Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases are some of the most harrowing and difficult cases we see as experienced Virginia Beach attorneys.


Often our clients will be going through one of the most difficult times they have ever had to deal with in their lives. It’s bad enough to lose a loved one; worse still if someone else is to blame.

While you are in mourning, you may have to come to terms with rising medical bills, the loss of an income and unexpected expenses such as funeral costs and bills for hospital treatment.
Some cases such as homicides will clearly also be wrongful death cases. But a criminal conviction is not always needed for a wrongful death case to be successful. In a notorious case in the 1990s the actor O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of two people but a $33.5 million verdict was later returned against him in a wrongful death suit brought victims’ families.

In a high profile Virginia case in March 2012, a jury found Virginia Tech negligent in the 2007 massacre at the university in a suit brought by the families of two students out of 32 people who were killed.

The university authorities did not face criminal charged but a jury found them liable for damages because they were too slow in issuing warnings as the shooting spree unfolded.

The jury recommended that the families of the two students be awarded $4 million each. But a state cap on damages against the Commonwealth, means these Virginia Tech awards will be reduced to $100,000.

Wrongful death cases can take many forms. The most common kind of wrongful death case arises from auto deaths. In many cases that we see another driver is to blame for a death whether the cause has been negligence, recklessness, speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol.
A business owner that runs unsafe premises may also be held liable in a wrongful death suit. In Jan. 2012, the owners of West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch coal mine settled wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of 29 men who died in an explosion in 2010, one of the worst mining disasters of recent years. Federal regulators had accused the mine owners of poor standards.   

Another common wrongful death case seen in Hampton Roads concerns deaths linked to asbestos exposure. Asbestos was commonly used in shipyards in Newport News in past years.

The Virginia Beach personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles car, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as brain injury, wrongful death, railroad workers’ injuries (FELA) mesothelioma and medical malpractice cases.

John Cooper grew up and was educated in Virginia Beach and handles many cases from the city. John Cooper and his partner Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in handling personal injury claims.

John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010 and has been a member since 2011 of the Multimillion dollar Advocates Roundtable. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout Virginia as well as in north eastern North Carolina. We always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 309-4711 or make an appointment to visit our Virginia Beach office at 4445 Corporation Lane, Suite #187, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462. For a free consultation with a specialized Virginia Beach, VA personal injury lawyer contact us through this website.