There will seldom be anything harder to deal with than the sudden death of a loved one. Furthermore, when that loved ones’ death is due to the negligent behavior of another person or business, the tragedy can be even more difficult to process. The most common causes of a wrongful death include;
Medical malpractice, and
In Pennsylvania, the law allows any surviving family members to file for wrongful death and/or bring about a survival action. The purpose a wrongful death claim is to recover any economic losses that surviving family members may be suffering since the death of a loved one. The sole reason for a wrongful death action is to reimburse those who are suffering financially such as in the case of a parents’ death. The children who were likely dependent on their parents will be compensated for their loss via a wrongful death claim.
There is a wrongful death and survival actions checklist to be sure, but there are only a couple of basic stipulations surrounding eligibility for a wrongful death case. The deceased must not have recovered any damages for their injury while they were alive, and the wrongful death action must be taken within two years of the victims’ death. Following these guidelines, the deceased also must have died as a direct result of someone else’s negligence or unlawful violence. The glaring difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action is the action.
A survival action is quite different and is not used to seek compensation for economic damages. A survival action only applies to pain and suffering while the victim was still alive. For instance, if a loved one was injured by another person, and subsequently spent days, weeks, or months in pain before passing away, a survival action may be in order. Survival actions obtain the compensation that the victim would have received for pain and suffering had they not died, and that compensation is then passed onto the survivor(s) filing the action.
A two-year statute of limitations is also in place for survival actions. However, the statute of limitations for a survival action expires two years after the victims’ injury occurred. In the case where a deceased loved one was hospitalized for over a year before death, the survivor(s) must act quickly if they wish to file a survival action. Of course, this means that the best course of action to take will generally begin with the immediate obtainment of a highly experienced wrongful death attorney.
At Edelstein, Martin & Nelson, our wrongful death attorneys understand each and every facet of wrongful deaths and survival actions. We are greatly familiar with the time sensitivity that surrounds these cases, and the utter importance of adhering to the law with urgency. When a loved one has suddenly passed away, survivors have enough stress as it is without the added pressure of figuring out how to obtain compensation for their unexpected loss. If you have recently lost a loved one due to the unlawful act or negligence of another person or business, call 888-208-1810 to schedule a free consultation today.