Helpful Information from a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Philadelphia
Considering the prospect of filing a wrongful death suit in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania is stressful enough, without even considering the emotional toll of the loss of a family member or loved one. It can also be hard to get answers to your questions.
With that said, if you landed on this page because you think you might possibly have a wrongful death case, our wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia are here to help.
See if you can find some of the answers to your questions here and contact us directly for more information.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Actions are governed by 42 PA C.S.A. Section 8301. According to the letter of the law the general rules states:
An action may be brought, under procedures prescribed by general rules, to recover damages for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another if no recovery for the same damages claimed in the wrongful death action was obtained by the injured individual during his lifetime and any prior actions for the same injuries are consolidated with the wrongful death claim so as to avoid a duplicate recovery.
In other words, a wrongful death is a death that results from the actions of another party. It can be the result of an accident or intentional harm, including either manslaughter or murder.
What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
There are numerous causes of wrongful death, which can make it hard to determine whether or not you have a case. However, all else being equal, these are some of the more common causes:
- Car and truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Murder and manslaughter
- Plane and boat accidents
- Bike and pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents (and other premises liability related issues)
- Defective products that cause fatal injury
- Dog attacks
- Nursing home neglect
This list is neither comprehensive nor complete, and another action resulting in death may be determined to be wrongful in the state of Pennsylvania, in which case the aggrieved party may bring a suit to recover damages for a loved one’s death.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania?
Wrongful death law is designed to place the financial burden associated with an untimely (and wrongful) death from the family and loved ones of the victim to the party responsible for the loss.
Those who may be eligible to bring a wrongful death case may include the victim’s parents, spouse, or minor children. In select situations, adult children who were financially dependent on the deceased party may also be eligible to bring a wrongful death case.
How Is Wrongful Death Proven?
That depends on the conditions surrounding the wrongful death. For instance, if the wrongful death was caused by a car accident, you will need to prove the faulty party that caused the accident was legally responsible for the event. If the wrongful death arose from an injury associated with the use of a defective product, you will need to prove that the product itself was defective (that the manufacturer was liable) and that the deceased party’s actions were reasonable and appropriate.
This is an oversimplification of the law in practice; please contact us to speak over the details and we will let you know specifically what you need to prove given the conditions surrounding the case.
Can You File a Wrongful Death Suit for the Death of an Unborn Death?
That depends on the situations surrounding the death of the unborn child. Really more information is necessary to determine if you can bring a wrongful death suit for the death of a fetus in the womb – contact our wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia for more information.
The Accident Occurred in Another State, But I Live in Pennsylvania; Where Do I File?
It can be difficult to determine the legal entity that has jurisdiction over a case, especially in a situation like this. If you live in Philadelphia (or Pennsylvania) the best thing for you to do is contact a local lawyer who can help determine where the case will need to be filed. It might be Pennsylvania, but it also might be where the accident occurred. If the latter is determined to be the case, your local counsel may be able to help put you in touch with another legal team in the jurisdiction in which you will need to bring the case.
How Are Wrongful Death Damages Determined?
There are a variety of factors that can be applied to damage calculations in a wrongful death claim.
Some of these, like the deceased person’s income, their age, and the state of their health before dying, are relatively easy to determine or calculate.
Others are not so straightforward, such as their role in the family, the circumstances surrounding the death, and the emotional pain and suffering caused to the family in the wake of the loss of the loved one.
Nonetheless, that is something a wrongful death lawyer can help you determine before proceeding with a case.
Is It Possible to Settle or Is Litigation Inevitable?
Ideally, the case would not proceed to trial and would be settled out of court. Many, if not most cases end up settling. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and taxing. If a lawyer can negotiate the damages you are due from the responsible party without proceeding to trial, that is the ideal course of action.
However, this is not always the case and of course some cases do end up in court.
Not Sure If You Have a Case? Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Philadelphia for a Free Case Consultation
Hopefully you found this post helpful, but at the same time, it’s natural to have questions. If you’re unsure about anything you read here and would like more information, please contact our wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia.
We stand for accountability to you, and from the parties responsible for damages. Contact us today for a free consultation so you can make a better decision about how to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit.