There is no way to put a price on a human life, and that holds particularly true when a beloved member of the family passes away prematurely due to the negligent acts of another. There is no level of monetary compensation that is just or adequate; families of deceased loved ones taken too soon are left with a firestorm of emotions ranging from sorrow to anger to outrage. Nonetheless, when a loved one dies due to the negligence of someone else, then his or her survivors can find some financial peace of mind by filing a wrongful death claim. Our wrongful death attorney has helped many grieving families like yours come to terms with the financial effects of a loved one’s death through successful death claims so that they can move on with their lives.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
Under Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act or Survival Act, surviving family members (or other beneficiaries of the decedent) may seek out compensation to return their financial situation to what it was prior to the person’s death. Wrongful death claimants must prove that the at-fault party caused the death of a loved one due to reckless or negligent behavior or deliberate and mindful actions. The most common wrongful death claims come about as a result of motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and big truck/big rig/tractor-trailer accidents. Drunk driving is sometimes cited as the negligent behavior, although that can also vary.
In addition, a wrongful death claim may be lodged due to accidents involving premises liability violations, such as a slip-and-fall or dog bite attack or mauling that results in a death. Medical errors and medical malpractice may also result in death and the filing of a wrongful death suit. Deaths resulting from the use of dangerous or defective products or dangerous medicines are also not unusual.
There are two types of wrongful death related actions in Pennsylvania, each based on the law that governs it. Under the Wrongful Death Act, the spouse, children or the parents of the decedent to claim damages related to the death. Under the Survival Act, injuries leading to the death and not the death itself forms the basis for legal action. This type of claim is generally brought by the estate of the decedent to aid any surviving beneficiaries.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death claims look to compensation the survivors of the decedent for the economic losses that the death brought about. This may include monetary compensation for medical expenses, including nursing and hospital costs; final expenses for burial or funeral; loss of the decedent’s financial support; loss of comfort, society and services; loss of consortium. In addition, loss of “gross earning power” from the injury date until the person passed away may also be sought, as can pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to passing.
Talk with our expert legal team now regarding your potential wrongful death suit. Our Bensalem wrongful death attorney will be happy to review your case and help you understand the legal options that are available to you during this difficult time.