Conaway & Conaway PLLC

      Lawyers serving West Virginia for  over 35 years


63 Avenue B

Madison, WV 25130

Phone: (304) 369-0100

Fax: (304) 369-0122



West Virginia Wrongful Discharge and Personal Injury Lawyers



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  Wrongful Death


Normally, a wrongful death is a death caused by another's recklessness, negligence, malpractice, or inaction. A person killed in a mining accident by a roof fall, defective equipment, or an employer's deliberate intent is an example of wrongful death.  A person killed by a drunk driver, or a child that is struck and killed by a careless youthful motorist are also examples of wrongful deaths. In these cases, the families of the deceased can file wrongful death actions on their loved ones' behalf.  These civil lawsuits, are not criminal charges. However, they do help families recover damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, medical costs, and other expenses.


Who can bring a Wrongful Death Action?


Parents, spouses, and children are normally eligible to bring a wrongful death action, however minors may need a guardian to take a wrongful death lawsuit to court. Additionally, other family members - such as stepparents, grandparents, and dependents, may also be permitted to file a wrongful death suit in some states. Almost all immediate family members may bring a wrongful death claim in West Virginia.


Statute of limitations


Every wrongful death lawsuit filed in West Virginia is subject to a statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations limit the amount of time that a person who has lost a loved one to wrongful death has to initiate a lawsuit. In West Virginia family members are generally allowed two years from the time of death to file a claim. If they fail to observe the statutes of limitations, their claims may be barred forever in West Virginia. However, there are exceptions. For example, if the death was originally deemed an accident rather than the result of someone else's negligence or malice, the statute of limitations may be adjusted so that it takes effect when the actual cause was discovered rather than at the time of death.  It is extremely important that you file your wrongful death lawsuit in time.


Beware of Insurance Companies


Insurance companies have a team of adjusters, investigators and attorneys whose goal is to minimize the amount of money that they pay to families of wrongful death victims. Insurance companies will often act quickly, even while the family is still mourning, to settle a wrongful death claim.  Insurance adjusters will try to throw small amounts of money at families of wrongful death victims in order to get them to settle quickly before they consult with an attorney. Insurance companies hope to settle with the family before they can contact a lawyer.  The insurance company knows the quicker they settle with the victim's family the less likely they will hire a lawyer.  Another reason insurance companies want to settle the wrongful death claim fast is so they won't have to spend money on their own lawyer.


Make sure you never settle a wrongful death claim with an insurance adjuster without consulting a lawyer first. In fact we advise our clients to always talk to an attorney before even contacting the adjuster after their loved one has suffered a wrongful death. As shown above insurance companies are not interested in your best interests.  It is common for insurance adjusters to initially offer 1/10 of what a wrongful death claim is actually worth in order to save the insurance company money.  You need a lawyer to look out for your interests, not the insurance companies.


Disclaimer: Please understand that reading the information on this website does not mean that you have received legal advice from  Conaway and Conaway PLLC. Sending us electronic mail does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with  Conaway and Conaway PLLC.  Conaway and Conaway PLLC- Copyright © 2013 – All rights reserved | Charleston WV wrongful discharge lawyer




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Conaway & Conaway PLLC      Lawyers serving West Virginia for  over 35 years