Lancaster Wrongful Death Lawyer
Compassionate Lancaster Injury Attorney Helping Families Deal with Wrongful Death
When a loved one dies unexpectedly in a tragic accident, the surviving family members are rarely prepared to deal with the shock and disruption to their lives. Beyond the emotional loss, there are very real and immediate financial losses as well, such as the cost of funeral and burial expenses, final medical bills, and the future loss of income or support the family member would have provided. There may be no way to avoid these losses, but Pennsylvania law does provide a way for families to seek justice, closure and financial assistance to deal with their needs. Through a combination of Wrongful Death and Survival actions, Lancaster wrongful death lawyer John P. Stengel helps family members in southeastern Pennsylvania get the assistance they need to move forward after the tragic loss of a beloved family member.
Important Facts to Know about Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Law
A claim or lawsuit can be filed for any wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another that results in death. A wrongful death settlement or court judgment goes to compensate the survivors of the deceased, namely the surviving spouse, children and parents. Each person’s share of the award is determined according to Pennsylvania intestacy laws, which determine how to apportion an estate when a person dies without a will.
A plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit can recover for general damages caused by the death, such as the loss of income the deceased would have earned, the value of services the deceased would have provided to the family, the loss of the comfort and society of the deceased, and compensation for the emotional and psychological loss. In addition, Pennsylvania wrongful death law has a provision for special damages in addition to other damages. These special damages include reasonable hospital, nursing, medical and funeral expenses and expenses of administration necessitated by reason of injuries causing death.
Survival Actions can Help Maximum Financial Recovery
Pennsylvania law also recognizes the right to bring a survival action. This law basically states that if a person who died had the right to bring a lawsuit had he or she lived, that right survives the deceased and can be brought by surviving family members. Most often a person who died because of the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another would have been able to bring a personal injury claim against the negligent party had he or she lived.
A survival action can be brought together with a wrongful death action, helping to maximize the recovery for the surviving family members. It is important to understand the distinctions between the two actions, however. For instance, a recovery in a survival action goes into the estate and is distributed in accordance with the will. Proceeds are subject to inheritance taxes and attack by creditors, and must go through probate. None of this is the case for wrongful death recoveries. An experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will understand these important differences and know how best to pursue both actions to maximize recovery.
Let a Board-Certified Trial Specialist Help You Recover Compensation after a Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania
As a nationally board-certified civil trial expert and AV rated attorney, John P. Stengel possesses the knowledge, skill and experience to handle all aspects of complex wrongful death and survival actions on your behalf. Let Mr. Stengel focus on getting you a financial recovery to help you through this difficult time. Call our experienced Lancaster wrongful death lawyer today at 717-290-7971 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.