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Any time a loved one dies it is devastating. When the death happens due to some sort of negligence it is all the more devastating. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of someone’s negligence you may have a wrongful death cause of action that you can bring.
While it is clear that no amount of money can bring your loved one back, holding the responsible party or parties at fault for the death is important and you should consult with a Southampton wrongful death attorney to understand your rights. As attorneys that have handled wrongful death cases in Southampton, PA, and throughout the state, we know how important quality representation in a wrongful death case is to surviving family members.
Title 42, Chapter 83, Section 8301, of the Pennsylvania General Assembly outlines the definition of wrongful death. According to the law, wrongful death is when a person's unlawful or neglectful actions cause another person's death. Grieving family members should not be penalized financially when neither they nor the deceased are at fault. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family can attempt to recoup some of the financial burden of their loss to the party responsible for the death.
The most common types of wrongful death cases that occur are a result of:
A personal representative of the estate may sue for damages under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act on behalf of:
If the personal representative does not file one within six months, generally, any of the above beneficiaries can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Most often, the immediate family suffers the most significant financial loss in the event of a death of a loved one. So, there are provisions in the law to compensate survivors for the loss of these family members.
In Pennsylvania, wrongful death lawsuits cannot be used to compensate more distant relatives, such as siblings or cousins.
In Pennsylvania, survival action is governed by Title 42, Chapter 83, Section 8302, allows a decedent's estate to recover the damages that the deceased could have recovered if they had lived.
Through a survival action, the estate of a deceased person may recover a variety of losses, including:
A survival action needs to be filed by a personal representative of the Estate, called the administrator/administratrix or executor/executrix. If the personal representative does not file a survival action within six (6) months, generally, any of the beneficiaries can file a survival action lawsuit.
Any beneficiary named in the will, including people who may not be related and/or charities names in the will, are eligible to recover under a survival action in Pennsylvania.
A family member of someone who died wrongfully may seek compensation from those legally responsible. Wrongful death lawyers typically prove responsibility by demonstrating the following:
We know that money can never replace your loved one or bring them back. But even though you are grieving the loss of a loved one, it can still be comforting to know that some form of justice has been served against those responsible. It can also give you peace of mind knowing that your family may get some financial reprieve for your loss.
It is a critical part of the job of a Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney to determine what damages the grieving family should receive. An estimation tries to place a dollar value on the loss a family suffers after a tragic death. This calculation considers two types of damages: economic damage like medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost earnings, and non-economic damage, such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
To calculate damages in a wrongful death case, a lawyer may consider the following factors:
The answer depends on the type of auto insurance policy your loved one had and how much coverage is provided. Pennsylvania motorists must carry auto insurance, but the death benefit portion is optional. A Southampton, PA wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the auto insurance coverage your loved one had in place after a car accident that caused their death.
The Pennsylvania workers' compensation law covers most workers. Businesses and employers in the Commonwealth are usually required to purchase workers' compensation insurance for their employees. When a workplace accident results in the death of an employee, this policy provides a death benefit to the employee's family members. This death benefit usually replaces the worker's right to sue their employer for wrongful death.
A worker's family may have a right to sue a third party (other than their employer) if their loved one is killed on the job. If your loved one died while on the job it is of utmost importance to have a Southampton, Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney investigate as soon as possible.
When Multiple Family Members Survive the Deceased, How Are Wrongful Death Damages Divided Among Them?
Settlements or jury awards awarded in Pennsylvania for wrongful death are divided as follows:
According to IRS Rule, 1.104-1, income from wrongful death settlements and awards is not taxable, except for punitive damages. It should be noted, however, that survivor action awards are taxable if they include wages that would have been taxable if the decedent survived. We always recommend consulting with a tax professional for more information on your potential tax implications.
When someone loses a loved one, they are devastated and deal with immense grief. The last thing most people can handle is dealing with the wrongful death claims process. You need a qualified set of eyes to help guide you through the process so that all of your questions can be answered, and your rights protected.
When tragedy strikes, you need legal representation to protect your rights and make sure you understand what's happening. A Southampton, PA wrongful death lawyer will work to ensure you do not agree to an unfair settlement by rushing you and your claim.
A wrongful death lawyer will investigate the death of your loved one: which means they will find out what went wrong, who is responsible, and how their actions resulted in the death of your loved one. Finding out what compensation you may be truly owed may take some time, but it will ultimately benefit you and your family. As a result, you will know that justice was served and that the people or persons who are responsible for your loved one’s death are held accountable.
When someone you love dies due to someone else's negligence, there should be accountability. The Southampton wrongful death lawyers at KaplunMarx have decades of experience successfully helping the families of wrongful death accident victims.
Surviving family members can be physically and emotionally exhausted after a wrongful death claim. At this time, we know that your family needs to feel secure. It is our aim to provide you with compassionate and aggressive legal representation for you and your family during this challenging time.
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, our team is available 24/7 to talk to you about your case. You can easily get started by filling out a free case evaluation form or by calling (215) 550-1522.
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