The Solemn Process of Wrongful Death Claims
It’s an unimaginable tragedy when a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. Most are so overcome with grief that they have trouble even taking care of the arrangements. Your loved one cannot be replaced, but Pennsylvania law provides legal mechanisms for family members and other beneficiaries to seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one, known as “damages.” This financial compensation will help you with the burden of the loss of the decedent’s income and unexpected expenses.
Spouses, parents, and children of the deceased person can also ask for compensation for future losses due to the loss of their loved one, including both emotional losses, such as the loss of affection and moral guidance and direct losses, such as the loss of payments for children’s education. This is the time when a law firm like Goodwin Como, P.C. is essential; we’ll not only relieve the stress of obtaining your financial compensation, but we’ll be right there with you every step of the way.
What is the Law in Pennsylvania Regarding Wrongful Death?
The basics of a wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania are set out by state law. Most people find it easier to understand that a wrongful death claim is just like a personal injury claim, except death is the result rather than personal injuries. Pennsylvania law defines a “wrongful death” as a death that is “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.”
What is a Survival Action?
Pennsylvania law also provides a survival action to recover financial compensation for losses and expenses for a death caused by the accident. These are calculated from the time the deceased was injured until the time the person died. A survival action is similar to a personal injury lawsuit that the person who died could have brought for themselves if they were still alive. However, since the person can no longer bring a lawsuit on their own behalf, their family can bring it for them.
What Are the Differences Between Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims?
The two types of claims are taxed differently, and differences in how the compensation is distributed to the family and/or other beneficiaries. For example, wrongful death claims and survival claims are different, but both can be brought.
Obtaining the maximum financial compensation for both types of claims is complicated, and it’s best to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can prosecute the two types of claims for maximum recovery. After your free consultation, you’ll understand exactly how the two claims should be prosecuted together.
Who Can File a Survival Action or a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania?
A personal representative must file a survival action, also known as the administrator or executor of the estate. The representative files the claim on behalf of the beneficiaries named in the will. However, any beneficiaries may file if the personal representative does not file a survival action within six months.
In a wrongful death action, an immediate family member may file the claim.
Any beneficiary who is named in the will, including non-relatives and charitable organizations, is eligible to recover under a survival action. However, only parents, children, or a spouse can receive compensation for a wrongful death claim.
The Types of Claims Sound Complicated, Goodwin Como Can Help
These types of claims are very difficult when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. At Goodwin Como, we understand this, and we’ll de-mystify the legal aspects of these claims and discuss them in terms you can understand.
We serve clients in Uniontown and throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. We’d love to hear your story in your own words. From there, we’ll figure out your best options and handle your legal claims so that you have time to grieve appropriately. We’ll see to it that you obtain the financial compensation you’re entitled to. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for people just like you over the years.
Contact us today or simply call us at 724-438-1616 for your free consultation. There is no risk to you; you pay nothing unless and until we recover the financial compensation you deserve.