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Wrongful Death FAQs

Q: What is wrongful death?

A: Wrongful death is a civil claim for monetary damages against an individual or entity responsible for the death of a loved one. In such cases, the law recognizes that family members of a deceased victim suffer the loss of affection, guidance, companionship and financial support.  A separate claim that may be pursued when a loved one is lost due to another’s fault is known as a “survival action,” and additional compensation may be available under this legal theory.  Due to the complicated nature of these cases, family members who lose a loved one as a result of another’s negligence should always consult with a personal injury attorney for a thorough evaluation of their individual situations.

Q: What are some common types of wrongful death claims?

A: Wrongful death claims can result from a wide array of negligent acts caused by another including, but not limited to, automobile wrecks, motorcycle accidents, tractor trailer collisions, slip and falls, defective or dangerous prodcuts, and medical malpractice.

Q: Who can file a wrongful death claim?

A: Pennsylvania law strictly governs who may pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of a victim who passes away due to the negligence of another.  Generally, only family members of the victim may bring such claims, often the spouse, children or parents.  It is very important, however, to contact a qualified Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney to determine who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

Q: What kind of compensation is available for wrongful death?

A: Dependents and beneficiaries of a wrongful death victim may be eligible to recover a wide array of monetary damages for their losses including, but not limited to, loss of companionship, guidance and affection, loss of financial support, pain and suffering, medical bills, and other expenses.  Because the calculation of wrongful death damages is dependent on a variety of factors, it is imperative to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney for a complete evaluation.

Q: Is there a deadline for pursuing a wrongful death claim?

A: As with a personal injury lawsuit, there is a “statute of limitations” deadline for filing a wrongful death claim.  This deadline may vary from state to state and under certain circumstances.  As a result, it is wise to contact a wrongful death attorney for more information about this issue.