Wrongful death claim can be brought against a person who has caused someone’s death either negligently or intentionally. Wrongful death claims allow the estate of the deceased person’s family to file a lawsuit against the party who is responsible for the loved one’s death.
Who Can Actually Bring About A Wrongful Death Case?
The suit is usually filed by the representative of the estate on behalf of the surviving family members. If there is a will it is usually brought by the executor of the estate. If there is no will, then a representative who is commonly referred to as the administrator of the estate is appointed upon application to the register of wills of the county where the decedent lived.
What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Wrongful Death Suits?
People often don’t realize that there are two components to a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death is one of the claims and a survival action is the second viable claim. The wrongful death is brought on behalf of certain family members for the damages suffered by the family that was caused by the negligent death of their loved one. Only a spouse, children or parents can recover under wrongful death. Wrongful death beneficiaries are not determined by the decedent’s will if he or she had one.
A survival action can be brought by the representative when a decedent would otherwise have been able to bring a personal injury claim and had not prior to his or her death. This would include the pain and suffering experienced by the decedent from the time of the injury until the time of death. Here the survival action, as far as beneficiaries are concerned, is really guided by a will, if the decedent had one.
What Are The Biggest Challenges That You Or Your Clients Face In Wrongful Death Claims?
The biggest challenge faced by our clients is the emotional toll of having to relive those circumstances that surrounded the death of their loved one. We do our best to minimize that pain but unfortunately it is necessary to present that evidence in order to go forward with the claim.
What Damages Are The Survivors Entitled To In A Wrongful Death Case?
The dependents certainly might suffer some kind of financial loss such as lost wages and lack of support as a result of the wrongful death. There is also a non-economic component that can be awarded, that is obviously, the emotional losses that are suffered by the family. These damages could include loss of services, loss of consortium, and loss of guidance.
How Is The Amount Of Damages Calculated In A Personal Injury Claim?
The easy calculations are those that are in black and white. They are the funeral and medical expenses and any lost wages or earnings. But, like I said, these are only one component of damages to which that the family is entitled. The more difficult damages to calculate are the emotional damages. The loss of a loved one, the companionship, the guidance, the tutelage, they are instinctively more challenging for a fact finder to assess.
For more information on Wrongful Death and Survival Claims In Pennsylvania, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 569-1212 today.