Wrongful death is a term used in the law to describe a death that has been caused by someone’s negligence or other wrongful or illegal act or by the use of or exposure to a defective product. Wrongful-death actions generally allow certain surviving family members of a person who has suffered a wrongful death to obtain financial compensation for the losses they have endured as a result of their loved one’s death. While no amount of money can even come close to compensating family members for someone’s death, these damages awards can enable families to pay the medical, funeral, and other expenses they have incurred and provide some sense of justice in knowing that those responsible for the death have been held legally accountable. Wrongful Death Lawyer Pennsylvania firm Killino is on your side and you can rest assured in the numerous complicated cases we have handled.
The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania wrongful-death attorneys have extensive experience with wrongful-death actions, including those arising out of accidents caused by medical malpractice, other negligence, or defective products. If one of your family members has died as a result of someone’s wrongful act or a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. Contact The Killino Firm Pennsylvania wrongful-death lawyers at 877-875-2927 for a cost-free evaluation of your case and more information about your legal rights and options.
Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Law
Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8301, specifically provides for the recovery of damages “for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” 42 Pa. C.S. § 8301 (a). The recovery of these damages is allowed, however, only if no recovery for the same damages was obtained by the deceased person during his or her lifetime and only if any previously instituted legal actions seeking recovery for the same injuries are combined with the wrongful-death action to avoid any duplication of damages. 42 Pa. C.S. § 8301 (a).
Who can collect damages in wrongful death lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Individuals allowed under Pennsylvania law to recover damages for the wrongful-death of a family member are limited to the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents. 42 Pa. C.S. § 8301 (b). Thus, a deceased person’s surviving spouse, adult or minor children, and surviving parents may be entitled to damages for items and support they would have received from the deceased person if he or she had lived, including such things as housing, food, clothing, medical care, gifts, education, parental services, and the deceased person’s comfort, society, and companionship.
Damages recoverable in Wrongful Death Pennsylvania Cases
Damages recoverable by survivors may also include damages for reasonable hospital, nursing, medical, funeral, and administrative expenses necessitated by the injuries that caused the deceased person’s death. 42 Pa. C.S. § 8301 (c). If none of the named family members survive the deceased person, the deceased person’s personal representative may bring a wrongful-death action to recover damages for the same reasonable hospital, nursing, medical, funeral, and administrative expenses. 42 Pa. C.S. § 8301 (d).
In Pennsylvania wrongful-death actions, when an award of damages has been ordered to be paid to a deceased person’s survivors, the award will be divided among the survivors in accordance with Pennsylvania laws governing the distribution of a deceased person’s estate when a deceased person has left no will (known as the laws of intestacy). In addition to wrongful-death damages paid to a deceased person’s survivors, certain damages may also be paid to the deceased person’s personal representative on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. These damages will become part of the decedent’s estate and will be distributed either in accordance with the decedent’s will or in accordance with the laws of intestacy, if the decedent left no will.
Wrongful-death damages can be warranted for deaths suffered under a wide variety of circumstances. Deaths caused by negligent drivers, negligent doctors and other healthcare professionals, negligent clinics and hospitals, negligent trucking companies, and dangerous and defective products are among the many examples of wrongful deaths that can lead to the liability of negligent individuals and entities or the producers and distributors of defective products for damages suffered by deceased persons’ survivors.
Pennsylvania Survival Actions
A survival action is another type of legal action that may be brought after someone’s death. Under Pennsylvania law, a survival action may be brought by a deceased person’s personal representative, under The Pennsylvania Survival Act, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8302, to recover damages from an individual or entity determined to have caused the decedent’s death for the decedent’s loss of prospective income minus his or her personal living expenses from the time of the decedent’s death through the decedent’s estimated future employment period. If the decedent survived for some time following the wrongfully caused injuries that led to his or her death, these damages may also include the value of the decedent’s gross loss of earnings between the time of injury and death and compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the decedent between the time of injury and wrongful death.
Survival-action damages that duplicate those awarded in wrongful-death damages will not be allowed. Unlike wrongful-death damages, survival-action damages are awarded to a deceased person’s estate rather than to his or her survivors and are, therefore, distributed in accordance with the decedent’s will or in accordance with the laws of intestacy, if the decedent died without a valid will.
Wrongful Death Lawyer Pennsylvania Reviews
Working with several difficult cases, Killino firm has built a stellar reputation as the leading wrongful death lawsuits in Pennsylvania. Clients consistently rank us 5 stars during reviews collected.
Contact Us For a Free Case Evaluation
If one of your family members has died as a result of someone’s negligence or other wrongful conduct or a dangerous and defective product, The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania wrongful-death attorneys can help you obtain the justice you deserve from all those responsible for your family member’s death. Contact us at 877-875-2927 for aggressive yet compassionate assistance with your case.