Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Pennsylvania

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Pennsylvania

Families who have lost a loved one to the negligent actions of another party may be able to secure compensation through legal action. A wrongful death claim allows loved ones the ability to recover damages that were suffered after a fatal incident. 

Pennsylvania wrongful death claims come about when wrongful death is caused by wrongful acts or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another. Essentially a wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim that the deceased individual is unable to file because they lost their life. As a result, another party takes legal action on behalf of the deceased. 

If you lost a family member in a wrongful death incident in Pennsylvania, there are specific rules and a process for filing a wrongful death claim for compensation. A Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP can discuss your case with you and help you with your claim.

Wrongful Death Actions in Pennsylvania

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in PennsylvaniaWrongful death claims are civil actions, not criminal. This means that the purpose of filing such a claim is to recover financial compensation for damages, not to impose criminal penalties. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to financially compensate spouses, children, and parents of a deceased person for their losses. It can also recover financial damages paid to the estate when a decedent has no close surviving family members.

A personal representative or an executor of the deceased individual’s estate is allowed to file the wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania. But, when this does not happen within six months of the date that the death occurred, then the law allows for a beneficiary of the deceased to file the claim.

The damages that any one claim may include can vary, but the most common include:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Estate administration expenses
  • Lost wages and income that beneficiaries and dependants would have had access to if the deceased had lived.
  • Lost services, comfort, and guidance

As with any civil suit, there is a time limit to filing a wrongful death claim. Each state varies but in Pennsylvania, that statute of limitations is two years from when the individual died. Despite the emotional pain and toll that death can take on family members, it is important to start the claims process early. Failure to file a wrongful death claim will mean that a case will not be heard and loved ones will be unable to secure compensation.

Speak with an Attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP

Filing a wrongful death claim can be a very difficult and complex task. When it is time to mourn, thinking about taking on a legal suit and managing it can be a challenge. An attorney can help grieving loved ones file their claim and do the heavy lifting for them so that the focus can be on remembering the individual who was lost and moving forward in life.

For assistance with a claim, please call Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP today to schedule a free consultation at (215) 731-9900.

Call Email