Fairfax Wrongful Death Lawyer

Nothing could ever make up for the loss of a loved one after a tragic accident. But you don’t have to bear the costs alone. Let BenGlassLaw help you and your family get the accountability you deserve and the compensation you need to get back on your feet and move forward. 

A trusted partner when you need one most

Life is never the same after the tragic loss of a family member. Nothing could ever replace their love, guidance, and support. But when that death was caused by someone else’s wrongful act, you deserve more than just an apology. You deserve accountability. And you deserve compensation for the financial, mental, and emotional load you now have to bear. 

In Virginia, grieving families can obtain this accountability and compensation through a wrongful death action. But unfortunately, the road is never easy. These cases are complicated. How do you prove that your loved one wasn’t partially responsible for their accident? How do you put a dollar figure on mental anguish or loss of parental guidance? Who should receive wrongful death benefits, and what’s the fairest way to divide them? 

What you need is an experienced, dedicated, and compassionate partner who can take the load off your shoulders and guide your family through this difficult process. From investigating the accident, to calculating damages, negotiating with the insurance company, representing your family in court (if necessary), and working with you to figure out the fairest allocation of funds, BenGlassLaw is with you every step of the way. 

Tragic accidents put enormous strain on family members. Sadly, legal struggles can further tear them apart. You deserve space to grieve and focus on what really matters—healing and moving forward as a family.  

Why work with our Fairfax wrongful death lawyers?

You deserve a compassionate advocate to help you with your wrongful death case. We strive for:


No amount of money could ever make up for the loss of a loved one. But you still deserve compensation and accountability from the people responsible.


If your loved one had medical expenses before passing away, we’ll negotiate with providers so that you and your loved ones can keep more of your settlement.

Family First

You deserve time and space to grieve, spend time with family, and rebuild your life. Let us worry about your legal case, so you can focus on what really matters.

If you’re reading this page, know that we’re truly sorry for your loss. Although there’s no such thing as truly “fair” compensation after a wrongful death, we can help you pursue your full legal rights and remove as much pain, stress, and frustration as possible from the process. Contact us today for your free consultation. 

Client testimonial

Ben was recommended to me by two different people that I trust. One of the people is a lawyer who works for insurance companies and so has experience doing cases against Ben in court. This lawyer said that if he needed help, he would want Ben on his side. It meant a lot to me that a lawyer who works in the field would name Ben as his first pick for an advocate. My experience with Ben has been outstanding. He is easy to talk to, very understanding, listens well and is obviously an expert in the field. If you need a disability attorney, Ben is your man.

Avery E.

I suffered a traumatic brain injury, completely rendering me helpless and disabled. … Ben Glass Law was unbelievably diligent and meticulous about collecting every last detail and medical record so they could build the strongest and most aggressive case possible. Their patience, compassion, and understanding made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and like I had the help of a team that really cared about me. They ultimately gave me hope. We won the appeal! I can support my family now, I can pay my bills, I can sleep. They saved me. Thank you, Ben, and thank you especially to the kind and wonderful staff!

Nick K.

I contacted Ben Glass law firm when my LTD benefits were scheduled to end. My letter was reviewed quickly at no charge. The information and feedback was clear, addressed each issue and was very detailed. I followed the instructions and my appeal was approved. My benefits have been reinstated. This is an Amazing firm that really cares that people are treated fairly and with respect even before they are hired. They have earned my respect and future business.
I must mention my original point of contact was Jennifer K. she represented the firm so well with her respect for the firm and love to help attitude.
Thank you

Linda Allen

We were recommended by a colleague to the Ben Glass law firm and they have been absolutely wonderful. Ben’s staff is incredibly responsive and Mary in particular responded to all our emails and questions in a timely manner. We met with Ben to help us understand two disability policies we have and he made something that could be very complicated very easy to understand and he provided us with follow-up notes of our meeting so that we could concentrate on the discussion rather than having to document the information he shared with us. I would recommend this team if you have an issue related to a disability or personal injury.

Lorna Magill

Lisa and Tammy were just who I needed to guide me through this process from start to finish after my auto accident. They couldn’t have been more helpful and were always super quick to respond to my calls or texts. I was uneasy about hiring a lawyer because of all of the cheesy commercials and radio ads, but it was 1000% the best decision I could have made. Highly recommend Ben Glass Law. I couldn’t have gotten the results I did navigating this process on my own.

Richard Mann

I highly recommend BenGlassLaw. I have worked with Tammy and Lisa, who have both been incredibly knowledgeable and professional. They took the time to explain the nuances and intricate legal processes in a way that my husband and I could understand. BenGlassLaw was flexible to our schedule, and drove the overall process minimizing our stress and time. Have recommended to friends and family, and would use again.

Lisa Pistritto

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Wrongful death case results

Since 1995, BenGlassLaw has been helping injury victims make great decisions and get great legal results. Here are just a few: 

$5.5 Million

Wrongful Death

Child crushed by motorized partition in Fairfax County School

$3.4 Million

Wrongful Death

In routine surgery, a young man aspirated gastric content under anesthesia and died.

$2 Million

Wrongful Death

The case was filed in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County but, because it occurred in Maryland, it involved the application of Maryland law. The Virginia court ruled, however, that Maryland’s “cap” on pain and suffering damages did not apply to this case.


Wrongful Death

Car accident settlement for wife and young daughter of a man who was killed while riding as a passenger

Virginia wrongful death frequently asked questions

Do I have a case?

In many ways, a wrongful death action is similar to personal injury claim. In either case, you need to prove that the wrongful act that caused your loved one’s death was the result of negligence—in other words, the at-fault party failed to exercise reasonable care and your loved one died as a result. This could be the result of a car accident, medical malpractice, defective product, or any other preventable accident, injury, or exposure. 

