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: 2 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 2 years ago
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 47,136
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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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?
Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina
Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8,775
8,775 Satisfied Customers
Experience: JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Tina 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:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,353 satisfied customers

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

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,727 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

42,358 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 J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

292 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Is a simple will legal if the sole beneficiary is a
Is a simple will legal if the sole beneficiary is a non-family person? Surviving family consists of cousins only.… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
What the the rules of life insurance when the beneficiary is
What the the rules of life insurance when the beneficiary is deceased in the case of a policy owner who is deceased but never changed the beneficiary for the policy … read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
1,369 satisfied customers
I won a unanimous jury verdict on June 16, 2017 and the
I won a unanimous jury verdict on June 16, 2017 and the Judge won't issue a Judgement, she has only given a minute entry and I cannot get a Writ of Execution to collect my Judgement. I have tried ever… read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
As the beneficiary of an irrevocable trust, and husband, but
As the beneficiary of an irrevocable trust, and husband, but not the trustee, am I responsible for any expenses associated with the real property? … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
1,212 satisfied customers
In California if a beneficiary predeceases the will maker,
In California if a beneficiary predeceases the will maker, does the share of the intended beneficiary who dies without a Will pass to his heirs at law or does the gift lapse?… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
29,892 satisfied customers
I am the beneficiary of a life insurance payout and the
i am the beneficiary of a life insurance payout and the company is contesting the claim The policy was inforce for 4 years. I live in Florida and the insurance company is new york life. They falgged m… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
37,102 satisfied customers
Can you expect to receive and/or ask for punitive damages in
Can you expect to receive and/or ask for punitive damages in Small Claims Court for charges such as "Intent to Harm" and Trespass to Chattel?… read more
DanLegal
DanLegal
Law Partner
Juris Doctor
460 satisfied customers
My daughter is beneficiary for a fraudulent life insurance
my daughter is beneficiary for a fraudulent life insurance application does she has to submit a claim form if she dont want to … read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
3,263 satisfied customers
I recently won a small claims verdict the defendant is
I recently won a small claims verdict the defendant is appealing my hearing is on Friday 3/23 in superior court. My original case was factual and I presented a paper trail and solid witness that I was… read more
Bruce Schreiber
Bruce Schreiber
Juris Doctor
304 satisfied customers
Question....I am beneficiary of my ex husband life insurance
Question....I am beneficiary of my ex husband life insurance policy, stated in divorce he cannot change. I pay premiums, he owns the policy.....if he should pass with business(his own) or petsonal am … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
2,753 satisfied customers
Verdict from arbitrator an marshall collecting garnishing
verdict from arbitrator an marshall collecting garnishing wages. wasnt told what he was suing for b started w arbitraatorf didnt listen 2 me or look my evidence just told plaintiff has nothin wrry abo… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
I am the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and the
I am the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and the insurance company won't make the check out to me.they keep sending it to the estate of Don Sergott so the bank won't cash it. I called them and … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
Named as beneficiary on life insurance and wondering if upon
Named as beneficiary on life insurance and wondering if upon award, one can reassign that benefit to someone else to receive the money with similar no tax benefit or can I only then give as a gift??… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Can a insurance agent be the beneficiary. Alabama. The
My husband brother was his agent and he is one of the beneficiary.… read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
5 satisfied customers
At close of a jury trial I moved for a directed verdict.
At close of a jury trial I moved for a directed verdict. Specifically, I stated to the court "I move for a directed verdict...." the judge stated "Your motion is denied" before I stated the grounds fo… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,727 satisfied customers
Punitive damages cap for physicians in Utah? Have there been
Have there been successful cases against physicians in Utah for punitive damages … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,979 satisfied customers
If a beneficiary to an insurance policy dies, do the
If a beneficiary to an insurance policy dies, do the proceeds get distributed according to that beneficiary's will or are they distributed according to the Insurance policy such as divided equally amo… read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,371 satisfied customers
Husband failed to change beneficiary of life insurance
Second opinion] Husband failed to change beneficiary of life insurance policy, bought during 14 year marriage to first wife, when he remarried. He continued to pay premiums during 53 year marriage to … read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,371 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