Wrongful Death Lawyers
Any loss of life is tragic, not to mention extremely painful and heart-wrenching. However, when a loved one loses their life due to the wrongful actions, inactions, or negligence of another, the heartbreak can be unimaginable. When that happens, the family of the passed loved on may have a wrongful death case.
While a wrongful death lawyer won’t be able to bring a loved one back to life, a knowledgeable and experienced wrongful death lawyer can help obtain the financial compensation their family deserves. That’s why hiring the right wrongful death lawyer for your family is so important.
GKT’s wrongful death lawyers don’t only know the law and have the experience, they have the compassion and empathy needed to represent grieving loved ones. Our wrongful death lawyers know that this is perhaps the most difficult time of our clients’ lives and work tirelessly to make the process of resolving a wrongful death claim as quickly and painlessly as possible.
If a loved one has been killed by the wrongful actions, inactions, or negligence of another in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, call the wrongful death lawyers at Gold, Khourey & Turak. Our wrongful death lawyers are available at any time by calling (304) 845-9750, by live chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.
About Gold Khourey & Turak Wrongful Death Lawyers
For over 43 years, the people of West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have trusted Gold, Khourey & Turak’s wrongful death lawyers to obtain the compensation they deserve for the loss of their family member. Our wrongful death lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to represent families suffering from the tragic loss of a loved family member.
The truth is, our wrongful death clients aren’t just clients—they’re neighbors and friends. Contact a GKT wrongful death lawyer today to schedule a free consultation today.
What is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case is simply a case where the wrongful actions, inactions, negligence, fault, or default of a person, company, or business results in the death of another person. In essence, a person’s death is wrongfully caused by another person. When a wrongful death occurs, the family of the person killed may be entitled to significant compensation.
Wrongful Death Case Types
In West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, wrongful death cases may be the result of any number of different accidents or circumstances. The following are some of the most common accidents and circumstances that lead to wrongful death cases:
- Car Accidents: we all know that car accidents can cause serious injury. When a person is killed in a car accident, his or her family may have a wrongful death case.
- Truck Accidents: because of their massive size and weight, truck accidents more frequently involve death than other types of accidents. Truck accidents frequently lead to wrongful death cases.
- Motorcycle Accidents: motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents and more serious accidents due to being smaller and less visible than most vehicles on the road. When a motorcycle accidents results in death, a wrongful death case is possible
- Workplace Accidents: work injuries happen more often than people think, especially in blue collar West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Workers that use heavy machinery and equipment are particularly vulnerable to work injuries and, unfortunately, work injuries that result in death. The families of workers killed on the job may have a wrongful death case.
- Medical Malpractice: medical errors that result injuries are surprisingly common. The most serious medical errors result in death of the patient. Many medical malpractice cases include a wrongful death claim.
- Oil and Gas Accidents: though relatively rare, oil and gas well, facilities, and pipeline accidents do happen. Gas well explosions and pipeline explosions have occurred in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and will likely happen in the future. When they do, there is a very significant risk of death than can lead to a wrongful death case.
Who Has a Wrongful Death Case?
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death case. Typically, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is the plaintiff in the wrongful death case. However, the people who may share in any compensation received from a wrongful death case are listed below.
West Virginia – W. Va. Code § 55-7-6
In West Virginia, the following survivors may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death case:
- Husband or wife
- Children, including adopted children and stepchildren
- Brothers and sisters
- Any person who is financially dependent on the person killed
West Virginia law thus permits some flexibility as to who may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death case. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will be able to tell you whether you may be entitled to a share of compensation.
Ohio – R.C. § 2125.02
In Ohio, the following survivors may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death case:
- Husband or wife
- Children, including adopted children
Pennsylvania – 42 Pa. Code § 8301(b)
In Pennsylvania, the following survivors may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death case:
- Husband or wife
- Children, including adopted children
What Compensation is Available for a Wrongful Death Case?
While nothing can bring back a loved one who was killed in an accident, many different types of monetary compensation may be available, including:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Funeral bills and expenses
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium
- Lost wages and lost income
- Mental and emotional anguish and distress
- Loss of services and care
The amount of compensation for any particular wrongful death case depends on the facts and circumstances of the case, especially particular facts about the person who was killed.
For instance, lost wages and lost income are commonly the most significant source of compensation in a wrongful death case. A person making $75,000 per year will have more in lost wages and income than a person making $40,000 per year. However, if the person making $75,000 per year is 60 years old and set to retire soon, he or she will have less in lost wages and income if the person making $40,000 per year is 20 years away from retirement.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer can make sure that all sources of wrongful death compensation are explored so that the family left behind receives what they are owed. Contact a wrongful death lawyer at GKT today to learn more.
Who is Responsible for Paying Wrongful Death Compensation?
Any person, company, or business that wrongfully acts, fails to act, or acts negligently and causes the death of another person may be responsible for paying wrongful death compensation. The focus is on who or what (in the case of a company or business) performed the wrongful act that caused death.
