Legal

Ask a lawyer and get answers to your legal questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

My 3 year old son died in a terrible accidental fall from the…

Customer Question
My 3 year old son...
My 3 year old son died in a terrible accidental fall from the back steps of my home. While pulling on the door lever with all his strength, his little hands slipped off and he went backwards off the steps with his back arched , and with force, and nothing to break to his fall. His head impacted concrete. He never regained consciousness and passed away two days later due to the severe head trauma he endured. It was brought to my attention that the stairs are not to code and likely contributed to his death. There is supposed to be a mimimum of a 3 foot landing, however these back stairs have no landing. The door essesnitally opens out to a step. I've consulted with a wrongful death attorney who advised me to first become administer of my son's estate (of $0's), so that no one else can sue for wrongful death based on the stairs. His father and I were not on good terms. He did not live in the same state as we did and he was not active in my son's life, but he was on lease and the renter's insurance, so technically, it is possible he would file a wrongful death suit. He's big on filing suits and trying to get a money. So, became Adminstrator of my son's estate to protect my him from being exploited in death, by his own father. I went down to the probate court last week and qualified for administer of his estate. Does this now give me total control over whether anyone can file a wrongful death suit? What all does being the administer of his estate in the state of VA entail? I qualified under VA code 642-454, because I was told it was all encompassing. Does this qualify me to file a wrongful death suit if one day I decide to go that route?
Now I need to get someone out to measure and take pictures of the steps, if I do decide to file suit in the future. What kind of certified inspector do I need to get?
Submitted: 3 years ago.Category: Legal
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 23 minutes by:
6/21/2015
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 48,916
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
Verified
Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you tonight. Yes you can now proceed here to obtain a lawyer and pursue this matter.One of your duties is to pursue any claims due the estate.Such a claim would be included.You would want to choose a lawyer here and he would send demand letter and sue after that unless resolved.Occasionally these settle out after a demand letter especially if there is an insurance carrier or two involved and there may well be. You as administrator may pursue this matter on behalf of the estate. You are able to hire the lawyer and pursue a recovery.The father would not have involvement. You would do this contingent fee and do not pay until there is a recovery here.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
Lawyers here with ratings, look for the ones with 10.0 if you have not already selected one.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
http://www.avvo.com/wrongful-death-lawyer/va.html I am so sorry for this indescribable loss , I hope you will pursue this matter you deserve a recovery for all you have been through.Thanks again for the chance to help tonight.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
When a family member dies as a result of the neglect or wrongful action of another, a lawsuit for damages may be brought by the personal representative of the decedent within two years after the death of the injured person. (Va. § 8.01-50, 8.01-244).
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
Here in Virginia the damages that a jury or court may award to you are those that they believe are “fair and just.” (Va § 8.01-52) The verdict of the court when the case is tried without a jury shall include damages for the following:1. Sorrow, mental anguish, and solace which may include society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedent; 2. Compensation for reasonably expected loss of (i) income of the decedent and (ii) services, protection, care and assistance provided by the decedent;3. Expenses for the care, treatment and hospitalization of the decedent incident to the injury resulting in death;4. Reasonable funeral expenses; and5. Punitive damages may be recovered for willful or wanton conduct, or such recklessness as evinces a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
The persons entitled to recover known as “statutory beneficiaries” are determined by statute, Va § 8.01-53. They are (i) the surviving spouse, children of the deceased and children of any deceased child of the deceased or (ii) if there be none such, then to the parents, brothers and sisters of the deceased, and to any other relative who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and is also a member of the same household as the decedent or (iii) if the decedent has left both surviving spouse and parent or parents, but no child or grandchild, the award shall be distributed to the surviving spouse and such parent or parents or (iv) if there are survivors under clause (i) or clause (iii), the award shall be distributed to those beneficiaries and to any other relative who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and is also a member of the same household as the decedent or (v) if no survivors exist under clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv), the award shall be distributed in the course of descents as provided for in § 64.2-20
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
This should give you an idea here under Virginia law the damages you can recover these can range into the millions. The fact that he was so young would increase the amount of damages in most situations as the life expectancy is greater.I do wish you the best here.Thanks again.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 24,657
24,657 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

Ely is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,657 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

