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Losing a loved one is unimaginable, especially when the cause of death is the negligence of another. Money cannot bring your loved one home to you, and it may not provide closure, but it can help you cover the costs associated with this horrific time.

Though the last thing on your mind is calling dozens of law firms to represent you in a wrongful death claim, having legal representation on your side can be a matter of financial freedom or financial ruin.

If you have lost a family member at the hands of another, call the Reading wrongful death lawyers of Munley Law. Our lawyers will provide you with the compassion and care needed for this delicate matter and work diligently to bring you justice and comfort at this trying time.

For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the Reading wrongful death lawyers of Munley Law today.

$32 Million Wrongful Death

$26 Million Truck Accident

$17.5 Million Car Accident

$12 Million Product Liability

$9 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$7.5 Million Auto Accident

$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident

$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

$5 Million Medical Malpractice

$5 Million Bus Accidents

What Is the Meaning Of Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a civil claim brought forward by the family members and/or dependents of the deceased against the individual(s) who knowingly caused the death of that person.

Sad woman holding her hands close to her face, wrongful death Defendants in a wrongful death suit may also face criminal charges for the same event, at the same time. If they are found not guilty of a criminal charge, they still can be found liable for wrongful death in a civil claim.

In a wrongful death case, the children, spouses, parents, siblings, and in some cases, other beneficiaries may collect damages from the case. If there are no living family members, a representative of the estate may collect for the wrongful death suit.

If the negligent party is found not guilty in the criminal case, the family needs to know that they still have options for financial recovery, as the two cases are not linked in terms of success or failure. Do not let this deter you–our firm can help.

How Do Reading Wrongful Death Lawyers Prove Negligence?

Dan Munley in court for wrongful death lawsuitTo prove negligence in a Reading wrongful death claim, your legal team will need to illustrate the following elements of negligence:

  • There was a duty of care owed to the deceased person. For example, a doctor should be practicing medicine carefully to keep patients free from harm while under their supervision and direction.
  • There was a breach of that duty. The at-fault party did not keep the deceased safe as a result of their negligent action or inaction. In a medical example, perhaps a surgeon left behind a sponge during surgery which led to infection.
    The death occurred as a result.
  • The death of a loved one resulted in damages to the family and dependents such as burial and funeral costs, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.

In order to prove negligence, you will need to provide accurate timelines and details that show how the death is related to the negligence and resulted from it. If there is any question it isn’t, you may not have a case.

Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits End in Jail Time?

Civil suits for wrongful death do not end in jail time. Rather, they will end with a settlement or verdict of a monetary amount. Sometimes though, in cases of extreme negligence, the court may award the family punitive damages from the at-fault party to serve as a form of additional punishment.

Only criminal charges can end in a jail sentence.

What Compensation Can I Get for a Wrongful Death Suit?

While no two wrongful death claims are the same, there are standard forms of compensation that may be available to the family of the deceased in a wrongful death case. The compensation available in a wrongful death claim includes:

  • Medical bills that may have been accumulated as a result of the accident that resulted in the death
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their passing
  • Loss of the deceased’s income
  • Loss of companionship or loss of consortium
  • Funeral costs
  • In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded

The damages in a wrongful death claim may be paid out in one of two ways–a lump sum or a structured settlement. The structured settlement allows for ongoing payments over months or years. However, insurance companies are likely to pay out in a lump sum.

Average Wrongful Death Settlement

There is no “average” wrongful death settlement. However, certain factors can impact the value of the wrongful death settlement. While a settlement can range from thousands to millions of dollars, your legal team will need to consider:

  • Age of the deceased
  • The deceased’s health leading up to death
  • The deceased’s income and medical benefits that impacted dependants
  • The age of survivors
  • Medical expenses related to death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • How much pain and suffering occurred
  • Retirement benefits

Wrongful Death FAQs

Have you lost a loved one in Reading due to a wrongful death claim? Munley Law is here to answer your questions.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

The most common causes of wrongful death in Reading are the following:

  • Car accidents: One of the most common causes of a wrongful death claim involves car accidents with intoxicated, distracted, or aggressive drivers that impact other drivers, pedestrians, or other vulnerable road users.
  • Truck accidents: Accidents involving tractor-trailers are often more severe than other automobile accidents and can end in fatality. In these cases, the wrongful death claim may involve the truck driver, the employer, the loading company, or another third party.
  • Bicycle accidents: As one of the smaller vehicles on roadways, when cyclists are involved in collisions with other vehicles, a large percentage end in severe if not fatal injury.
  • Medical malpractice: Medical negligence is the third leading cause of wrongful death in the United States. While most doctors practice medicine with the utmost care, negligence still occurs. Most commonly this includes misdiagnosis, surgical error, and prescription drug errors.
  • Defective products: When a product manufacturer or seller knows that a product is likely to cause death or injury and continues to sell it anyway, families of the deceased can sue for wrongful death.
  • Workplace injuries: Be it exposure to toxic substances in the workplace or faulty training and equipment, the family of employees who die on the job can bring forth a claim for negligence.

