Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always difficult. This is especially true when their passing is unexpected and due to another person, business, or other entity’s negligence.
During this difficult time, a compassionate and seasoned Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer might be able to help. When another party’s reckless or careless behavior caused a fatal accident, you might be able to pursue compensation to help with funeral costs, medical expenses, and lost wages. By retaining a dedicated attorney, you could focus on spending time with your family with the knowledge that a legal professional is by your side.
Understanding Wrongful Death Laws
Wrongful death is defined under Pennsylvania Statute Section 8301. Simply put, it is a death that stems from the neglectful actions—or inaction—of another person. While these cases are civil, they can run parallel to a criminal prosecution.
Essentially, a family member of the deceased—along with their Philadelphia wrongful death attorney—can bring a cause of action on behalf of their loved one for any situation where, had the decedent survived, they could have filed a personal injury claim. These claims seek compensation for a number of damages, including funeral and burial expenses, as well as wages that would have been received.
The Right to File Lawsuit
State law sets out what parties are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit forward. When an untimely death occurs, the right to file suit falls to the personal representative of the deceased’s state. In many instances, the will of the decedent appoints a person to serve as the representative. However, if his or her will does not specify a representative—or if the named person refuses to serve—the court must appoint a representative to oversee the case.
The family of a deceased person may not initially have the right to file suit, but they could share in the proceeds of any financial compensation. If the personal representative does not file suit within six months of the death, any family member entitled to the proceeds of the suit may file on behalf of every beneficiary. At that point, the right to sue is granted on a first come, first serve basis among potential beneficiaries. Because of these nuances, having the experience of a wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia could be beneficial.
Wrongful Death Damages
The damages in a wrongful death case are similar to those found in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some types of recovery in these suits that are not available in an injury case.
A meticulous Philadelphia attorney should consider the entire financial picture of the deceased’s life prior to their untimely passing in order to pursue every available type of damages. Common damages include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills stemming from the final injury or illness
- Estate administration fees
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support
- Lost wages
Contact a Philadelphia Wrongful Death Attorney Right Away
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent behavior, the idea of seeking compensation through a civil claim might feel overwhelming. However, with the help of a tenacious and steadfast attorney, you could have help with each step. To learn more about your legal options, call a Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer whenever you feel ready.