else is to blame, reach out to our team at Fischer Redavid PLLC. We can review your case at no cost and help you understand the next steps.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the law states that the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must be the one to file the wrongful death claim. However, though the personal representative must be the one to actually file the claim, they do so on behalf of certain eligible survivors, as well as the estate itself.
Potential beneficiaries include the decedent’s surviving:
At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we help personal representatives and survivors navigate the Virgin Islands’ wrongful death statute. Our goal is to help you seek the justice you and your family deserve, while simultaneously working to hold the liable party accountable for the tragedy they have caused.
Who Is Liable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Determining who is liable for a wrongful death can be challenging without the help of a skilled attorney. Depending on the type of case you have, many different parties could be partly or entirely responsible for your ensuing damages.
In negligence-based claims, the person or party who directly or indirectly caused the death is typically the one liable for the survivors’ damages. For example, if someone caused a fatal car accident because they were driving drunk, they would typically be legally responsible for the economic and noneconomic losses experienced by the deceased victim’s surviving family members and loved ones.
In other types of cases, however, the at-fault party may not be the liable party. For example, if a doctor failed to correctly diagnose a patient’s illness, leading to the patient’s death, the hospital or medical facility that employed the doctor could be liable. If someone was killed in an accident resulting from a defective product, the manufacturer could be liable; if a tourist died while on a private boating expedition, the company that owns the boat or employs the crew could be responsible.
It is extremely important that you work with an experienced wrongful death attorney, like those at Fischer Redavid PLLC. Our team can review all available evidence to determine what happened and, most importantly, who is legally responsible for your resulting damages.
When a wrongful death occurs in the Virgin Islands, eligible survivors may seek compensation for certain losses they have suffered as a result of the death. While no amount of financial recovery can ever “compensate” you for the tragic passing of your loved one, a wrongful death settlement or verdict can help offset some of the costly and unexpected consequences associated with your family member’s death.
Some examples of available damages in Virgin Islands wrongful death claims include:
- Medical and funeral/burial expenses
- Lost support and services, with interest
- Future loss of support and services
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction
Additionally, the estate itself may recover compensation for loss of earnings the decedent would have reasonably earned from the date of injury to the date of death, with interest. Loss of net accumulations extending from the date of death, reduced to present value, may also be available when the survivors include a spouse or heirs. The estate can also recover for medical and funeral expenses paid by the estate in relation to the decedent’s final treatment and care.
In certain cases, punitive damages may also be available. Sometimes referred to as “exemplary damages,” punitive damages are meant to punish defendants who are found to have acted with gross negligence, wanton or willful disregard for human safety, and/or intent to inflict violence or injury upon another.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in the Virgin Islands?
Wrongful death lawsuits in the U.S. Virgin Islands are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that, in most cases, you have just two years from the date of death (not necessarily the date of injury or negligent conduct) to file a lawsuit.
At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we recommend that you act quickly. Over time, important evidence can be lost, memories can fade, and proving a wrongful death case can become increasingly difficult. The sooner you contact our Virgin Islands wrongful death lawyers, the sooner we can begin investigating your case, gathering critical evidence, and developing innovative legal strategies aimed at maximizing your recovery.
If someone you love tragically passed away due to an accident, traumatic event, or act of violence by another, you deserve justice. Our team understands what you and your family are going through—and we want to help.
Right now, your focus should be on spending time with your loved ones and healing together; you shouldn’t have to worry about fighting with the insurance company for a fair settlement. Instead, allow the team at Fischer Redavid PLLC to advocate for you and the justice your family deserves.
We are here to help you with every aspect of the legal process, from putting together a strong case to communicating with the insurance company so that you don’t have to. Our attorneys have decades of experience and a long, proven track record of success, having recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We genuinely care about the people we serve, which is why we provide highly compassionate and personalized legal services.