The loss of a loved one due to another’s negligence can have devastating consequences for a family. It is important that those at fault be held accountable.
When a loved one is placed in a nursing home and passes away unexpectedly from an injury or neglect, wrongful death and survival claims may be pursued. Under Pennsylvania law, these two claims to recover damages caused by this loss are separate and distinct. However, both claims may apply where a loved one has passed away as the result of the negligence, recklessness or carelessness of a staff member at a nursing home.
Some examples of an accident or injury that could result in wrongful death and survival claims include:
- A traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall
- A seriously infected bedsore
- Medication errors or misuse
- Physical abuse
The differences between the wrongful death and survival claims are who may bring the claims and what damages are recoverable.
A wrongful death claim, allows the spouse, children or parents of the deceased to bring a claim to recover damages sustained as a result of their loved one’s death. The damages recoverable when a claim is filed for wrongful death include the value of the services, society, companionship and guidance that the decedent would have provided along with the financial contributions and support the decedent would have contributed. Also included are medical expenses, funeral expenses, burial expenses and estate administration.
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A survival action claim is the recovery afforded to the decedent’s estate. The damages include the pain and suffering, lost wages to the date of death and future wage loss not included in a wrongful death claim less a personal maintenance deduction. If not recovered in the wrongful death claim, medical expenses, funeral expenses, burial expenses and estate administration expenses are also recoverable.
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Both wrongful death actions involve a thorough investigation into the facts of the case, gathering all documentation, consulting with experts, negotiating with insurance companies and advising of ongoing status. We will seek to recover projected lost earnings, pain and suffering and loss of consortium for family members. It is best to consult with a qualified and experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as you realize you may have a wrongful death claim.
The attorneys at Berger and Green will help you through the complexities of these types of cases. We understand that no amount of money can truly compensate you for your loss, but our attorneys will fight to obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Contact us today for a free no obligation consultation.