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Wrongful Death FAQ

Helping You Find Needed Answers About Wrongful Death Claims

There’s nothing worse than losing someone you care deeply about – especially if they died due to someone else’s reckless actions. You may have a lot going through your mind right now. You may wonder how you will survive without them. You may also worry about how you’ll survive financially, especially if your deceased loved one was a significant financial contributor to your life.

Pennsylvania law provides for two types of claims when a person dies due to the negligent, reckless, wrong or illegally violent conduct of someone else: Wrongful Death and Survival Actions.  The damages you can obtain and who qualifies as a beneficiary differ depending on what type of action you are filing.

If a person dies due to the wrongful or negligent conduct of another, a Wrongful Death claim can be filed, provided that the decedent has not obtained a recovery for the same injuries during his or her lifetime.  Some examples of wrongful death can occur from a motor vehicle collision caused by the other driver’s negligence, a negligent medical error by a medical care provider, a drowning due to a pool owner’s failure to secure a fence around a pool, or a gunshot wound by a careless hunter.

If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may have many questions about what to do or where to begin. These are a few of the questions we hear from others looking to pursue a wrongful death claim:

Who can sue for wrongful death in Pennsylvania?

Spouses, children, and the parents of the deceased person (if they can show a pecuniary loss) are the only ones who qualify as beneficiaries in a wrongful death claim.  Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents of the deceased individual do not qualify as wrongful death beneficiaries.

Grieving from the loss of a loved one can be difficult. Those close to the deceased can also seek accountability and compensation for any pain, suffering, or financial setbacks they may experience because of this loss. Call one of our attorneys at 724-837-0160 to learn how to proceed today.

What compensation is available in a wrongful death claim?

A Wrongful Death claim is to compensate the family members of the deceased person for the losses they will suffer because of the death of the deceased person. Recoverable damages in a Wrongful Death claim are measured from the date of death through the end of the deceased person’s anticipated life span had the injuries not occurred.

Types of recoverable losses can include reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses, the costs of estate administration, loss of the deceased person’s income and work benefits, work and services the deceased person would have provided to the home, food, education, child care, gifts, and entertainment, and loss of the deceased person’s service and support.

We understand everyone’s circumstances are different, and your family may have other ideas about how you would like to use those funds. We can help you figure out your options.

Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit?

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for initiating a wrongful death lawsuit is typically two years. Yet, exceptions to this regulation exist, which can vary based on individual circumstances.

What is a Survival Action?

The personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate may bring a Survival action claim on behalf of the estate.  Similar to a personal injury action, recoverable damages in a Survival action can include medical bills, wage loss from the date of injury until the date of death, and the deceased person’s pain and suffering from the date of injury to the date of death. Because money recovered under a Survival Action claim passes through the estate, the proceeds are subject to tax.

Seek The Compensation And Accountability You Deserve With Stine & Associates, P.C.

Losing a loved one can be an emotionally challenging experience. But when you can hold those responsible for their death accountable, you can find the peace and the compensation you need to find clarity and closure. That journey starts by addressing these frequently asked questions about the process.

The skilled attorneys at Stine & Associates, P.C. have experience in wrongful death and survival action claims and can make sure that all the necessary types of claims are being filed for you to get everything you are entitled to under the law.

You may have more questions about your situation, and we are here to help. Call us at 724-837-0160 or email us for an initial consultation today.