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Wrongful Death

wrongful death claim

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Pennsylvania?

May 18, 2016 by Carrie Capouellez

The death of a loved one is a tragic experience, particularly if the death was caused unexpectedly due to the negligence of another. In the event of a wrongful death of a loved one, you may decide to seek compensation from the responsible party. Each state has its own laws regarding the intricacies of wrongful death claims.

How Is Wrongful Death Defined?

In Pennsylvania, wrongful death is “caused by a wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” This can include all types of medical malpractice like surgical errors, prescription medication errors, failure to diagnose, and other personal injury accidents like car accidents and workplace accidents, among others.

Who Has Standing To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Pennsylvania law requires that a personal representative of the deceased’s estate file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate. The personal representative can be someone the deceased named before they died, or it can be a spouse, adult child, or parent. Wrongful death beneficiaries are typically spouses, children, and other family members of the deceased. However, if the personal representative of the deceased’s estate does not submit a wrongful death claim within six months of the death, any one of the beneficiaries can file the claim on behalf of all the beneficiaries.

Types of Damages

There are two types of damages that can be awarded in a Pennsylvania wrongful death claim. The first type of damages compensates the family for the cost of funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, and any estate administration expenses. For any surviving spouses, children, or parents, damages can include: loss of companionship, loss of comfort, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

Philadelphia Wrongful Death Attorneys

After the death of a loved one, it may be difficult to think about legal action. However, the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania requires that a wrongful death claim be filed within two years of deceased’s death. The Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP take pride in helping local families get compensation for their loved ones’ deaths. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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