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Charleston, WV Wrongful Death Lawyers

Compassionate Legal Representation for Grieving Families in Charleston, WV

The loss of a loved one is always a difficult experience. When that loved one dies due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, the pain and grief can be overwhelming. In these circumstances, you need a compassionate, capable wrongful death lawyer in Charleston who can guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you need to move forward. The Mike Slocumb Law Firm is here to help you seek justice and compensation for your tragic loss.

Call (304) 802-2115 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.

What is Wrongful Death?

A person is considered to have died "wrongfully" when they pass away as a result of the wrongful or illegal act of another person, entity, or company. Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe these tragedies and can only be applied when certain conditions are met.

In order to file a wrongful death claim, you will need to show that:

  • Your loved one died due to another person's negligent or wrongful act or omission
  • The death was immediately caused by this act or omission
  • The death caused measurable damages to you and your family

If these conditions are met, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. These claims can be used to recover financial compensation for the value of your loved one's life, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and more.

Types of Wrongful Death Claims

Some common types of wrongful death claims we handle include:

  • Car Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Workers' Compensation

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the primary party authorized to file a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal representative or executor of the deceased person's estate. This individual is typically appointed through the deceased person's will or by the court. The personal representative acts on behalf of the deceased person's estate and any eligible beneficiaries.

The proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit are typically distributed among the eligible beneficiaries of the deceased person's estate.

Eligible beneficiaries may include the following:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children
  • Surviving parents
  • Other dependents or family members who were financially dependent on the deceased person.

The personal representative represents the interests of these beneficiaries in the lawsuit. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in West Virginia is typically two years from the date of the deceased person's death.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The damages you can recover in a wrongful death claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. In all cases, however, you will be able to recover compensation for financial losses and damages that resulted from your loved one's death.

Financial losses and damages you may be able to recover in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Medical bills related to the accident
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages and income
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property loss

The value of your case will depend on the value of your loved one's life and the extent of the financial damages you have suffered as a result of their death.

How Is A Survival Action Different From A Wrongful Death Claim in WV?

In West Virginia, both wrongful death claims and survival actions arise from a loved one's death. However, they serve distinct purposes and compensate for different losses. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

Wrongful Death Claim

  • Who can file: A surviving family member, typically a spouse, child, or parent.
  • Purpose: To recover compensation for the family's losses due to the death.
  • Compensates for:
    • Loss of financial support from the deceased (wages, benefits)
    • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance
    • Mental and emotional anguish
    • Loss of inheritance (potential future earnings)
    • Funeral and burial expenses (in some cases)
  • Deadline to file: Generally two years from the date of death (with some rare exceptions).

Survival Action

  • Who can file: The estate of the deceased person, typically represented by the personal representative (executor/administrator of the will).
  • Purpose: To recover compensation for the losses the deceased person would have suffered if they had lived.
  • Compensates for:
    • Medical expenses incurred due to the injury that caused death.
    • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death.
    • Lost wages or income the deceased would have earned if they had survived.
    • Damage to the deceased's property (if applicable).
  • Deadline to file: Same as wrongful death claims (generally two years from the date of death).

In some cases, both a wrongful death claim and a survival action can be filed together. Consulting with our Charleston, WV wrongful death attorneys is crucial to understand your rights and determine the best course of action in your specific situation. We can advise you on whether a wrongful death claim, a survival action, or both are appropriate based on the circumstances of the case.

The Legal Process


In a wrongful death case, the first step is to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. This may involve collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with experts to determine liability.

Filing a Lawsuit

Once we have gathered sufficient evidence, we will file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. This legal action seeks to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.


In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can lead to a settlement before going to trial. Our experienced attorneys will negotiate with the opposing party and their insurance company to secure a fair settlement that covers your losses.


If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to trial. Our legal team has the courtroom experience necessary to effectively represent your interests in front of a judge and jury.

  • I thank Mike Slocumb so much for changing my life.

    “I thank Mike Slocumb so much for changing my life. David and Mike were like Angels to me. I didn’t know if I would ever walk again.”

  • Mr. Gracie handled my case, he was superb.

    “Mr. Gracie is really, really experienced and an exceptional lawyer.”

  • I Couldn't Have Been Happier

    “My case was actually settled earlier than projected and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome.”

  • Great Communication!

    “I dealt with Lowell Moore here and I’ll recommend him to anyone, anytime! The defining factor was his communication... I was able to always deal with Lowell firsthand about any questions or concerns I had.”

  • Incredible Attorney!

    “Attorney Lowell Moore was awesome in the whole process! He kept us included in every move made for our accident/injury case. Never had an issue with communication and he really showed us he cares about his clients!!!”

What Is the Statute of Limitations in WV for Wrongful Death?

In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the death of the deceased. This is found in West Virginia Code § 55-7-6:

Every such action shall be commenced within two years after the death of such deceased person...

Exceptions may exist in rare cases:

  • Minor Beneficiary: If the primary beneficiary of the lawsuit is a minor child who was not yet an adult at the time of the death, the two-year clock may not begin ticking until they reach adulthood.
  • Legal Disability: If the person entitled to file the lawsuit has a legal disability (e.g., mental incapacity) that prevents them from doing so on their own behalf, the deadline may be extended.

How We Can Help

At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, our wrongful death lawyers in Charleston are ready to fight for you and your family. Our team is prepared to do whatever it takes to hold the liable parties accountable, but we also understand that these cases can be emotionally difficult. That's why we offer compassionate and caring legal counsel to help you navigate the legal process and help you and your family 

Call (304) 802-2115 or submit an online request form to get started with a free consultation.

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