Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing a loved one because of the negligence of another person can be far more difficult to bear. Families are oftentimes left with more questions than answers and uncertainty about what actions they can or should take on their loved one’s behalf.
At the Dan Doyle Law Group, in Media, we know this feeling of uncertainty all too well because we have helped hundreds of families over the past 20 years managing the stress that often follows a wrongful death. We not only understand exactly what you’re going through, but we also know what steps you can and should take following a fatal accident.
In order to make a claim for wrongful death, there must be an indication of negligence on the part of the at-fault party, which is the same in any personal injury claim. Some examples of situations involving negligence include:
If negligence was a factor, then a civil action may be filed against the at-fault party or parties, such as with dramshop liability cases. However, due to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations, wrongful death claims need to be filed within two years of a person’s death or risk forfeiting the right to seek compensation.
When we turn to Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301, we can see that all wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. In many cases, a personal representative is designated in the deceased’s will or estate plan. If the deceased had no will or estate plan, then the court can appoint a personal representative on behalf of the estate.
Although wrongful death claims are filed by the personal representative of the deceased, these claims are brought to the court on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries. To that end, if the personal representative of the estate does not file the wrongful death claim within six months from the date of the deceased person’s death, any of the beneficiaries of the estate may file a claim on behalf of all the beneficiaries.
Some of the most common individuals to serve as personal representatives of an estate include:
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another person or entity in Pennsylvania, there may be various types of compensation available to the beneficiaries of the estate. These are civil cases, and the liability of the defendant (alleged at-fault party) will be expressed in terms of monetary damages. These damages can include:
The total amount of compensation available in the aftermath of a Media wrongful death case will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. A wrongful death lawyer at the Dan Doyle Law Group will be able to thoroughly investigate your case and work to obtain maximum compensation on behalf of your family.
It is important to understand that there is a limited amount of time for the personal representative or beneficiaries of an estate to file a wrongful death claim. The Pennsylvania wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. If a wrongful death claim is not filed within this two-year timeframe, the estate and beneficiaries will lose their ability to recover any compensation for their losses.
If you believe negligence is the reason one of your loved ones is deceased, then we encourage you to talk to an attorney at our firm. We know the signs that indicate a wrongful death claim, and we can help you understand your right to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, burial costs, and loss of companionship.