Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyers
When you lose a loved one because of someone else’s actions, no amount of money can help you overcome the pain you are experiencing. However, at least, you can receive compensation for the financial losses you might be suffering.
In addition, you can seek justice through compensation from the individual or business which caused your pain. The Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers at Lowenthal & Abrams can help you file your suit and seek the compensation to which you are entitled. Our attorneys will become your team as we fight to obtain the right settlement or verdict on your behalf. Contact us today for help.
What is a Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Claim?
Financial compensation due to a death caused by negligence or intentional conduct comes from the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act.This law allows immediate family members to obtain compensation when a loved one dies due to intentional or negligent behavior on the part of a third party.
The types of damages available include:
- Lost wages up to the anticipated retirement date
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of services
- This means loss of companionship. For example, children can be compensated for loss of a parent and the impact that will have on their lives. Spouses are also entitled to recover for the loss of their spouse.
- Punitive damages in the case of gross negligence or intentional behavior
If there are no appropriate family members, a representative of the estate of the deceased may seek certain expenses.
What is a Survival Action?
A survival action in Pennsylvania is different from a wrongful death claim. In a survival action, a representative of the estate of the decedent is substituted for the person who died. The estate takes the place of any claims the decedent had prior to death. In other words, a survival action focuses on the claims of the deceased while a wrongful death action focuses on the claims of the deceased’s family members.
Normally, survival actions focus on the pain and suffering of the person who died, immediately after the event that injured him until the time he actually passes away. This time period may represent moments, hours, days or more. Regardless of the time involved, when someone suffered prior to his death, his estate has the right to recover for this pain.
In a Pennsylvania survival action, compensation goes to the estate rather than directly to a family member. These funds are then distributed according to the deceased’s estate plan.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Common causes of death include:
- Medical Mistakes
- Fetal or Baby Death
- Vehicular Homicide
- Work Place Accidents
- Product Defects
- Prescription Errors
- Plane Crash
- Over Service of Alcohol
Beneficiaries in Wrongful Death Claims
In a wrongful death case in Philadelphia, you may seek benefits if you are a spouse, children or, if there is no spouse and no children, parents of the deceased. Adult children are required to establish what is called a pecuniary loss due to the death of the parent.
A pecuniary loss is one that involves direct expenses that the parent paid for the children. Such losses are those that can be directly measured. For example, medical treatment, funeral expenses and loss of income. If the parent was providing support for or giving gifts to the adult children, this is the kind of damage that would be covered.
A pecuniary loss does not include the emotional pain and suffering that comes from the loss of a parent for adult children.
Limited Time to Sue for Wrongful Death
It is understandable that after such a terrible loss you need time to grieve and focus on your future. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania as in other states limits the time period you have to file suit.
In Pennsylvania, this period is two years. If you wait beyond two years to file suit, you will be time barred from suing and will be unable to recover for your loss. As a result, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers For Help
Have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence? Contact Lowenthal & Abrams’ attorneys. We will listen to what happened and discuss your loss with you. Let us handle the legal issues. You should be able to focus on dealing with your loss.