At Goddard Law , we know losing a loved one before their time is a tragic experience.

When the death of your loved one resulted from the careless, negligent, or even reckless acts of someone else, it can make the loss even harder to deal with.

Our staff of experienced wrongful death attorneys know West Virginia law and we can get you the help you need.

A wrongful death lawsuit will hold the other person or party legally responsible. The victim’s loved ones may be able to recover compensation to assist them financially.

Most importantly, the victim’s loved ones can obtain some sense of closure and satisfaction knowing the justice was served.    

In essence, a wrongful death case can be thought of as a personal injury lawsuit that the statutory beneficiaries file because the decedent is incapable of bringing about his or her own suit. 

Our Morgantown and Clarksburg, West Virginia attorneys have over 20 years of experience assisting families bring their wrongful death claims to court.

Our law firm will fight for the full compensation and damages loved ones deserve for their immeasurable loss, while ensuring that the liable party is held accountable.


To find out how we can help you with your personal injury case, contact us online

or by calling (304) 933-1411. We offer free, confidential case evaluations.

Wrongful Death Laws in the State of West Virginia

The right for a West Virginia resident to file and obtain compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is defined under West Virginia State Code Chapter 55, Article 7, Sections 5-8.

The code necessitates that the personal representative of the decedent has to file a wrongful death claim. The administrator of the decedent’s estate may be considered the personal representative.  

The following family members can receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Surviving spouse;
  • Children (which can include both adopted and stepchildren);
  • Grandchildren;
  • Brothers and sisters;
  • Mother and father; and
  • Any other financial dependents.

In cases in which no surviving family members qualify to receive damages, the compensation obtained would be distributed in accordance with the will of the decedent.

When no will is in existence, the intestacy laws will determine the manner in which the compensation is distributed.

The Key Components of Wrongful Death Cases in West Virginia

When negligent, reckless, deliberate, or even illegal conduct of another party brings about a death, it creates the first component.

Negligence can be considered another party’s failure to act in a way that a rationally careful party would have acted in a comparable situation.

To show negligence, an attorney must demonstrate that the party had a duty of care to the person who was killed.   

That party’s act or failure to act breached the standard of care, and the death of a loved one was the direct or proximate cause that party’s wrongful actions. 

Finally, it should be shown that the death resulted in damages.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Our Morgantown wrongful death lawyer deals with cases stemming from a variety of fatal personal injury accidents consisting of, but not limited to the below:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Accidents involving drinking and driving
  • Truck accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective or hazardous medication or products
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse
  • Oil and gas injuries

If your loved one died as a result of an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, our wrongful death legal team can provide assistance.

What Damages Can Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in West Virginia

Even though a lawsuit and compensation cannot bring a deceased loved one back to life, it can greatly help family members and loved ones recover financially.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, loved ones may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit can include any of the following:

  • Funeral and other burial related expenses: Burial expenses can be costly, typically costing the family thousands of dollars.
  • Pain and Suffering: After losing a loved one, family members often incur a lot of grief and mental anguish.
  • Loss of support: When family members lose a spouse or parent, they give up all the irreplaceable benefits that the relationship bestowed upon them  
  • Loss of the decedent’s wages: Family members can be compensated for the amount of money that the decedent would have earned in the future had they not died.   
  • Loss of consortium: The decedent can no longer provide her or her spouse or loved ones with companionship, love, intimacy, companionship, or comfort.
  • Medical expenses: This includes all of the expenses of medical treatment from the time of the injury until the decedent’s death.

In some circumstances, when one of the parties acted with recklessness gross negligence, punitive damages may be available. Punitive damages are awarded by the court, particularly when it is determined that the defendant’s behavior was intentional or malicious. These types of damages are granted in conjunction with the above compensatory damages.

The main objective of punitive damages is to penalize the wrongful party and discourage others from taking part in similar conduct.

In a wrongful death lawsuit accurately calculating the damages is an extremely complicated task, which usually necessitates the help of forensic economists and various other experts.

Are You Looking to Hire a Experienced, West Virginia Wrongful Death Law Firm?

David Goddard founded Goddard Law in 2012. Our personal injury law firm understands and sympathizes with your great loss.

Consulting with a highly skilled wrongful death lawyer can assist you in determining your next steps. Our firm is extremely skilled in the art of negotiation and can significantly increase your chances of favorably settling your case.

After a boy died as a result of a summer camp accident, we received a wrongful death settlement of more than $1.8 million on behalf of the victim’s family.

We negotiated a wrongful death settlement, on behalf of the loved ones of a motorcyclist involved in an accident with a semi-truck, in excess of $1,000,000.

Nevertheless, if a settlement is not a viable choice, we have immense trial experience. We are dedicated to getting the highest possible compensation for our clients. Our firm has effectively recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured victims and their families throughout West Virginia. We will personally lead you through every step of your wrongful death case.

Hire the representation that you deserve for your wrongful death lawsuit today. We invite you to learn more about our Goddard Law by viewing our website or giving our office a call at (304) 933-1411.

In West Virginia, there are strict time constraints related to wrongful death claims, so you have to act promptly to maintain your legal rights.

Request a free initial consultation by calling us at (304) 933-1411
or filling out a contact form today.



At Goddard Law , we fight for the full, fair recovery our clients are owed. We’ve helped numerous individuals and their families
successfully obtain just settlements and verdicts throughout the state of West Virginia.
Our proven track record of success speaks for itself.