A wrongful death is a tragic, avoidable incident that causes families great sorrow and emotional pain. Wrongful death claims arise from a variety of accidents and incidents. Examples of events that can lead to a claim for wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Dog bites
- Workplace accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Premises liability claims
You do not need to prove that the death was intentional to file a claim. A criminal charge is also not required for a claim. Any charges filed by law enforcement agencies are separate and apart from a family’s right to seek compensation for a wrongful death by filing a civil claim.
What Damages Can the Family Receive for a Wrongful Death Claim?
Family members often experience financial hardships when they lose a loved one, especially if that loved one contributed to the family’s income. Unfortunately, the law cannot undo the tragic consequences of negligence and other wrongdoing. Still, it does provide families a legal cause of action to recover compensation for a wrongful death.
Examples of damages that a family might receive from filing a lawsuit after losing a family member include:
- Reimbursement for funeral and burial costs
- The cost of medical care between the injury and the date the person died
- The pain and suffering experienced by the deceased between the injury and when the person died
- Expenses related to the administration of the person’s probate estate
- The loss of financial support from the deceased, including income the person would have reasonably earned throughout his or her lifetime
- Loss of companionship, love, affection, guidance, instruction, and support the deceased would have provided family members had he or she survived
Determining the value of damages can be complicated. Economists may be hired to help estimate the loss of income. Our Erie wrongful death attorney uses the facts of the case to highlight the extent of non-economic damages to the family to maximize those damages.
How Long Does a Family Member Have to File a Lawsuit?
Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations apply in wrongful death cases, as they do in other personal injury claims.
The personal representative of the deceased’s person’s estate has six months after the death to file an action. If the personal representative fails to file a lawsuit within that time, family members may pursue the claim directly.
In most cases, family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit up to two years after the death of their loved one. However, there could be exceptions, so you also want to talk with an Erie wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your loved one’s death.
When filing a claim for wrongful death, you must prove that the defendant’s actions led to your loved one’s death. You need evidence of negligence or intentional wrongdoing. An investigation can take time. It also requires knowledge of the law, resources, and skills. Our legal team has substantial experience handling these types of personal injury claims.
Contact an Erie Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free Case Review
Losing a loved one is never easy. When the cause of death is because of a preventable act, family members may experience anger and frustration that their loved one’s life was cut short unnecessarily.
Our legal team is sensitive to your needs and emotions. We strive to provide the legal advice and guidance you need without adding to the stress, anxiety, and grief you are experiencing after losing a family member.
Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an Erie wrongful death lawyer by calling (800) 401-2066.