Whenever someone we care about passes away, it causes tremendous grief and a sense of emptiness and loss. These painful feelings can be compounded when a loved one’s life is lost because of someone else’s actions, or their failure to act. Too many people die before their time through no fault of their own, and these deaths may be considered wrongful deaths in the eyes of the civil courts. If your loved one passed away and you believe their death was due to someone else’s negligence and you want to talk about your legal options with a wrongful death attorney, contact the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to discuss your case.
What is wrongful death?
A death may be considered wrongful if it could have been prevented if another party had acted in a reasonable manner. Wrongful deaths place the liability onto a party that is deemed to have been responsible in some way for the death of another party. These liable parties may then be compelled to take legal responsibility for the wrongful death in court.
The role of negligence in wrongful death cases
Negligence can involve either action or inaction. For example, if a doctor fails to recognize blatant signs of fatal illness (signs that any competent doctor would have taken note of) in a patient and thus fails to treat that illness and the patient dies, the patient’s family may sue the doctor for wrongful death. This failure to recognize and act on the part of the doctor is considered an act of negligence. In another example, a person who is speeding on the freeway and is driving so fast that they are unable to break in time when traffic comes to a complete stop due to a preexisting traffic accident scene up ahead and they rear-end another vehicle and that vehicle’s driver dies, the speeding person’s rash actions could also be considered negligence, and that speeding driver could be sued for wrongful death.
Wrongful death examples
It is an unfortunate fact that many examples of wrongful death exist. Here are more examples of wrongful death cases:
- Nursing home neglect or abuse resulting in death
- Hospital staff neglect
- Child neglect
- Reckless driving resulting in accident fatality
FAQs for Allentown Wrongful Death Attorney
Coping with an unexpected death of a loved one can leave an indelible mark on your soul. The grief and sense of injustice can intensify if your family member was killed due to another person or entity’s negligence, wrongdoing, or recklessness.
Regardless of whether your spouse, parent, or child died in a car crash, pedestrian accident, an accident on someone else’s property, or as a result of medical malpractice or using a defective product, you may have the right to file a wrongful death suit.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed to obtain financial compensation to which the surviving family members are entitled. The main idea of pursuing a wrongful death suit is to get closure and acquire a sense of justice.
A wrongful death attorney from The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., can help you recover damages if your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence, wrongdoing, recklessness, or misconduct of another party.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit?
Not everyone has the right to bring a wrongful death claim. In the state of Pennsylvania, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate or the executor of his or her will.
If the claim is not brought by the personal representative or executor within six months from the date of the death, the decedent’s child, spouse, or parent may bring a lawsuit on behalf of all those who would participate in the distribution of damages.
Who’s Entitled to Monetary Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit?
In Pennsylvania, those who were dependent on or a beneficiary of a decedent are entitled to financial compensation.
In other words, the surviving spouse, parents, and children of an individual killed due to negligence, wrongdoing, recklessness, or misconduct of another person or entity can be entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
An Allentown wrongful death lawyer can determine what share each family member can recover after analyzing the facts of your particular case. In the state of Pennsylvania, distribution of damages, property, and other assets is based on state intestacy law or a last will and testament, if the decedent had one and it is a valid one.
Should You Pursue a Survival Action or Wrongful Death Suit?
Many people in Pennsylvania confuse the terms “survival action” and “wrongful death lawsuit” because they do not know the difference between the two.
Although these two terms are closely related and sometimes even overlap, a survival action can be pursued by the decedent’s family members to obtain compensation for the pain and suffering and financial expenses incurred by the decedent prior his or her death.
However, if you and the rest of the family recover these damages, you will be barred from recovering damages for the same loss twice under a survival action and a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Action?
Unlike a survival action, which is limited to economic and non-economic losses incurred by the decedent before the death, a wrongful death lawsuit may compensate the eligible family members for:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of income and financial support
- Loss of benefit such as health insurance of pension
- Loss of services like household and childcare
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
Your wrongful death case could be worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death. Get a free consultation, and our Allentown wrongful death attorney will calculate the value of your case.
We can help your family get the closure you deserve
Although nothing can truly make up for the suffering and loss caused by losing a loved one, at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. we believe that helping families get justice in the civil courts can help to bring about a sense of closure. Your family could qualify to receive financial compensation from the party that was liable for your loved one’s death, and we are ready to stand up and advocate for your family in civil court to make sure you get every dollar you are entitled to by law. The cash award your family receives could be used to help pay for funerary costs or outstanding medical bills and even daily living expenses, which can help to ease the financial strain experienced by many families coping with a relative’s wrongful death. Call us today for a cost-free consultation.