Proving Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania

Contacting a Pennsylvania Injury Lawyer

A wrongful death can occur in any type of accident when either another person or entity was negligent. Although it occurs frequently through a traffic accident, a defective product, medical malpractice and other incidences can lead to this type of claim. When your family suffers the loss of a loved one because of another’s negligence, they have the right to seek fair compensation from the offending party.

Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim

In Pennsylvania, fatality claims due to negligence are governed by the Wrongful Death Act, which sets forth the legal requirements that must be satisfied for a valid cause of action to be maintained. In Pennsylvania, a claim may be brought by an Administrator or Executor of the Estate of the deceased or by members of the immediate family (spouse and children).

Negligence Elements Must Be Established to File a Claim

In order to prove negligence and liability in a wrongful death case, it is necessary to gather evidence that establishes all four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Duty means that the defendant owed some sort of legal obligation to the deceased, such as to drive carefully on the road. Breach of duty means that the defendant failed to meet their legal obligation. Causation, such as a traffic accident, links the breach of duty to the death of the deceased. Damages are any harm or injury sustained by the deceased as a result, such as lost wages and emotional trauma to the surviving family members.

Evidence Is Collected to Support a Death Claim Caused by Wrongful Conduct 

Evidence to establish this can include eyewitness testimony, police reports, expert opinions, and medical records, which can be gathered by your injury lawyer. Examples of evidence that could be used here are surveillance videos, photographs of the accident scene, and any other physical proof which may show how the accident occurred. The gathered evidence is used to show that the other driver, medical provider or others were responsible for the fatality.

Recovering Compensation

Once your lawyer has established negligence and causation, he/she must then prove causation which links the negligence to the death of the deceased. This includes medical records, autopsy reports, and other medical evidence that helps establish how the deceased passed away as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Finally, in order to recover damages for wrongful death, you must prove damages were sustained by the surviving family. This can include lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and funeral costs.

Filing Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, it is possible to seek justice for the deceased and hold the negligent party accountable. It is important to know that the statute of limitations for filing a claim of this type in Pennsylvania is two years, but getting started as soon as possible is important. This allows the recovery of data before witnesses and evidence disappears or is covered over.  

Contacting a Pennsylvania Injury Lawyer

No amount of money can replace a loved one but with a successful case, families are able to seek justice and closure. If you have experienced the loss of a family member due to another person or entity’s negligence, contact a qualified personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation that is owed to you. 

Travis Law Firm: Wrongful Death Claims

Travis Law Firm represents Pennsylvania families whose loved ones have passed away as a result of others’ negligence. To learn about your options to recover compensation, call (814) 277-2222 to schedule a free consultation. We will take a look at your case, answer any questions you might have, and provide you with a tailored assessment of how your family might recover compensation for their loss. Our online contact form can also be used to get in touch with us. Our top priority will be to obtain fair compensation for you.