What Can You Expect to Recover after the Accidental Death of a Loved One?
In the aftermath of the accidental or wrongful death of a loved one, you have only one initial focus—your grief at their loss. While no amount of money can ever bring them back, it’s likely that you’ll have real, economic losses because of their death. Maybe the person who died was the primary source of income for your family. Maybe there were significant unreimbursed medical expenses incurred because of the accident, but before their death.
At some point, you may need to take legal action to hold the wrongdoer accountable. When you do, what types of compensation can you expect?
In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death claim is viewed essentially as a personal injury claim where the injured party has died. Accordingly, a wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania is not brought by family members, but on behalf of the estate of the deceased. However, if the personal representative does not file a wrongful death action within six months of the date of death, any legal beneficiary of the decedent may file a claim on behalf of all beneficiaries.
The Damages Available in an Accidental Death Claim in Pennsylvania
The estate or the beneficiaries may seek compensation for a broad range of losses:
- Lost wages or income, including benefits, the deceased would have received for the rest of his or her working life
- The lost services the decedent would have provided the household, including housekeeping, cooking, childcare, maintenance, yard and lawn
- Any unpaid medical expenses incurred by the deceased
- Funeral and burial costs
- Estate administration expenses
- Compensation for any pain and suffering incurred as a result of the accident, but before death
Contact Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie, Seelaus & Kraft LLP
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie, Seelaus & Kraft LLP, we have protected the rights of individuals throughout Delaware County since 1980, including individuals with wrongful death claims. We offer a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or 302-594-4535 or contact us online.
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