When somebody is killed as a result of reckless, negligent, or deliberate behavior of another, family members often choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful deaths are caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, inaction, or malpractice. When a family member is killed as a result of another’s behavior, dependents are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Beneficiaries are often rewarded monetary damages as a result of the defendant’s misconduct. Wrongful death can be caused by following:
- a truck accident
- a motorcycle accident
- a auto accident
- a physician’s misconduct or negligence
- a work-related injury
Contact our wrongful death lawyers – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania – if you are interested in a wrongful death lawsuit evaluation. Wrongful death claims are civil suits that help families recover compensation. Learn more about wrongful death by reading the sections below.
Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Dependents and immediate family members (including parents, spouses, and children) are almost always eligible to take a wrongful death lawsuit to court. Minors may need an adult guardian to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some circumstances other family members may be permitted to file suit in some states. The wrongful death lawyers at the Travis Law Firm – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania – can help you understand the state’s relevant laws and get the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact our Erie, Edinboro, or Warren law offices for more information on your Pennsylvania wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Liability
A death caused by the negligent, careless, intentional, or reckless actions of another person (or business) is considered a wrongful death. In order to obtain compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that you will experience financial hardship because of the loss or death. To successfully prove your case, your wrongful death lawyers are required to show:
- Death of a person
- The death was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another.
- A family member will/has experience(d) financial or emotional hardship as a result of the death
If the victim’s death was the result of a work-related accident or injury, employers may be held liable. If the worker’s death is the result of inadequate training, lack of safety equipment, or unfit working conditions, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed.
If a patient dies as the result of medical malpractice or medical negligence a family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit. According to a recent study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, as many as 98,000 may die each year as a result of medical malpractice.
Wrongful Death Damages
After a wrongful death, insurance companies often push for an immediate settlement. The family of a victim should contact experienced wrongful death lawyers and fully assess the ramifications of their loss. Our personal injury attorneys at The Travis Law Firm – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania – will fight for you. If wrongful death can be proven, the bereaved may recoup:
- Medical bills
- Funeral bills
- Lost wages, including future earnings
- Lost benefits
- Lost inheritance
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of support or companionship
- General damages
- Punitive damages
Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are awarded to a victim beyond compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded to victims of malicious misconduct. Meant to be a punishment and a deterrent from future occurrences, punitive damages may be awarded to the family members of a wrongful death victim.
Punitive damage outcomes vary in size, depending on the case and jury. Maximums are not placed on punitive damages. The jury alone determines the amount of the award. Awarded in only special cases, when the defendant’s actions were intentional, malicious, or egregious, punitive damages can dramatically increase the amount of your claim. Our wrongful death lawyers will explain punitive damages during your case evaluation.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations
A Pennsylvania wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. If you feel you may have a wrongful death lawsuit, don’t delay. Consult an experienced wrongful death lawyer at The Travis Law Firm.
At the Travis Law Firm, we will gather evidence, help you understand the law, complete necessary paperwork, and build a successful wrongful death lawsuit.
Hiring one of our personal injury attorneys will also help alleviate some of the stress you may be experiencing.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful deaths are caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, inaction, or malpractice. If you have a family member who was killed as a result of another’s actions, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death can be caused by a truck, motorcycle, or auto accident, by a physician’s misconduct or negligence, or due to a work-related injury. Contact our wrongful death lawyers – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania – for a wrongful death lawsuit evaluation.