September 15, 2014
Richmond, Va. – RVA Magazine editor, writer, and photographer Ian Graham, age 32, died Sunday at Duke University Hospital from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Graham was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 with severe spinal cord damage.
Graham had been a contributor to RVA Magazine since its founding in 2005. He is remembered by friends, family, and colleagues as an influential member of Richmond’s local, independent media community.
The sudden death of a family member often leaves loved ones in state of emotional and financial turmoil. When the death of a family member is the result of neglect or wrongful action by another, bereaved family members may want to consider pursuing damages for wrongful death.
In Virginia, a lawsuit for damages may be brought by a personal representative of the decedent within two years after the decedent’s passing. To succeed, a plaintiff must demonstrate a duty owed by the Defendant to the Plaintiff, a breach of that duty by negligence or omission, and damages actually or proximately caused by the Defendant.
In the event of wrongful death, family members may be entitled to damages for sorrow, mental anguish, and solace; compensation for reasonably expected loss of income and/or services, protection, care and assistance provided by the decedent; expenses for the care, treatment and hospitalization of the decedent related to the fatal injury; funeral expenses; and punitive damages.
Punitive damages are awarded when evidence proves that a defendant acted with “malice” toward the decedent, or that the defendant’s conduct was “willful or wanton as to show a conscious disregard for the rights of others.”