If someone you love has been killed and you believe it’s the fault of someone else’s negligence, you are likely interested in how a wrongful death case may unfold in Pennsylvania. An Erie wrongful death case is complex and should only be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. Read on to learn more about how these cases work and what you need to know before you file.
Defining Wrongful Death
A wrongful death is defined in Pennsylvania statutes as a fatality associated with a “wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” In these situations, a criminal as well as a civil case may be filed depending on the circumstances of the case.
Actions Causing a Wrongful Death
More often than not, the actions causing a wrongful death are those similar to other personal injury cases. What makes a wrongful death case different is that the victim is not able to bring his or her case to court. As a result, another party may bring a personal injury claim in order to seek compensation for the loss of a loved one.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
An Erie wrongful death claim can be filed by the personal representative serving the deceased person’s estate. This is what makes a civil case different from a criminal case. The claim is brought to court on behalf of the beneficiaries of the deceased individual’s estate. If a personal representative on the estate doesn’t file the suit, the beneficiaries may do so after six months beyond the individual’s date of death.
Compensation in an Erie Wrongful Death Case
In a civil case related to negligence and a wrongful death, beneficiaries filing the claim may seek damages. The court evaluates the accident and it’s affects in order to determine if damages should be awarded, and how much those damages should be.
Typical damages in a wrongful death claim include:
- Estate administration expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering compensation
If the deceased individual left behind children, parents, or a surviving spouse, individuals may also be able to pursue damages such as loss of companionship or comfort.
Ease Your Mind With a Strong Support Network
Having support during this difficult time is essential, so you need to identify an experienced Erie wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after you have lost your loved one. The statute of limitations means that you need to act relatively quickly in order to begin turning the wheels of justice. While no lawsuit can ever replace your loved one, a bit of justice can help you begin to put the pieces back together and focus on your grief and healing. Let us take care of the legal details while you and your family heal.
You Deserve A Trusted Attorney On Your Side
No one should ever have to say goodbye to a loved one because of another person’s negligence, but this is unfortunately a sad reality of the world today. If this has happened to you, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at The Travis Law firm to discuss your legal rights to compensation. There are time limits to file these claims, so schedule your free confidential consultation today.