The tragic loss of a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another person or organization is devastating. Grieving families are suddenly faced with the difficult challenge of coming to terms with what has happened and how they will cope without the physical and financial support of their loved one.
With the most profound understanding of your loss, our Erie, PA, wrongful death lawyers are here to support you at this most difficult time. We will help you understand your legal options and take civil action against those responsible, so they are held to account financially for their wrongful behavior.
Pennsylvania Law Provides Two Ways to File a Claim for Damages
We understand that no amount of compensation can make up for your grief, and we are sorry for your loss. However, compensation is important to help you and your family to make the adjustments required to manage your finances in the absence of your loved one.
There are two types of claims for damages under Pennsylvania law. One is a wrongful death lawsuit, and the other is a survival action. Each action offers a way to recover damages, and families can and often do file for both. The difference between them is:
- Wrongful death claims center around the impact of the loss on the family.
- Survival actions focus on the suffering of injuries caused to the deceased person before their passing.
Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death damages are intended to provide compensation for the losses incurred to the close family of the deceased and can include:
- Damages for the grief and suffering caused to the family
- Loss of the victim’s expected earnings and other benefits such as pension plans
- Loss of the deceased’s guidance, companionship, and comfort
- Loss of consortium
- The value of goods and services the deceased would have provided at home
- Medical and funeral expenses
Recoverable Damages in Survival Actions
Survival actions work in a similar way to personal injury claims and are related to the damages the injured person would have claimed if they had survived. Compensation in survival actions can include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings.
Our attorneys can help you understand the types of damages you could receive, so you are covering all your bases and pursuing everything you are entitled to under the law.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving Erie, call 412-661-1400
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that can be filed against a person or organization that caused a loss of life through negligence or wrongdoing. Many situations could lead to a wrongful death or survival action; however, they are more commonly caused by:
- Workplace accidents
- Auto accidents
- Slip and fall accidents on hazardous premises
- Pedestrian accidents
- Cycling accidents
- Medical negligence and malpractice
- Nursing home negligence or abuse
- Faulty or defective products
Whatever the nature of the accident, if you believe another person or organization did not take reasonable care to protect the safety of your loved one, you may be entitled to pursue damages.
Erie Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
In Pennsylvania, wrongful death claims and survival actions must be filed by a personal representative on behalf of the surviving beneficiaries of the estate. The representative is responsible for distributing any financial damages that come from legal action and can be assigned by the family or appointed by the courts. Beneficiaries of an estate include surviving spouse, children, or parents.
How Our Erie Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
Fatal accident claims can be complex and distressing for a family to deal with due to the legal issues involved. You or your lawyer will need to prove:
- The person or organization had a legal duty of care to the deceased. Motorists have a duty to drive safely, for example. Doctors owe a duty of care to their patients, business owners have a duty of care to prevent harm to their customers, and so on.
- Breach of Duty. This means showing how the other party broke their duty of care. Common causes include drivers who text behind the wheel, doctors who fail to diagnose a health condition, or shop owners who fail to warn customers about hazards on the premises.
- Causation or proving that the action of the liable party was the cause of death.
- Damages or demonstrating you have suffered measurable financial, emotional, and physical loss due to the wrongful death.
It can be distressing for families to manage a wrongful death lawsuit; we can take on this responsibility for you and handle every aspect of your case so that you do not have to. Our attorneys will investigate what went wrong, get you the answers you deserve, prepare your case, gather evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement.
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Are There Time Limits for Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Yes. In Pennsylvania, wrongful death claims must generally be filed within two years of the date of your loved one’s passing, per Pa. C.S.A. § 5524.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Erie Wrongful Death Attorney?
We believe everyone should be able to get the legal help they need without having to worry about prepaying expenses, so we provide our legal services on a no-win no-fee basis.
This means there is no financial risk or out-of-pocket costs for you to pay upfront, and we only take our fees if your case is successful. Furthermore, we are transparent about our fees which are agreed beforehand and usually taken from a percentage of the compensation awarded.
Over 40 Years of Experience in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims
Appointing Berger and Green for your wrongful death litigation in Erie means your case will be managed with the focus and compassion you can expect from a law firm with over 40 years of experience.
We know you are currently facing an incredibly tough time, and we are keen to help. Our attorneys are here to provide advice and support by handling the entire legal process on your behalf to make things a little easier while you seek the comfort of family and friends. To determine if you have a case, contact us and schedule a free consultation with our team today.