After the accident, the worst thing that could happen is death. If any of the parties involved in the accident lose their life as a result, the case could be classified as a wrongful death case.
According to Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301, the wrongful death is caused by the wrongful act or neglect, or unlawful violence or negligence of another.
Wrongful death case can be treated the same as a personal injury case, except that the injured individual is no longer alive to seek compensation for the damages. In that case, the family steps in and are able to recover these damages. Here is how it works in Pennsylvania.
Who Is Eligible To File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In most cases, following a loved one’s death which resulted from a “wrongful” accident, the immediate family has the right to file a wrongful death claim. The following classify as immediate family members:
- The spouse
- The children
- The parents
- The siblings
- A partner
- The grandchildren
In cases where the deceased has no immediate family members, their other family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. However, just to be sure, it is always good to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.
A Pittsburgh wrongful death attorney offers a free consultation to everyone who needs one. It is a good place to go to and find out whether or not you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Feel free to call today and schedule your consultation, and an attorney will bring you up to speed.
Type of Compensatable Damages
In Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Cases, the surviving family members have the right to seek compensation for the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Estate administration expenses
- The deceased’s lost wages and benefits (including the amounts the deceased would have been expected to contribute to his or her family if he or she had lived)
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parenthood
- Loss of guidance
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of comfort and household services
These damages are sometimes hard to calculate, which is why you have to be patient and let your attorney deal with it. Even if your claim is successful, it may take up to 18 months before you get the compensation. Until then, it may be smart to organize your funds and not to rely on your compensation until you actually receive it.
Every state has a time limit within which you have to file a wrongful death claim. In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the moment your loved one died to file a wrongful death claim. Any claim that is not filed within two years will not be heard by the court (unless the date was extended under special circumstances). Contact a wrongful death attorney in Pittsburgh today to learn about your eligibility and to receive much-needed legal help, representation, and guidance through this exhausting and stressful process.