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Wrongful Death Helping People Get the Compensation They Deserve

Harrisburg Wrongful Death Attorney

Providing Representation For Those Affected From Wrongful Death

Under Pennsylvania law, wrongful death refers to a situation in which someone dies or gets killed due to someone else’s negligent, illegally violent, or wrongful actions. While there may be a criminal prosecution associated with the person’s death, a civil lawsuit for wrongful death can still apply.

This lawsuit is a civil action, which is distinct and separate from other criminal charges, that requires a lower standard of proof than criminal manslaughter or murder cases.

To start discussing your wrongful death case, contact Statt Law today.

What Qualifies for Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Several scenarios can result in wrongful death; these include:

  • Motor-vehicle accidents
  • Toxic torts
  • Medical malpractice
  • Manufacturing defects on a piece of equipment or product
  • Criminal activity

Pennsylvania law offers two ways for the deceased’s family to file a claim for compensation.

  • a wrongful death lawsuit; and
  • a survival action.

Sometimes, the deceased’s family can file for both. Pennsylvania law pertaining to both these systems can be complex; therefore, you should consult a Harrisburg wrongful death attorney at Statt Law for their extensive knowledge and expertise in wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania.

This is crucial to ensure that you have covered all bases and receive every penny of compensation to which you are entitled by law.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeks to compensate the family of the deceased for the losses they have or are going to suffer for life due to the deceased’s passing.

Under Pennsylvania law, these losses are calculated from the date and time of a person’s death until their expected lifespan if the accident or injury causing the death had not occured. The losses a family member may seek for such cases are:

  • Financial support that the deceased would have contributed to the family if they were alive. This support may include food, clothing, housing, education, entertainment, gifts, and medical care;
  • Work contribution by the deceased including cooking, child care, yard work, and cleaning;
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance of the deceased; and
  • loss of love, affection, and sexual relationship if you are the deceased’s spouse.

Survival Action Lawsuit

In a survival action lawsuit in Pennsylvania, you can seek compensation for losses and expenses caused by an injury due to the accident. The calculation of these injuries starts from the time the deceased incurred the injury until the time of their death.

This is somewhat similar to a personal injury lawsuit, except these actions involve the loved one or a family member filing a claim on behalf of the deceased. If you are a family member of someone who died a wrongful death, here is what you may claim in losses:

  • Hospital and medical bills related to the injuries and treatment;
  • Pain and suffering due to injury;
  • Lost wages of the deceased from the time of the accident until their death;
  • Estate administration cost;
  • Funeral expenses; and
  • Emotional distress due to the accident and injury.

Who can File the Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Pennsylvania

A personal representative, executor, or administrator of the estate can file a survival action lawsuit on behalf of the beneficiaries named in the will of the deceased person. Typically, the beneficiaries would be the deceased’s surviving spouse, parents, or children.

If a personal representative fails to file a survival action lawsuit within the first six months of the deceased’s passing, only his beneficiaries can file.

That said, the rules for filing wrongful death claims are different, as only an immediate family member may file such lawsuits. This just includes parents, spouses, or children who are eligible to receive compensation for a wrongful death.

If a victim dies due to intentional violence or action of a person, then the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit, which is separate from the state’s criminal laws. Remember the O.J. Simpson case? There, the family of the deceased sued Simpson in a wrongful death action even though he was found “not guilty” in the criminal case.

What You Must Prove

If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, you still have to prove it in court. In such cases, the plaintiff, usually a family member of the deceased, must fulfill the same “burden of proof” required of the deceased if they were alive.

If you are the family member or legal beneficiary of the deceased (according to their will), you will need to show the court that the accused party owed the deceased a duty of care.

In addition, you will have to convince the jury that the intentional or unintentional breach of duty by the defendant caused injuries and the eventual wrongful death of the person. You will also need to prove the defendant’s act of carelessness or negligence was a proximate and direct cause of wrongful death of your loved one.

For this, you will need professional help from seasoned Harrisburg wrongful death attorneys like those at Statt Law, who have expertise in wrongful death lawsuits. We will also help you justify the damages you are claiming for the loss.

Wrongful Death Compensations

The compensation that may be awarded in a wrongful death claim includes:

  • The pre-death pain and suffering of the deceased (applicable in survival action claims);
  • The costs of medical treatments for the injuries related to the accident causing the death;
  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Loss of household income due to the loss of deceased;
  • Loss of inheritance that heirs will have to bear due tothe loss of the deceased;
  • Cost of the services that the deceased would contribute to the family if they were alive;
  • Loss of guidance, care, love, affection, and nurture to the children, spouse, and other beneficiaries; and
  • Loss of consortium.

Experienced in Wrongful Death Claims

The experienced Harrisburg wrongful death attorneys at Statt Law have been helping the residents of Pennsylvania fight for their rights for many years. We have the experience, dedication, and knowledge to guide you during the complex process of wrongful death claims. We will ensure that you receive the compensation you really deserve for your loved one’s wrongful death.

Affected by a wrongful death? Contact us today to start discussing your situation.

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