December 18, 2014

A wrongful death occurs in Pennsylvania when a person is accidentally killed by the negligent, wrongful or unlawfully violent actions of another. Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act and Survival Act contain many provisions but arguably the most notable one is that they allow the victim’s family and “personal representative” to sue those individuals responsible for the premature death of their loved one. More specifically, the right to sue on a wrongful death action is extended to the victim’s spouse, children, parents or a person identified as the. There are also no state residency requirements for these beneficiaries to file their claims.

Another interesting component of the Wrongful Death Act is that it also contains a provision for situations where the decedent had no surviving beneficiaries. In those rare cases, the law allows an individual known as a “personal representative” to file a claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate if no other family members have been identified within six months of the wrongful death.

That personal representative is entitled to sue for damages associated with the reasonable hospital, nursing, medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of the decedent’s wrongful death. Generally, this action will be to recover money spent while trying to keep decedents alive before they ultimately succumbed to their injuries.

Imagine a case where a motorist who was struck by a drunk driver lived for a decade in a persistent vegetative state before he or she eventually died. The medical costs associated with providing constant care for that victim would naturally be quite substantial.

If you are a family member of an individual who was wrongfully killed in Pennsylvania you may be entitled to seek compensation for the loss of your loved one. Your Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney can assist you in assembling your claims for loss of services, society and comfortor even a loss of guidance, tutelage and moral upbringing suffered by your children.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, “§ 8301. Death action.” Dec. 18, 2014