Losing a loved one unexpectedly due to another person’s careless or reckless actions is devastating. In addition to loss of companionship, families can struggle with financial hardships, especially if the deceased was the primary provider of the family.
While no amount of money could make up for the loss of a loved one, it could provide some financial stability as you move forward after suffering this tragedy. If you lost a loved one due to another’s actions, speak with a Bucks County wrongful death lawyer. A compassionate attorney can provide guidance and advice during this difficult time.
Survivor Rights in Bucks County
In Bucks County, 42 P.S. § 8301 governs wrongful death actions and permits the recovery for damages for an individual’s passing caused by the negligence of another. Under Pennsylvania law, spouses, children, and parents of the deceased can file a civil claim to recover compensation from the party responsible for the untimely passing of their loved one. If there are no eligible persons to recover damages as beneficiaries, the deceased’s estate’s personal representative has the right to recover for the reasonable hospital, nursing, medical, and funeral expenses for the estate.
Litigating wrongful death cases can be difficult to navigate without legal representation from a local attorney. This is because in addition to typical personal injury lawsuit requirements, the pleadings in a wrongful death case have additional requirements. Plaintiffs must state their relationship to the decedent, their right to bring the action, and the facts supporting the cause of action for compensatory damages. Failure to adequately plead a wrongful death case could result in dismissal by motion.
Types of Recovery After a Loved One’s Untimely Passing
Wrongful death cases can result from many claims, including car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, defective products, and other instances of negligence. The common denominator of all these cases is that the death could have been prevented had the defendant met their standard of care. Lawyers in Bucks County can help determine who the correct defendant is in a wrongful death claim and hold them liable for damages.
While beneficiaries in a wrongful death claim can recover some of the same damages available in other civil claims, there are some losses unique to these claims. The family of the deceased could seek legal restitution for:
- Funeral and ‘last rites’ expenses
- Medical bills incurred before passing
- Loss of consortium, or companionship and society
- Earnings potential of the deceased
While it is impossible to place a dollar amount on the price of a life, dedicated attorneys can look at life expectancy tables, past cases, and jury verdicts to help families estimate potential financial recovery.
Seek Help from a Bucks County Wrongful Death Attorney
There is a limited time for the family of the deceased to file a claim. Under 42 P.S. § 5524, actions for wrongful passing cases must be commenced within two years of the death. This is a strict requirement that must be complied with to maintain an action for damages.
A Bucks County wrongful death lawyer can assist you with filing your claim, following up with the appropriate parties, and establishing a time frame to resolve your case. An understanding attorney can you to navigate the complex legal system and to develop a plan of moving forward after suffering a traumatic loss. Call now to get started.