Wilkes-Barre Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is devastating and one of the most difficult things a person will ever go through. When that death is caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, it’s even more challenging for surviving loved ones to move on. Not only is this a time of grief and mourning for family members, but they may also be suffering other losses, such as the income the deceased contributed to the household. If you’ve lost someone due to wrongful death, you can claim compensation to help make up for some of these losses. A Wilkes-Barre wrongful death lawyer can handle all aspects of your claim during this time of grief.
What is a Wrongful Death?
According to the Pennsylvania statute, a wrongful death is any death caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or unlawful violence of another person. These legal actions are different than criminal cases. They are tried in civil court and negligent individuals must pay compensation to surviving loved ones instead of facing criminal penalties. However, loved ones can still file a wrongful death claim even if a criminal case has already been filed.
Wrongful death claims are also different than survival actions. In Pennsylvania, survival actions are essentially personal injury claims that survive the deceased. These claims provide compensation for the losses the deceased sustained as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering. Wrongful death claims on the other hand, are meant to compensate loved ones for the losses they sustained as a result of the death. Compensation available in these claims includes funeral and burial expenses, and the loss of household services, society, and comfort.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death claims are more common than many people think. There are many situations that can give rise to a wrongful death claim, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse
Any time a death occurs due to one of the above scenarios, or any other cause, loved ones may have a valid wrongful death claim.
Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Other states allow a number of loved ones to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Pennsylvania though, only the personal representative of the estate can file these claims. The personal representative files a wrongful death claim on behalf of the loved ones. However, if the personal representative does not file a claim within six months of the death, the beneficiaries of the estate can file the claim.
Call Our Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help with Your Claim
After losing a loved one, the last thing many people want to think about is filing a lawsuit. However, there are certain losses that wrongful death claims can compensate for, such as the loss of the loved one’s income. If you’ve lost someone, our Wilkes-Barre wrongful death attorneys at O’Donnell Law Offices can help. We’ll take care of all aspects of your claim and recover compensation for you that can help with the financial aspects of your loss. Call us today at (570) 821-5717 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.