The sudden death of a family member or partner can leave you wondering what steps to take next, especially if you believe the passing was due to another person’s negligent or intentional actions. If a loved one passed away because of preventable conditions, you could potentially have a claim for damages. A Bala Cynwyd wrongful death lawyer can review your case and determine if your eligibility to seek legal recourse.
The state of Pennsylvania requires the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death claim, which gets filed in the appropriate jurisdiction on behalf of the individual’s family. A compassionate injury attorney could provide clear guidance for you and your family members throughout the filing process while also providing representation during settlement negotiations or trial proceedings.
Wrongful Death Claims Versus Survival Actions
Under 42 Pennsylvania General Assembly § 8301, wrongful death is defined as “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” One common cause of untimely deaths include medical malpractice, if a doctor does not look at a patient’s allergy records and prescribes a medication that causes a fatal allergic reaction. Other causes commonly seen by lawyers in Bala Cynwyd include fatal car accidents, slip and falls, pedestrian collisions, dangerous medications, and defective products.
It should be noted that while immediate family members can file wrongful death lawsuits, only estate executors or personal representatives can file survival action suits. Such suits concern the losses the decedent, or individual who passed, would have dealt with if they survived the incident, such as lost wages and medical bills.
What Damages Can Be Recovered After Someone’s Untimely Passing?
Family members, or beneficiaries, who file wrongful passing claims in Bala Cynwyd could recover a variety of damages with assistance from local lawyers, including:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Estate administration
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household services
Economic damages such as hospital bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages provide compensation for the costs associated with the loved one’s untimely death, especially if the deceased provided the primary source of income for their family. Non-economic damages such as loss of companionship and pain and suffering are available to surviving family members and spouses, and are designed to compensate them for their losses. If no surviving spouse or family members are available to collect economic damages, the personal representative of the deceased person’s state can claim them.
Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania
Whether building a wrongful death or survival action case, involved parties have two years to file claims with attorney assistance in Pennsylvania, under 42 P.S. Code § 5524. It is imperative to fil a claim on time because the court usually dismisses cases after the two-year filing deadline. If no actions are taken in a wrongful death case within six months of the fatal incident, the personal assistant or any person who can recover damages under law, such as the trustee ad litem representing all beneficiaries, can file a lawsuit.
Seek Guidance from a Bala Cynwyd Wrongful Death Attorney
When a loved one’s untimely death leaves you lost, compensation for economic and non-economic damages relieves some of the stress associated with the passing. While no amount of money could replace your lost loved one, it could provide much needed financial assistance for burial costs and lost income.
Contact a Bala Cynwyd wrongful death lawyer today to discuss your case. Our law firm provides the compassionate assistance necessary to navigating these challenging claims.