In most cases, the death was natural or at least could not have been prevented. But sometimes, another individual, group of people, or business allowed the relative to die. This can happen in a car crash, a medical procedure gone terribly wrong, or in a workplace accident, among other incidents.
In Pennsylvania, families of someone who died due to another party’s negligence have two legal options if they seek justice: a wrongful death claim and a survival claim. Though these two types of litigation likely will concern the same set of evidence, they are subtly different.
In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff can be the deceased’s spouse, child or parent. He or she seeks compensation for damages he or she personally sustained as a result of the death, such as medical and funeral expenses, the lost financial support and the loss of other services like moral guidance.
Meanwhile, a survival claim concerns the damages suffered by the decedent. Since he or she is not around to defend his or her rights, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate acts on his or her behalf. Potential damages include pain and suffering and loss of future earning power.
Though litigation is often the last thing on a grieving family’s mind, the financial burden of a loved one’s death should be borne by those responsible. Please contact a personal injury attorney to find out more.