Philadelphia Wrongful Death Attorneys
Helping the Families of Victims Seek the Compensation They Need
It is hard enough to lose a loved one for any reason, but when they pass away as a direct result of someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, it is even more difficult to handle. These circumstances are referred to as wrongful death. At Ginsburg & Associates Trial Lawyers, our team of Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys is committed to helping clients understand their situation. We work with them to help secure compensation that can cover remaining medical bills, funeral costs, and simple day-to-day expenses made more difficult by losing a contributing member of the household.
Our team handles wrongful death cases that stem from accidents of all kinds, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
- Medication errors
- Pedestrian accidents
Defining "Wrongful Death" in Pennsylvania
The term "wrongful death" may seem strange to some people since a loved one's passing is seldom though of as a rightful event. Under Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301, a wrongful death is defined as a death that is "caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another." Wrongful death claims are in many ways similar to personal injury claims, with the only difference being that the plaintiff is no longer living and able to pursue his or her own claim in court, requiring the claim to be brought on their behalf by another party.
Wrongful death claims are civil actions that are completely separate from any criminal cases that may already be filed regarding the same death. While a criminal case may result in criminal penalties such as incarceration being imposed against the responsible party, wrongful death cases are meant to provide monetary compensation to the surviving family of the deceased.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania?
Wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person's estate. This person acts on behalf of all of the deceased person's beneficiaries. This is different from a criminal case, which is brought against the defendant by the prosecuting attorney in the case's jurisdiction.
Pennsylvania's law is clear about who is entitled to compensation when it comes to wrongful death claims. Proceeds recovered in a wrongful death settlement or award may only be awarded to the following parties:
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving children
- Surviving parents
Those in a different relationship to the deceased, like siblings or cousins, cannot be beneficiaries.
Damages & Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
There are two main types of damages that loved ones can pursue when seeking compensation in a wrongful death case: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to the more concrete aspects of the loss, such as hospital bills or the cost of the funeral. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to the impact that their loss has on you and your family. Because wrongful death cases are almost by definition sudden and unexpected, families are generally financially and emotionally unprepared for the loss.
Wrongful Death vs. Survival Actions in Pennsylvania
While they are similar, it is important to distinguish the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action in Pennsylvania. A wrongful death claim seeks to compensate the deceased victim's family for the loss of their loved one. A survival action, by contrast, focuses on the suffering the deceased person may have endured prior to their death. Both wrongful death claims and survival actions are governed by the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death act and are often pursued at the same time for the benefit of the deceased person's estate.
Financial Cost & Wrongful Death
There’s no way to calculate the emotional trauma that comes from a wrongful death in the family. However, a family member’s death can also result in a loss of earnings and earning capacity. This is a very serious matter. Families depend on the income to pay the rent or mortgage, heat and electricity, car loans and other health insurance bills. A major loss of income can derail or indefinitely defer a family’s plans and stability. In today’s world, it is not unusual to see both partners working to sustain their life style.
Even in cases where the deceased did not earn an income, the costs of medical and funeral care can stretch a budget past its breaking point. No family should have to deal with these financial stresses while also coping with such a deep personal loss. Filing a wrongful death claim can never make up for a loved one’s death. However, the money can help survivors secure their futures.
Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania
Like all other states, Pennsylvania wrongful death claims are subject to a filing deadline known as a "statute of limitations" which places a hard limit on how long the surviving family has to take legal action. Wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person's death in order to be heard by the courts. If you do not file a claim before this deadline expires, you will essentially lose your right to sue and will be unable to collect compensation for you loved one's death. Since certain events can impact how the statute of limitations applies to your case, it is important you speak to a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney to find out how much time you have to file a claim.
What Our Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Do
Wrongful-death lawsuits can be complex. If you intend to file one, you’ll first need a capable legal team that can prove liability and seek compensation for the full extent of damages. Your lawyer must know how to go against the defendant’s legal team and insurance company.
Ginsburg & Associates Trial Lawyers believes that those responsible for the deaths are obligated to compensate the victim’s loved ones. Our team has dealt with wrongful deaths that have arisen from vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect, among other tragedies. You need to act promptly to get the right team of wrongful death lawyers in place before evidence is lost, or an insurance company tries to work up a denial for payment.
Our attorneys offer a wide range of services and benefits to your case, including:
- A thorough evaluation of your situation to build a case that considers all ways your family has been impacted
- Negotiating with the defendant's legal representation and insurance company on your behalf
- An intimate understanding of the legal process and how it applies to your case
- An objective approach to your case and a thorough explanation of all your legal options
- Steadfast legal and emotional support during this difficult time
- Vast legal knowledge and experience to keep your case on track and avoid costly pitfalls
Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (215) 392-6616. We understand the difficulties you are facing, and our experienced team of Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers is prepared to fight on your behalf so you can take the time you need to heal.
Baby in Delay of C Section $15,000,000
Medical Malpractice $8,000,000
Police Negligence $3,200,000
Bus Accident $3,105,000
Pedestrian Injury $2,625,000
Medical Malpractice $2,000,000
Premises Liability $1,890,000
Civil Rights Violation $1,200,000
Motor Vehicle Accident $998,228
DUI Motor Vehicle Accident $985,000
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