What Is the Highest Wrongful Death Settlement?

Wrongful death settlements can result in a wide range of amounts. While there are a variety of factors that can impact the value of a wrongful death settlement, it is important for the families and dependents of the deceased to understand that a Reading wrongful death lawyer from Munley Law will work diligently to ensure you get the maximum compensation available for your claim so your family can move forward–be it a settlement of thousands or millions of dollars.

What Are the Elements of A Wrongful Death Suit?

The four elements of a wrongful death suit are:

  • Negligence: The death of your family member was caused by the negligence of the defendant.
  • Breach of Duty: It must be established that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. Further, it must be proven that the duty was breached.
  • Causation: Your legal team will need to prove that the negligence of the defendant caused the death of your loved one.
  • Damages: As a result of the death, the family has suffered damages which may include medical expenses before death, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of potential income, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

How Is Death Compensation Calculated?

Wrongful death compensation is calculated by considering many factors which impact the dependents of the deceased. This includes factors such as economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic losses may include:

  • Medical expenses for care such as hospitalization, medications, and other medical bills associated with the incident that lead to your loved one’s death.
  • Lost wages that occurred before the deceased had passed and those wages after death.
  • Funeral expenses.

Non-economic losses may include:

  • Pain and suffering experienced before death
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of parental guidance and companionship for minor children if there are any.
  • Pain and suffering if the person who died was a child.

Other forms of compensation may be collected for losses related to:

  • Daily assistance the deceased provided
  • Savings accounts
  • Emotional support

In addition to these factors, how much compensation you may be entitled to will ultimately depend on the following:

  • Your relationship with the deceased be it a spouse, child, parent, sibling, etc.
  • The cost of replacing any care services that the loved one had provided.
  • Any net income that will need to be distributed.

What Is the Statute Of Limitations for Wrongful Death In Pennsylvania?

crying mother with child, wrongful deathUnder state law, you have two years from the date of death–not the date of the incident–to file a wrongful death claim. But you need to be able to prove your loved one’s death is a result of the negligence of the defendant, and not unrelated.

Seeking Compensation For a Deceased Loved One? Call The Reading Wrongful Death Attorneys of Munley Law.

Losing a loved one is painful, but when your loved one dies as a result of negligence by someone else, the pain can be catastrophic to the family. From the emotional trauma to the financial strain, it can cause a family, you need to know what rights you have to seek justice for your loved one’s life.

While a criminal complaint against the negligent party can lead that person behind bars, a wrongful death claim can offer the family of the deceased compensation to move forward from the loss while never forgetting the family member who was taken too soon.

At Munley Law, we help Reading families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another recover compensation.

Munley Law Helps Reading Families Get Compensation for Wrongful Death

If you are the spouse, child, or parent of an individual who has died as a result of negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Even if you do not have to live in Pennsylvania, you still can file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for the suffering endured.

Finding a wrongful death lawyer in Reading can be complicated–how do you know the law firm is going to help you? Look no further than Munley Law. At Munley Law, we have more than 60 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured people in Pennsylvania, including the families of victims of wrongful death.

wrongful death lawyerOur lawyers can help you establish negligence by proving that the at-fault party did in fact cause the events which lead to the death of your family member and that the death should have been prevented.

Further, we’ll calculate all of the losses sustained by your loved one prior to death and those you are still handling today. Losing a loved one to negligence is the greatest burden, let us alleviate some of your stress by handling your legal case.

Because we believe in our abilities, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay for our legal services until the case is settled or a verdict is reached. Once successful, you only owe us a percentage of the settlement–this is never more than what you are awarded as we want you to have the ability to move forward from this horrific event.

For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the Reading wrongful death lawyers of Munley Law. The Pennsylvania statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. While this may seem like a long amount of time, it will go quickly which is why it is best to call a lawyer right away.

We’ll handle communications and negotiations so you can work on your inner healing. Call us today.

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