Losing a loved one to injuries caused by another’s negligence is devastating. As you navigate this difficult time, consider speaking with a Delaware County wrongful death lawyer. You could receive compensation that will not make up for what happened but can ease suffering from a monetary standpoint. Filing a wrongful passing claim can also help you find closure by holding the responsible party accountable. Allow a compassionate attorney to take care of the legal tasks of your case as you and your family mourn your loved one.
Who Can File an Unlawful Passing Claim in Pennsylvania?
For a wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania to be accepted by the court, it must be filed by the deceased person’s personal estate representative. The personal representative files the claim, often with a local attorney’s help, on behalf of surviving beneficiaries. However, if the representative does not file a claim within six months of the individual’s passing, the beneficiaries can file on behalf of themselves and other surviving family members.
Recoverable Damages by Surviving Family
According to 42 Pennsylvania General Assembly § 8301, wrongful death occurs when one party’s negligence or intentional actions cause another party to pass away. Depending on circumstances surrounding the death, it might be possible for surviving family members to file a civil claim against the defendant(s) with help from a Delaware County lawyer. A civil claim could help the surviving family members recover:
- Hospital and medical care expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Wages and benefits the deceased would have “reasonably contributed” in support of their family
- Estate administration expenses
- Loss of companionship and comfort
- Loss of household services
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
Damages such as loss of comfort and companionship apply if the deceased has a surviving spouse, parents and or children, while medical care, funeral, and estate administration expenses provide compensation for monetary losses after the family member’s death. If there is no surviving spouse or children and parents, the personal representative for the individual’s estate can still request damages.
Proving Liability for an Untimely Passing
Unfortunately, wrongful passing claims occur for a variety of reasons, including workplace accidents, medical malpractice, vehicle wrecks, unsafe premises, and pedestrian, motorcycle, and bike accidents. To show that an untimely death occurred, the local attorney must prove that the defendant owed the deceased individual a duty of care that they subsequently violated. They must also show that the breach of care caused the person’s death, and that their passing resulted in financial strain on their family members, such as emergency medical care and funeral expenses.
Contact a Delaware County Wrongful Death Attorney for Guidance
If your loved one passed away because of another party’s negligence or intentional actions, reach out to a Delaware County wrongful death lawyer today. Our compassionate team of attorneys could help your family hold the responsible party accountable for their wrongdoing. While compensation cannot replace your loved one, it could provide financial stability during this difficult time. Call our office to get started.