The premature loss of a loved one is a hard enough pill to swallow. Combine the early death of someone dear with the fact that the person died due to the negligence and carelessness of someone else—or even due to an intentional act—and the sorrow, pain and anguish is amplified even more. Wrongful death, when a loved one passes away prematurely due to the fault of someone else, is a harrowing, life-altering event that tears apart families, leaving children without a parent and spouses without a partner. Our Doylestown wrongful death attorney has built a reputation for seeking the justice that grieving families deserve when their loved ones are snatched away from them in the prime of life.
Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act
In Pennsylvania, claims of wrongful death are based on the Wrongful Death Act. This act allows families and other survivors or beneficiaries of a decedent to seek monetary damages for the loss of a loved one due to the actions of another. In order to be successful, the wrongful death claim must show that the person being sued for wrongful death caused the loved one’s death due to negligence, reckless actions, or deliberate and mindful acts.
Many wrongful death claims arise due to motor vehicle accidents, accidents with trucks such as big rigs and tractor-trailers, and motorcycle accidents. In many of these types of wrongful death claims, impaired driving is often cited, including intoxication by drugs and/or alcohol.
One of the leading types of wrongful death claims fall come to the courts due to allegations of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in our country, exceeded only by heart disease and cancer in frequency. Medical errors, misdiagnoses and erroneous surgeries might all form the basis for a wrongful death claim.
Dog bite attacks, slip and falls and other premises liability cases may also result in a wrongful death claim. Likewise, wrongful death claims resulting from the use of dangerous or faulty products are not uncommon.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
The purpose of a wrongful death action is to ensure the family’s finances are restored to the same level they would be if the decedent had lived. Often, compensation in wrongful death claims includes:
- Medical costs incurred prior to the decedent’s passing
- Nursing home and hospital expenses prior to the death
- Final expenses, including the costs of interment or cremation
- Loss of financial support in the future, including the loss of the decedent’s gross earning power from the accident date to the death of the loved one
- Future loss of services
- Loss of comfort and care
- Loss of consortium
Wrongful death claims cost insurance companies a great deal of money each year, so it is not surprising that the lawyers representing these companies fight them with aggression. You need this same type of aggressive representation for your wrongful death claim to ensure that the party or parties responsible for your loved one’s death pay the maximum financial penalty possible. Contact our Doylestown wrongful death attorney as soon as possible for your no-cost case review.