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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Pedestrian Accident / Filing a Wrongful Death Case After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident

Filing a Wrongful Death Case After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident


Serious pedestrian accidents and injuries are much too common in the Richmond area, and pedestrians frequently sustain fatal injuries when they are involved in collisions with automobiles. Fatalities are especially common when motorists are traveling at high speeds. Yet even when vehicles are traveling at relatively slower speeds, a collision with a pedestrian can result in debilitating and deadly injuries. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, pedestrian crashes have increased in recent years, and in 2022, there were a total of 1,476 reported pedestrian crashes in the state. A total of 171 pedestrians were killed in those crashes, all involving motor vehicles. A total of 450 pedestrians were reported as being “seriously injured,” and a high rate of those collisions occurred in urban areas including Richmond.

While it can be extremely difficult to consider the possibility of going through a lawsuit after someone you love has been killed in a pedestrian collision involving a motorist, it is important to know that a wrongful death claim can not only help to provide you with the financial help you need at this difficult time, but it can also provide a way to hold the negligent motorist accountable for the tremendous loss they are responsible for causing. Our Richmond pedestrian accident lawyers can tell you more about how to file a wrongful death claim.

Determine Whether the Pedestrian Accident Was a Wrongful Death 

The first step in filing a wrongful death case is to determine whether the fatal pedestrian accident is likely to be considered a wrongful death. In short, any fatal injury for which the injured person would have been eligible to file a claim had they lived — for example, where negligence caused the injury, or intentionally harmful actions caused the injury — may be eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawyer can assess your case to confirm.

Understand Whether You Are Eligible to File the Wrongful Death Lawsuit 

Next, you will need to determine who can file a wrongful death claim for the pedestrian accident, and whether or not you are eligible to file this lawsuit. Under Virginia law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the only party who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The “personal representative” is another term for the executor of the estate. Regardless of whether or not you are the executor of the deceased pedestrian’s estate, Virginia law still may allow you to recover damages.

Under Virginia law, a surviving spouse, child, or grandchildren can be eligible to recover damages. If none of those people are surviving, then damages can be awarded according to Virginia intestacy law.

Ensure the Claim is Filed On Time 

Virginia law requires all wrongful death claims, including claims arising out of fatal pedestrian accidents, to be filed within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. Whether the death was immediate at the time of the collision, or weeks or even months later when the pedestrian succumbed to their injuries, the claim must be filed within two years from that date.

Contact a Richmond Pedestrian Injury Lawyer Today 

Do you have questions or need assistance with a wrongful death claim following a pedestrian accident? One of the experienced Richmond pedestrian accident attorneys at our firm can help, and we can speak with you today about getting started on a lawsuit.




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