One factor that makes this especially challenging in Virginia is contributory negligence. Just like personal injury cases, you can only recover compensation in a Virginia wrongful death claim if your loved one did not contribute in any way to the accident that caused their death. If they were even 1% at fault, you cannot recover financial compensation. 

You also need to demonstrate that their death caused damages for family members, such as sorrow and mental anguish, loss of financial support, etc. 

One more important factor to consider is the statute of limitations. In Virginia, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of your loved one’s death. Note that this is not necessarily the same as the date of the original injury or exposure, if your loved one survived for days, weeks, or longer before succumbing to their injuries. 

What should you bring to your first meeting with a Virginia wrongful death lawyer?

Several documents can help us greatly and allow us to proceed with an investigation into your case. Here are a few things you might want to obtain beforehand if possible. 

  • An original death certificate. (The funeral home will be able to provide this. Also, ask the funeral home for a bill marked “fully paid.” 
  • Names and addresses of any doctor your loved one saw within the last two years. (A handwritten list is fine—it doesn’t need to be typed.) 
  • A list of the immediate family members, together with their ages, dates of birth, and social security numbers. 
  • Let us know whether an autopsy has been performed. If so, we can arrange to obtain a copy of it from the medical examiner’s office. 
  • If your loved one had a will, please bring a copy with you. (We need this to know who the personal representative of the estate is.) 
  • If your loved one did not have a will, one of their close family members will need to be named as the administrator of the estate. This simply means that that person will stand in place of the deceased loved one. He or she will have their name put on the litigation documents. However, that person does not receive any different or greater share of the recovery simply because they are the administrator. 
  • If you have copies of any medical records, bring them. 
  • Bring any medical insurance cards, bills, and receipts from any health insurance company about the treatment your loved one received recently. 
  • If your loved one was employed, bring copies of their tax returns and W-2 forms for the last three years. 
  • When you meet with us, try to bring any family members who have knowledge or information about the specific events that led to your loved one’s injuries and untimely death. 

All of this information assists in promptly evaluating your claim.  

Who can file a Virginia wrongful death claim?

In Virginia, wrongful death claims must be brought by the personal representative (sometimes called the executor) of the deceased person’s estate. This person is typically either named in your loved one’s will or appointed by the court. 

Note that, while the personal representative is usually also eligible for benefits from a wrongful death suit, this is not necessarily the case. The personal representative does not get any special treatment or compensation after the claim is settled. They are simply the individual who “stands in” for the deceased person and administers the estate, has their name on litigation documents, and disburses any settlement funds as directed by the court. 

Who can be compensated for a wrongful death claim in Virginia?

Virginia law sets forth a specific procedure to determine who can recover compensation in a wrongful death case. 

In general, benefits will be distributed to a surviving spouse and any surviving children and descendants (grandchildren, great-grandchildren). These are the “statutory beneficiaries” who always have a right to seek compensation. Most of the time, they are the only qualifying beneficiaries. 

Things get a little bit trickier, however, under specific circumstances: 

  • If the deceased person was providing support to their parents (for example, living expenses, housing, health care, etc.), the parents can also be beneficiaries in addition to a surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren. 
  • If the deceased person had no surviving spouse or descendants, wrongful death benefits would go to their surviving parents. 
  • If there are also no surviving parents, benefits would next be available to the deceased person’s siblings. 
  • If none of the above family members are surviving, wrongful death benefits could be awarded to any relative who lived in the deceased person’s home and depended on them for support. 

The definition of “relative” includes anyone related to the deceased person by blood, adoption, or marriage, and also includes stepchildren. 

Further, any relative that wants to voluntarily give up their legal right to recover wrongful death benefits can do so by informing the court. Benefits that would have been awarded to them would instead be passed on to other beneficiaries within the same “tier,” or to a lower tier if there are none. 

When you file a wrongful death claim, it’s best to have a wrongful death attorney to help make sure you are fairly represented. 

What damages can I recover from a wrongful death claim?

In Virginia, these are the damages that can be recovered by the beneficiaries of the estate: 

  • Sorrow, mental anguish, and solace which may include society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice of the decedent; 
  • Compensation for a reasonably expected loss of (i) income of the decedent and (ii) services, protection, care, and assistance provided by the decedent; 
  • Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the decedent incident to the injury resulting in death; 
  • Reasonable funeral expenses; and 
  • Punitive damages may be recovered in Virginia for willful or wanton conduct, or such recklessness as evinces a conscious disregard for the safety of others. 

Note that in a wrongful death case in Virginia, there is no recovery for the pain and suffering of the person who died (“the decedent”). Wrongful death cases are intended to acknowledge the losses suffered by surviving family members, rather than the deceased person. 

How are wrongful death damages distributed?

Ultimately, the exact distribution of benefits to eligible beneficiaries will be determined by the court. 

The family may request a specific distribution and submit it to the court. These requests are usually granted if they are reasonable. Otherwise, the court will distribute the compensation in whatever manner it considers fair. 

Once the case has reached a settlement or verdict, the money is paid to the personal representative of the estate. The representative then pays attorney’s fees (if applicable) and outstanding debts (medical costs, funeral costs, etc.), then distributes the rest to the surviving family members according to the direction of the court. 

Will my case go to trial?

Not necessarily. In fact, most wrongful death claims eventually result in an out-of-court settlement. 

However, due to the complexity of these cases, it may be necessary to file a wrongful death lawsuit (and possibly take the case all the way to trial) in order to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.  

Speak to your Virginia wrongful death lawyer about whether they think your case will require a lawsuit, and if the attorney has experience taking similar cases to trial (and winning). Not all wrongful death attorneys are trial attorneys.