Wrongful death claims are a unique area of the law that differs from other types of lawsuits, so we thought a blog addressing these nuances would be helpful. Following are some of the ways in which wrongful death lawsuits are distinctive. For questions regarding a specific wrongful death matter, contact our firm to speak with one of our attorneys. Who the Plaintiffs Are In most lawsuits, it’s obvious who the plaintiff(s) (i.e., the harmed party) should be. However, in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff is not necessarily the person or persons who will recover compensation if the lawsuit is successful. Rule 230 Pa. C.S. §2202 states that in most cases, the personal representative (PR) is the proper person to file a wrongful death claim “for the benefit of those persons entitled by law to recover damages for such wrongful death.” This is true even though any compensation recovered will not be awarded to the estate. Underlying Acts and The Burden of Proof Rule 42 Pa. C.S. §8301 states that a wrongful death action may be brought to recover “for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” This means that the underlying act that gives rise to wrongful death claims can be the result of a criminal or civil act. Keep in mind that the burden of proof is different for a criminal act than it is for a civil act. In a criminal trial, guilt must be proven […]
Category: Wrongful Death
Delegating the care of someone you love to the staff of a nursing home requires significant trust. When that trust is betrayed, resulting in the death of your loved one, you are left grief-stricken and with feelings of betrayal. While we know that nothing can replace the void your loved one leaves behind, our attorneys can help hold those that caused their nursing home wrongful death accountable.
The heartbreak and grief following the loss of a loved one can be literally overwhelming. The survivors are having enough trouble simply making arrangements without the thought of any type of legal claim. Nonetheless, a wrongful death claim may be critical to their futures. These survivors, such as spouses and children, may be dependent on the deceased person’s financial compensation.
There are very few, if any, more tragic circumstances than the loss of a minor child. When a child dies because of someone’s negligence, the law recognizes that parents have a claim to recover for the child’s wrongful death. If you have lost a child due to some other person or entity’s behavior, contact a Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis for help. We understand that you are experiencing indescribable suffering and will handle your wrongful death claim with compassion, respect, and effectiveness.
With the loss of an hour due to daylight savings time, this week we can expect an increase in everything from car accidents to heart attacks. According to a 2014 study by the University of Colorado, auto accidents increase, due to the fact that it takes about 6-7 days to adjust to the darker morning commutes, coupled with the fact that the loss of an hour of sleep causes drivers to be less alert. According to the study, there is a 6.3% increase in traffic fatalities in over the six days following the March time change.
As personal injury attorneys, this most recent snow storm, reminds us again of the dangers of snow and ice flying off the back of moving vehicles. The dash-cam video below shows how this dangerous this driving hazard can be.
A wrongful death, which can be defined as a death caused by another party’s negligence or intentional acts, can occur in many circumstances. The statistics are stunning: every year, over 90,000 deaths occur due to medical malpractice alone, not including the many other causes of wrongful death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 19,656 slip-and-fall fatalities in 2005. The CDC’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) also reports that an estimated 98,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors, as one in five medical errors are potentially serious or fatal. The CDC reports that there were 19,656 slip-and-fall fatalities in 2005, and in 2006, there were 5,840 fatalities resulting from workplace accidents. If you have a loved one who has passed due to someone else’s negligent or purposeful behavior, contact a Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer for help.
What is a “Wrongful Death” Claim? “Wrongful Death” is a death caused by another person’s negligent or wrongful act. Many types of these acts can give rise to a wrongful death claim, including medical malpractice, automobile accidents, defective products, premises liability, pedestrian accidents, and various types of torts. Every state has its own wrongful death statute, each with its own criteria and procedure for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. Nonetheless, there may be certain agencies that have governmental immunity from prosecution for wrongful death lawsuits. If a loved one has passed due to someone else’s negligence or intentional tort, contact a Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer for help. Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim? Commonly, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by a representative on behalf of the eligible survivors who suffered harm from their loved one’s death, commonly referred to as “real parties in interest,” whose eligibility varies from state to state. In all states, spouses, children, and the parents of unmarried children may act as real parties in interest and bring claims against the responsible parties. Typically, the representative of the real parties in interest who is bringing the suit must prove: A death caused by someone else’s negligence or intentionally wrongful actions (i.e., you have to start out by proving the underlying tort), The survival of family members who suffered harm because of the death and who are eligible to recover for damages, and The appointment of a personal representative of the decedent’s estate when appropriate. […]
The loss of a loved one in an accident can be extremely damaging, and in a multitude of different ways. Besides the emotional harm caused by the death, family members and other dependents may struggle due to the loss of significant financial support once provided by the deceased. For example, in the wake of an accident that causes the death of your spouse, you may lose access to significant financial resources (i.e., their salary) that was used to cover a range of expenses, such as food and rent. In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, wrongful death plaintiffs have a right to sue and recover against the liable defendant (whose negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct caused the death at-issue) for damages that they suffer as direct result of their loved one’s death. This may include damages that account for the loss of financial support. Damages available to the wrongful death plaintiff can vary quite significantly from case-to-case, depending on the nature of the relationship between the plaintiff and the deceased. Let our Stroudsburg wrongful death lawyer help you with your case. Understanding the Loss of Financial Support Calculating the loss of financial support may seem straightforward, but the plaintiff must introduce evidence of consistent support over a specific period of time in order to secure damages for financial support. “One-off” payments or gifts may not be sufficient to prove financial support. For example, if your uncle gave you two major and unexpected gifts of $10,000 (over a 12 year period), then you would […]
This Sunday morning, at 2 AM, Daylight Savings Time will end. We will move our clocks back one hour. While many will welcome the extra hour of sleep we gain, when Daylight Saving Time ends, many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are 3 times greater at night than during the day. Fatigue, compromised night vision, and impaired drivers are some of the risks we face when driving at night. These risks become especially pronounced moving into the weekend, with fatal crashes peaking on Saturday nights, according to NSC analysis of NHTSA data. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver. Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react, especially when driving at higher speeds. Ninety percent of your reaction time depends on your ability to see what’s around you. Since your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision decrease after sundown, your chances for a car accident tend to increase. According to the American Optometric Association, as we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult due to compromised vision as a result of cataracts […]