The strength it takes to deal with the fallout of a loved one dying from a traumatic injury is, for most people, unimaginable. The emotional trauma may be especially deep if you know that someone’s negligent actions were responsible. Whether from a car wreck, poor property maintenance, or other circumstances, a sudden avoidable loss of your family member makes it difficult to know what to do next.

An experienced personal injury attorney will help you navigate this difficult process. Drew Palcsik at Champlain Valley Law will assist you in preparing a claim and, if necessary, filing a civil action against the responsible party. A consultation with a Middlebury wrongful death lawyer will provide you with clarity on how to seek justice for your family member.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

Title 14 V.S.A. Section 1491 defines a wrongful death claim in Middlebury. According to the statute, a Middlebury wrongful death attorney may pursue a claim for any death resulting from wrongful acts, neglect, or default of another person or entity.

It is helpful to think of a wrongful death lawsuit as a personal injury claim that the deceased person had the right to bring had they survived. Cutting off a viable injury claim because those injuries proved fatal would be unjust, which is why state law allows another person to take up the claim.

The Right to File Suit

If a loved one is killed in a fatal accident, their surviving estate may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, in the State of Vermont, only certain family members of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

According to 14 V.S.A. Section 1492, only the personal representative of the estate may bring an action for wrongful death. Often, a person’s will or estate plan will nominate a personal representative to handle their affairs. When a will fails to specify a personal representative or that person cannot fulfill the role, the court has the power to appoint someone else. It is best to speak to a compassionate Middlebury wrongful death attorney to discuss your rights and legal options to filing a claim.

What is the Deadline to File a Claim in Middlebury?

The statute of limitations sets a time limit for the filing of any legal claim. This time limit varies depending on the type of case in question. For wrongful death claims, you must typically file suit within two years of the date of death.

This deadline could be extended if the responsible party faces criminal prosecution. In that case, you and your family have either two years from the date of a criminal conviction or seven years following the date the criminal charges are filed, whichever is later.

Work with a Middlebury Wrongful Death Attorney

If your loved one was killed due to the negligent actions of another, you are entitled to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Drew Palcsik has years of experience helping families seek justice for their loved ones. Let a Middlebury wrongful death lawyer help your case. You do not need to handle your case alone. Our legal team will handle the legal elements of your case while you and your family grieve. When you and your family are ready, call Champlain Valley Law.