Wrongful Death Attorney in Philadelphia, PA
Every state across the country has developed their own wrongful death statutes associated with the legal recourse available to individuals who have suffered the loss of a family member as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior. While every state’s wrongful death statutes follow some general principles, each jurisdiction is distinct and laws do vary from state to state. A Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney can help you figure out what to do next if your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Challenges for Surviving Family Members
Grieving the loss of your loved one is difficult in any situation but it can be even more challenging when you know that your loved one’s death could have been prevented if another person’s reckless or negligent behavior contributed to his or her injuries and resulting death, you may be entitled to fight for compensation by contacting an experienced Philadelphia wrongful death attorney. Wrongful death can happen as a result of a number of situations including:
- Bus, train, airplane, automobile or other common carrier crashes
- Medical malpractice
- Abuse or neglect on the part of nursing home personnel
- Occupational exposure to hazardous substances or conditions
Only certain individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You must be able to demonstrate that the decedent passed away as a result of negligence on the defendant’s part and that the immediate family members are entitled to monetary damages as a result of this behavior.
The majority of wrongful death lawsuits in Philadelphia are brought forward by surviving children and spouses. Wrongful death can also be brought by a personal representative in the form of the executor of the decedent’s estate.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Financial injury is one way that damages are awarded in a wrongful death action in Philadelphia. Courts have interpreted this to include loss of support, lost prospect of inheritance, funeral and medical expenses, and other services.
These are frequently referred to as pecuniary injuries. Damages might also include interests from the date that the decedent passed away. In certain situations, the courts may also award punitive damages. These are intended to punish an individual whose serious or malicious behavior lead to the death of your loved ones. Punitive damages are awarded also to deter others from behaving in a similar fashion.
Damages that are awarded belong to the estate of the individual who has passed away and will be distributed according to the decedent’s will or by the state law if there is no will or if distribution was not specified.
Next Steps for Those Who Have Lost Family Members
If you have a loved one who has died after an injury or accident caused by someone else’s misconduct, you need an experienced Philadelphia wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania requires that you file a lawsuit as quickly as possible. Waiting too long could mean that you have given up your rights to receive damages. While there is no way to replace the loss of your loved one, fighting for compensation in court with a Philadelphia wrongful death lawsuit may be the first step towards allowing your family to move on.
Estate Administration Help for Families
The aftermath of a wrongful death is often overwhelming for families. In addition to coping with grief and navigating the complex legal steps to file a wrongful death case, there are many questions raised about administering the estate. My office is here to help you with estate administration when I represent you in a wrongful death case. In this situation, I help you gather the necessary materials to probate the will and help you understand this process. Knowing that it can be confusing for family members, I can help to answer your questions about how the process unfolds and what you can expect. Contact my office to learn more about how I can assist you during this difficult time.