A loved one’s death is never easy to deal with. The inherent challenges associated with grief may become even harder if the death was preventable. If you recently lost a loved one, and you believe another person or entity’s actions or inactions were to blame, you may be entitled to damages via a wrongful death lawsuit.
One of the questions you’ll need to ask following a loved one’s untimely death is whether Pennsylvania law permits you, personally, to file such a claim.
Understanding wrongful death rights in Pennsylvania
Each state has its own definition of what circumstances amount to wrongful death. In Pennsylvania, death is generally deemed wrongful if it is attributable to another person’s negligence or wrongful actions. Here are some of the scenarios that can lead to wrongful death:
- A fatal car accident that is caused by speeding or drunk driving
- Death that results from medical negligence
- Intentional assault that results in fatal injuries
Filing a wrongful death claim
In Pennsylvania, a decedent’s spouse, children or parents can file a wrongful death claim. The decedent’s personal representative can also file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate. This lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations period, which is usually two years from the date of the death.
Some of the damages you can seek during the wrongful death claims process include hospital and medical expenses if the decedent spent time in the hospital before succumbing to their injuries, funeral and burial expenses, lost income as well as estate administration costs, among others.
Pursuing justice on behalf of the departed
No amount of money can turn back the clock and bring your loved one back to life. However, filing a wrongful death claim can help lessen the financial burdens that have resulted from your loved one’s death and can result in some measure of justice.