Anguish and emotion can overwhelm us in the wake of a loved one's death. Such feelings of despair can be even more difficult to cope with when another person is responsible for such traumatic personal loss.
You have the right to seek legal assistance if you believe a loved one has died in an accident or due to the negligence of another person.
We offer free consultations at Justice Guardians. Our team of personal injury attorneys can provide you with advice and explain each step of the process. Don't go it alone; let our experienced and dedicated injury attorneys guide you to justice.
Wrongful death claims are often challenging but are not impossible to prove. There are more wrongful death claims being brought to court every year and more of these are being compensated. Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers are here to assist you in taking steps to help the families of victims who have died because of negligence.
Civil suits are available to resolve wrongful death cases involving one or more parties found negligent for causing, prolonging, or failing to prevent someone's death. Whether it is caused by medical malpractice, professional negligence, or else, wrongful deaths can result in financial awards for the victims' families.
Automobile accidents (cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles & more) have a high likelihood of wrongful death, as do medical malpractice, slip-and-fall injuries, defective products, and violent crimes. Nevertheless, a wrongful death lawsuit does not automatically succeed just because a death has occurred.
There are some common principles that must be addressed in wrongful death cases as they do in other negligence and personal injury cases. Included are:
Wrongful death lawsuits are considered civil suits in the United States, which means they can be filed against anyone responsible for another's death. Typically, this applies to people who have been in an accident or businesses that sold unsafe products. You should be aware that not all states follow the same rules regarding wrongful death claims. In some states, wrongful death claims are handled by separate courts and forms; in others, these claims are handled by state law.
There's no question that, for the families of victims of wrongful death, taking legal action can prove critically important. This is why working with an attorney local to you is so important. There can be differences in local legislation, and even if you hire a prominent law firm, if they do not know the local laws and relevant case law, your lawsuit may not reach a good outcome.
You should work with the wrongful death lawyer you hire before filing a lawsuit in court. He will collect evidence and draft an initial demand letter. With this letter, you communicate your intention to collect damages. As part of the letter, the desired settlement amount may also be stated so that the matter does not proceed to court.
It is likely that the defendant, or the person alleged to have caused the death, will refer to their own lawyers for feedback. Negotiation takes place if both parties agree to meet and try to reach an agreement.
In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, a wrongful death case is likely to be filed in court.
For a jury to find wrongful death, two types of evidence are necessary. Expert testimony involves testing the evidence and determining what happened using the findings of an accident deconstructionist (for example). Another type of evidence that may be included in direct evidence involves testimony from those who were involved in or witnessed the accident.
Following the conclusion of all the legal proceedings, a decision will need to be made by the court about whether compensation should be provided. Plaintiffs can gain compensation if there is evidence that negligence or wrongdoing occurred.
In wrongful death cases, a court decides how much compensation can be awarded. The amount can be calculated based on lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
In Pennsylvania, there is no set formula for economic damages in a wrongful death case. The court will hear evidence from the claimant and any experts called for either side and then determine the damages based on the evidence presented.
Some caps on compensation exist, though. In PA, the maximum compensation awarded under punitive damages may not be greater than double the amount awarded in compensatory damages.
Whether or not you can obtain compensation for your wrongful death claim is based only on the particulars of your case. You should take into account the factors which may help you achieve the maximum compensation available to you from a wrongful death lawsuit. Keep in mind, no lawyer can estimate the value of a wrongful death lawsuit until it goes to court.
In Pennsylvania, wrongful death lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations. Upon the death of a loved one, a claim must be filed within two years. Furthermore, the deadline for filing may depend on whether an intentional act or a negligent act caused the death.
People seek the help of wrongful death lawyers since these lawsuits are complicated and involved. The process of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit after you have lost someone you love is emotional, making it hard to understand what to do.
Making such a complex decision is never easy, so it never hurts to have as much information as possible. Our free consultation will give you the answers you need to make the best decision for yourself and those you love.