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Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence is a tragedy no one should have to bear. While no amount of money will make things right, seeking justice with the help of a Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer can hold the at-fault party accountable and bring your family some security. 

$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 Considered Wrongful Death?

Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer

In Pennsylvania, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, unlawful violence, or negligence of another person or entity. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the family of the deceased for the losses they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s untimely death. This includes immediate expenses like funeral and burial costs and long-term losses such as loss of earnings and financial support, benefits, and companionship.

Common causes of wrongful death lawsuits include fatal motor vehicle accidents, commercial truck accidents, workplace accidents, defective products or dangerous medications, and medical negligence. 

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate on behalf of the deceased’s beneficiaries, typically including the spouse, children, and parents.

The Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act states that only specific individuals may file a wrongful death claim. Under Pennsylvania law, only the representative of the deceased’s estate can bring the wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries. However, suppose a personal representative does not file a wrongful death claim within six months of the date of death. In that case, any beneficiary may file the claim on behalf of all beneficiaries. The estate’s representative is also known as the executor of the will; if you are unsure who in your family is the designated representative of the estate, an attorney can help you sort it out. 

Who can recover compensation for a wrongful death case?

In Pennsylvania, the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased are typically the ones eligible to recover compensation in a wrongful death claim.

The representative of the decedent’s estate is not necessarily a beneficiary of the estate. In other words, the person who files the lawsuit is not always one of the people who will receive benefits as a result of the lawsuit. 

How a Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Attorney Can Support You

Dan Munley in court for wrongful death lawsuitLosing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions is devastating in so many ways. An experienced attorney in this specialized field can provide much-needed support during this difficult time. 

During your initial consultation with a wrongful death attorney, a lawyer will inform you of your rights and the potential for compensation under Pennsylvania law, ensuring you fully understand the legal options available to you and your family. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, he or she will handle all aspects of the legal process on your behalf from that point forward. 

Experienced wrongful death attorneys conduct thorough investigations to determine the cause of death and identify the parties liable for your loss. This often involves gathering evidence, consulting with experts, and reconstructing the accident scene if necessary. They will help collect and organize essential documents, such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements, to build a strong case on your behalf.

Your attorneys will also work with medical and economic experts to calculate the maximum value of your case. They aim to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your losses, negotiating with insurance companies and opposing counsel on your behalf. If a fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court, your attorney will be prepared to advocate for your rights and interests before a judge or jury.

Munley Law is a full-service law firm. Our Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyers provide comprehensive support throughout the litigation process, from filing the lawsuit to presenting evidence and arguing your case in court.

Pennsylvania Wrongful Death FAQs

What is a survival action? What is the difference between wrongful death claims and survival action in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, both wrongful death claims and survival actions are legal avenues available following the death of a person due to someone else’s negligence. A wrongful death claim is filed for the benefit of the deceased’s immediate family members or beneficiaries. It is intended to compensate the family for the losses resulting from their loved one’s death.

A survival action, on the other hand, is a claim that the deceased could have filed had they survived their injuries. The deceased’s estate brings this action and is essentially a continuation of any personal injury claims the deceased could have pursued if they had lived. 

Understanding the nuances between these two types of claims can be complex, and navigating them often requires an experienced attorney specializing in wrongful death and personal injury law in Pennsylvania.

What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death in Pennsylvania?

The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of death. Failure to file within this timeframe typically results in losing the right to sue.

How does the distribution of wrongful death settlements work among family members in Pennsylvania?

The distribution of wrongful death settlements among eligible family members is as follows:

If a spouse and children survive the deceased, the settlement is usually divided among them, with the spouse receiving a portion and the remainder divided among the children.

If a spouse survives the deceased but no children: The spouse often receives the entire settlement.
If the deceased is survived by children but no spouse: The settlement is divided equally among the children.

If parents survive the deceased but no spouse or children: The parents may receive the settlement, which can be divided equally if both are living.

If there are no direct family members: The settlement may then be distributed to more distant relatives according to Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws.

Special Considerations

The wrongful death settlement is usually paid to the deceased’s estate and distributed according to the wrongful death act’s provisions. A personal estate representative or executor is responsible for ensuring the proper distribution.

Sometimes, family members may agree to a different distribution of the settlement. However, such agreements should be documented and may need to be approved by a court to prevent future disputes.

Suppose minor children are entitled to a portion of the settlement. In that case, additional legal steps may be required to protect their interests, such as establishing a trust or guardianship for their funds.

Contact the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Attorneys at Munley Law

Begin with a free consultation with Pennsylvania’s top wrongful death attorneys. Since 1959, Pennsylvanians have trusted Munley Law when it mattered most. During your free consultation, you can ask questions, get clarity, and understand what comes next.

We do not charge a fee for our services unless we win your case.

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