Bethlehem Wrongful Death Lawyer
It can be devastating when a loved one dies unexpectedly. Maybe they were killed in a car accident. Perhaps they died during surgery. Maybe they were fatally injured in a workplace accident.
These accidents are often caused by a third party’s negligence. Is there anything you can do in these situations? Possibly. These accidents are often considered wrongful death, which means you can file a claim for compensation.
But not any family member can file a claim. In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death lawsuit has to be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate. This is usually a person named in the will. If there is no will, then the spouse is typically next in line. If there is no surviving spouse, then a parent or adult child would be named the personal representative. Under Pennsylvania law, the beneficiaries are limited to the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. If there are no surviving family members, the court will appoint a personal representative.
A wrongful death claim can help you get justice and closure for a loved one’s unexpected death. Contact The O’Donnell Law Offices and see how our Bethlehem wrongful death lawyer can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.
Types of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can happen in a number of ways, including the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slips and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability cases
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Defective products
- School and daycare accidents
- Abuse and neglect
- Murders and other crimes
Elements of Wrongful Death
A valid wrongful death claim includes four main elements:
- Negligence. It must be proven that your loved one’s death was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of a third party.
- Breach of duty. It must be proven that the defendant owed a duty to the victim and this duty was breached. Drivers, for example, have the duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Doctors have a duty to maintain a person’s health. The victim must be able to establish that there was a duty and that this duty was breached due to the defendant’s negligence.
- Causation. The plaintiff will also be required to prove how the defendant’s negligence caused their loved one’s death.
- Damages. To prove wrongful death, the plaintiff will need to show that their loved one’s death caused damages. These damages may include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, loss of companionship, loss of protection and guidance, and loss of inheritance.
Contact O’Donnell Law Offices Today
If your loved one was killed by someone else’s negligence, make sure to file a wrongful death claim. While filing a claim won’t bring your loved one back to life, it can help you recover compensation for damages.
The Bethlehem wrongful death lawyer at O’Donnell Law Offices can help you get financial security and closure. Schedule a free consultation with our office today. Call (570) 821-5717 or fill out the online form.