Compassionate and Skilled Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Lawyer
A death in the family changes everything, from your emotional state to your daily activities to your household budget. If this tragedy was caused by the negligence of someone else, the at-fault party may be responsible for compensating your losses and easing your financial stresses.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey H. Penneys, I understand that the last thing that a grieving family wants to deal with is a legal battle. As a Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Lawyer, my legal practice strives to help the surviving family members of a wrongful death incident in every way we can, while giving them space, time, and opportunity to grieve. We want to take the burden of your loved one’s wrongful death case off your back while still making it possible for you to collect the compensation you deserve under the law.
Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Claim Damages
In a PA wrongful death action, certain family members may seek economic damages from the at-fault party, including the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. These damages are focused solely upon the family members’ losses, not the losses of the deceased person. Wrongful death economic damages commonly include:
- Earnings the victim would have contributed to the family. In most cases, this represents the lost future wages of the victim, which could include overtime payments, raises, bonuses, and commissions. To calculate this number, many factors are taken into account, including the predicted lifespan of a family member, estimated lifespan of the victim, and inflation.
- Gifts and benefits given by the victim. In addition to a paycheck, it’s likely that your loved one would have provided you with work-related benefits, perhaps including healthcare benefits. In addition, your loved one would have given you a lifetime of gifts.
- Household services. Some jobs don’t come with a paycheck but still have real value. For example, if your loved one cleaned your home, prepared meals, made home repairs, and took care of children, these services will need to be replaced at a cost after their loss.
In addition, under Pennsylvania wrongful death law, loved ones can also collect some types of non-economic damages. For example, a spouse may request compensation for loss of consortium, while a child might request compensation for loss of training and guidance. Any loved one might request compensation for loss of companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, and society. If a loved one witnessed the death, they may request compensation for emotional distress or mental anguish.
Factors that do not affect wrongful death compensation include:
- The current financial state of the heirs.
- The victim’s personal financial losses.
- The victim’s medical bills and expenses.
- The victim’s pain and suffering.
The Differences Between Wrongful Death Actions & Survival Actions
It is important to understand the major differences between wrongful death actions and survival actions in Pennsylvania. Simply put, a wrongful death action is filed by the beneficiaries of the decedent and focuses on the direct losses of those beneficiaries. A survival action is much more like a personal injury lawsuit. It is initiated by the decedent’s estate and focuses upon the decedent’s losses as if he or she had survived the accident or incident, including pain and suffering.
The compensation received as part of a survival action is part of your loved one’s estate and is subject to the claims of his or her creditors. The compensation received as part of a wrongful death action is recovered personally by the beneficiaries and is not subject to the estate’s creditors or taxation requirements.
Contact an Experienced, Compassionate Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Attorney Today
A wrongful death action can’t bring your loved one back or even begin to heal your heart. However, what it can do is ensure that you are compensated for your losses by the at-fault party. It can also ensure that you get justice and that the at-fault party takes responsibility for what happened.
If you are unsure whether you may have a valid wrongful death action, or if you’d like to learn more about the wrongful death action process, I encourage you to call my offices today. I am a respected Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Lawyer and I offer the family members of wrongful death victims a free, confidential meeting where we can discuss your case and your options. I also offer other practice areas in my law firm. Call today to schedule at 1-215-771-0430 (Cell) or 1-800-InjuryLaw (1-800-465-8795) or fill out the online contact form. I look forward to helping you through this difficult time.