Philadelphia Wrongful Death Attorneys
Tirelessly Pursuing Justice for You & Your Family
Losing a loved one is the most difficult situations you can face. Knowing that your loved one’s death could have been avoided can make the healing process immeasurably more challenging. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. All too often, carelessness, recklessness, and negligence lead to devastating, fatal accidents and families are left to pick up the pieces.
If your loved one died due to another person or party’s negligent or wrongful conduct, you have legal options. Our Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers can help you seek justice in the wake of your loss. We work to hold negligent people and parties accountable while also working to recover rightful compensation for victims’ loved ones. While no amount of financial recovery can ever “make up” for your loss, a successful claim can allow you to handle unexpected financial hardships and find the ability to heal and move forward.
When Is Someone’s Death Considered “Wrongful?”
By law, the death of a person is considered “wrongful” when it results from the negligent actions (or inactions) or unlawful conduct of another person, party, or entity. In other words, if the death could have been prevented, it is a wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims often involve the following:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Defective products
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Work-related accidents
In short, if the deceased would have been eligible to file a personal injury claim had he or she lived, the deceased’s surviving loved ones have grounds to bring a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania?
As in other states, Pennsylvania limits the people who are allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Generally speaking, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the one who actually files the claim. This is someone named in the deceased’s will or appointed by the court if no will exists. The personal representative has six months to file a claim on behalf of the deceased’s beneficiaries. If they do not file the claim within this time period, any of the beneficiaries may then bring a claim on behalf of all beneficiaries.
What Damages Are Available?
Financial compensation can never make up for or undo the loss you have endured. However, an unexpected death can bring with it certain financial hardships. This is especially true when the deceased earned income to support the beneficiaries, but anyone can face economic challenges in the aftermath of a wrongful death.
A wrongful death claim allows you to seek compensation for:
- Medical costs/hospital expenses
- Funeral and/or burial costs
- Costs associated with estate administration
- Lost wages/income
- Lost benefits
- The value of household services provided by the deceased
- Loss of comfort, companionship, and society
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages. These are meant to “punish” the negligent party and help ensure that similar acts do not occur again in the future.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
A wrongful death settlement will usually be paid out in either one of two ways:
A Structure Settlement is when the surviving family receives regular payments from the final settlement amount obtained in the personal injury case. This method is intended to provide the family with ongoing payments to help meet their needs over a longer period of time. This method is often difficult to get reversed once it has been agreed upon.
A Lump-Sum settlement is when the surviving family is awarded the entirety of their settlement in one payment. This can be beneficial for families who are facing large up-front medical bills or other expenses due to their loss.
Contact Our Firm Today for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC, we understand just how difficult this time is for you and your family. Our wrongful death attorneys in Philadelphia are prepared to guide you through the process of seeking justice so that you can begin to heal. Throughout the process, we will provide you with compassionate legal counsel and personalized attention, all while aggressively advocating for you and your family. If necessary, we are ready to take your case to trial in order to fight for the justice you deserve.