22,843 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

44,266 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo Senmartin

Guillermo Senmartin

Lawyer

301 satisfied customers

Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

17,183 satisfied customers

Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Is this appropriate? Or any suggestions to get the process
Is this appropriate? Or any suggestions to get the process started before my arrival? SOP-19.1? I have appointments to interview attorneys when I get there (Virginia) due to the complexity of probate … read more
Jessica B
Jessica B
Juris Doctor
1,702 satisfied customers
Legal Eagle, I will be the successor trustee when my dad
Hi Legal Eagle, I will be the successor trustee when my dad (i.e. Bill Jones) passes away. In our last exchange, I noted that my dad's trust has been titled to his revocable trust and his trust grants… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
14,206 satisfied customers
On last Saturday, I was visiting a vacation home to rent.
Good Morning, on last Saturday, I was visiting a vacation home to rent. Upon leaving the house, I fell down 8-10 steps. I was taken to the emergency room for head trauma and other injuries. Can I sue … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
31,020 satisfied customers
I was married to my husband 1 during ouhurt his self pretty
I was married to my husband 1 during ouhurt his self pretty bad. He sought medical helpr divorce he slipped down a flight of stairs and hurt hisself pretty badly he sought medical help and obtained an… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
44,266 satisfied customers
My father passed away dec of 2013, his wife will not let me
My father passed away dec of 2013, his wife will not let me see the will. Do I have any legal rights to have access to my father's will?… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
38,294 satisfied customers
my son died in Jan. I am his only heir. His estate is less
my son died in Jan. I am his only heir. His estate is less than 200,00. We are in washington state. He has a small VA life insurance policy, original value 10,000. Current value 8900. due to a small l… read more
Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard
Solo Practitioner
Doctoral Degree
1,964 satisfied customers
My Sons girl friend accidentley backed into him causeing him
My Sons girl friend accidentley backed into him causeing him to fall and hit his head. He died from the result of the head injury. This happened in Fond Due Lac Wi. I had to pay $10,000 for buriel exp… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
My dad was diagnosed with demincia about a year before his
My dad was diagnosed with demincia about a year before his death. approximately 3 months before his death he went with his illegitimate daughter to a local lawyer and had a "cash" deal of $20,000 nota… read more
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett
Doctoral Degree
25,741 satisfied customers
FGW estate JustAnswer 3/14/11 http //www.justanswer.com/sip/Justanswer r ppc|ga|1|Gener
FGW estate – JustAnswer 3/14/11 http://www.justanswer.com/sip/Justanswer?r=ppc|ga|1|General+-+JustAnswer|JustAnswer.com&JPKW=justanswer&JPDC=S&JPST=&JPAD=7042283163&JPAF=txt&JPCD=20110118&JPRC=1&JPOP=… read more
CA Lawyer
CA Lawyer
Partner
Doctoral Degree
255 satisfied customers
I have a nephew who was at a club standing outside the door
I have a nephew who was at a club' standing outside the door talking to someone and was shot in the back of the head near his ear. He died before he made to hospital. This happened in MS. He was from … read more
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz
Attorney
Juris Doctor
2,902 satisfied customers
On July 13, 2010, I did not see the grease spot on the landing
On July 13, 2010, I did not see the grease spot on the landing and fell down a flight of stairs in the hallway of my co-op building in a split position. I hurt my back and both legs, injuring the bott… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
24,657 satisfied customers
Hi, We were intentionally locked out of our hotel room for
Hi, We were intentionally locked out of our hotel room for 1 1/2 hours in Squaw Valley Thanksgiving day. The person working on the door of our room just went home, knowing it wasn't working and that o… read more
Brandon M.
Brandon M.
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctorate
12,463 satisfied customers
This question is for Eli Should we find a attorney My sons
This question is for Eli: Should we find a attorney? My sons father had come out of the hospital from having his leg amputated, two days later he couldn't breath good so an ambulance took him to the h… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
24,657 satisfied customers
A woman is killed in a fire through negligence of a cleaning
A woman is killed in a fire through negligence of a cleaning company. The fire department is conducting a criminal negligence investigation against the company. The woman's husband had died three year… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
48,916 satisfied customers
My husband sued his stepfather and won for the wrongful death
My husband sued his stepfather and won for the wrongful death (murder) of his mother. The stepfather has a power of attorney who has a life estate interest in the stepfathers land (the home on the lan… read more
Cedric
Cedric
Attorney at Law
Doctoral Degree
2,088 satisfied customers
my son passed away suddenly and did not have a will is there
my son passed away suddenly and did not have a will is there any way for me to acesshis bank account so i can keep his bills current, he has a house and utilities bills also house and truck insurance,… read more
TaxAttorneytoHelp
TaxAttorneytoHelp
Owner
Doctoral Degree
2,542 satisfied customers
My father died this summer without a will and the executor
My father died this summer without a will and the executor (his daughter and my half sister) has seperated the assests unfairly, in my opinion. My parents were divorced but living together at the time… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
22,843 satisfied customers
My sons great Aunt passed away. He and his father are
My sons great Aunt passed away. He and his father are her only living relatives. She had remarried and her step daughter was supposed to have a POA from the aunt. Now the step daughter is stating the … read more
John J. Pawloski
John J. Pawloski
Manager/Owner
juris doctorate
34 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x