Companies and business may be responsible for paying wrongful death compensation under certain circumstances. One such circumstance is what is referred to as “vicarious liability.” In the simplest terms, this legal doctrine means that a company or business is legally responsible for the actions or inactions of its employees when that employee is performing his or her job. Thus, if an oil and gas truck driver is driving recklessly and causes an accident leading to the loss of a life, not only is the truck driver potentially responsible but the oil and gas company and the owner of the truck.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer will make sure to investigate all possible persons and companies, businesses, etc. that may share some responsibility for paying wrongful death compensation. That ensures that the surviving family receives the compensation they’re due for their loved one’s passing.
Am I Entitled to Wrongful Death Compensation?
Determining whether a person is entitled to wrongful death compensation is not a simple task. A person may be entitled to wrongful death compensation f they answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Are you the husband, wife, child, stepchild, adopted child, brother, sister, or parent of a person killed in an accident or other “wrongful” event?
- Was the person killed due to the wrongful action, inaction, negligence, or default of another person, company, or business?
If you answer “yes” to both of these questions, it’s a good idea to contact a reputable wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you don’t, it is still a good idea to contact a wrongful death lawyer to be 100% certain of your rights.
What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?
- Listen and Learn: the first thing a good wrongful death lawyer will typically do is listen and learn—listen to you and not only learn about the accident but about you and your family. He or she will be compassionate and take all the time necessary in this time of need.
- Investigate: once a wrongful death lawyer has met the family and gathered the facts, he or she will likely begin an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the evidence. Can a case be made that another person’s wrongful acts, inactions, or negligence caused this death? A good wrongful death lawyer will obtain police reports or accident reports, contact and interview witnesses, investigate possible defendants and insurance issues, and reach out to experts to help start building a case.
- Preserve Evidence: evidence may “disappear” if it’s not preserved. That’s why a skilled wrongful death lawyer will take any and all actions necessary to preserve important evidence. Usually, this is done by means of a letter to preserve evidence and is one of the most important reasons to call a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
- Negotiate: once a wrongful death lawyer has a firm grasp of the case, he or she will likely contact any insurance companies at issue. A good wrongful death lawyer will almost always explore settlement negotiations without filing a lawsuit. A reputable wrongful death lawyer will always keep their client informed of settlement negotiations and will not make any offers to settle without receiving authorization from their client.
- File a Lawsuit: in the event that a settlement is not reached, a wrongful death lawyer must be prepared to file a lawsuit. A reputable wrongful death lawyer will not simply seek a quick and easy settlement and avoid filing a lawsuit. Again, a wrongful death lawyers should already be well-versed in the facts by this point and know the case’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Litigate Vigorously: while many lawyers will file a lawsuit in the hope of an easy settlement, a knowledgeable and experienced wrongful death lawyer fights tirelessly to obtain the maximum amount of compensation due. That means preparing for all wrongful death cases as if they will end up at a trial, and be well-prepared if it does.
How Much Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Cost?
Most wrongful death lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that the wrongful death lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the total amount received at trial or by settlement. There should not be any upfront costs or any retainer fees.
Wrongful death cases often involve significant expenses for expert witnesses, among other things. Expenses can very easily run into five figures. When contacting a wrongful death lawyer, make sure to ask whether the costs for expenses will be advanced and whether the client is required to pay back those expenses if the case is lost.
GKT’s wrongful death lawyers advance wrongful death case expenses and are only reimbursed if they obtain compensation at trial or by settlement.
When Should I Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
In the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s passing, there is a great deal of sorrow, grief, and confusion. Of course, no one’s first thought or instinct is to call a wrongful death lawyer. However, it is extremely important that a wrongful death lawyer is contacted as soon as possible. The most important reasons include the following:
- Statute of Limitation: the statute of limitations is the time in which a lawsuit must be filed. If the time period expires, the lawsuit cannot be filed. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania is 2 years. However, a wrongful death lawyer needs a great deal of time to adequately investigate and prepare a wrongful death lawsuit. Waiting until the last possible minute to file a wrongful death lawsuit is a recipe for disaster.
- “Disappearing” Evidence: a wrongful death lawyer should take immediate actions to ensure that any evidence that could be helpful to the case is preserved. Waiting to hire a wrongful death lawyer could result in the loss of crucial evidence needed to win the case.
- Peace of Mind: the sooner a wrongful death lawyer is involved, the sooner the family can get back to what is most important—taking care of each other in a difficult time. A wrongful death lawyer can provide peace of mind about the legal aspects of the accident and deal with insurance companies.
If you believe you have a wrongful death case, it’s never too early to call a lawyer. Contact the wrongful death lawyers 24/7 at GKT.com.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Get Results
A consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers is always free. GKT’s wrongful death lawyers are available to discuss your case 24/7, 365 days a year. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. That means that we don’t charge a fee unless we obtain compensation for you. If you think you have a wrongful death case, we are here to help.
Contact us by calling (304) 845-9750, by live chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.