Easton Wrongful Death Lawyer

Easton wrongful death lawyer, Edward P. Shaughnessy, understands the profound impact an untimely death can have on families. As an experienced wrongful death attorney serving the Lehigh Valley area, he pursues financial compensation through wrongful death action claims to help surviving family members through the grieving process.

With decades of experience serving Easton, PA, our personal injury law firm stands as a beacon of hope during some of life’s most challenging moments. At the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy, our compassionate Easton wrongful death attorneys possess a profound understanding of Pennsylvania’s laws, combined with the tenacity and experience required to navigate the legal system effectively.

Our Easton wrongful death lawyers are committed to offering personalized, empathetic service to each of our clients.

Whether your loved one’s death resulted from a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, workplace incident, or any other form of negligence, an experienced Easton wrongful death lawyer at Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy is here to help. We are dedicated to fighting for the maximum just compensation possible, including medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, and compensation for the pain and suffering endured by surviving family members.

Contact an Easton wrongful death lawyer at 610-258-9955 today to schedule a free consultation. Let our Easton wrongful death lawyers shoulder the burden of filing a wrongful death claim and pursuing compensation so you can focus on healing and honoring the memory of your loved one.

What is Wrongful Death?

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Wrongful death is a legal tort characterized by the untimely and sudden death of a person due to someone else’s wrongful or negligent act.

According to Pennsylvania law (42 Pa. C.S.A. Section 8301 (a)), surviving family members have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim and recover damages under these circumstances through wrongful death lawsuits.

Wrongful death lawsuits fall under the large umbrella of personal injury law. The goal is for the family to receive financial support and justice for their tragic loss. This type of personal injury lawsuit can be very complex and devastating for the deceased’s family members, which is why it’s so important to hire an experienced Easton wrongful death attorney to provide solace, direction, and just compensation.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania

Similar to personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death cases can stem from a multitude of tragic accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice incidents, workplace accidents, defective products, and premises liability violations.

Motor vehicle accidents, such as car accidents, semi-truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents, are a leading cause of wrongful death in Easton and throughout Pennsylvania.

Whether it’s due to reckless driving, drunk driving, or distracted driving, the consequences of a car accident can be devastating for surviving family members. Easton car accident attorneys can help families obtain justice and just compensation for their suffering.

Medical malpractice can result in wrongful death when the negligence of Easton medical professionals or an Easton hospital leads to fatal accidents. Common examples of medical negligence can include surgical errors, diagnostic errors, and medication errors.

As your personal representative, our Easton wrongful death lawyers will work with medical experts to determine whether a reasonable person working within the Easton hospital or medical setting would have acted the same way under similar circumstances.

Medical malpractice claims are incredibly complex and require the expertise and guidance of an Easton medical malpractice attorney.

In cases of workplace accidents, such as construction accidents or industrial incidents, the at-fault party may be held accountable for the untimely death of an employee due to unsafe working conditions.

Our Easton workers’ compensation lawyer handles wrongful death claims on the work injury claims and personal injury lawsuit side.

Product liability can lead to wrongful death claims when a defective product, whether it’s faulty equipment, dangerous pharmaceuticals, or defective vehicles, causes a fatal accident. Contact an Easton product liability attorney today to schedule a free consultation.

Premises liability wrongful death claims can arise from slip and fall accidents, inadequate security leading to fatal incidents, or hazardous conditions on someone else’s property. An Easton slip and fall accident attorney can help injured victims recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.

What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do in Easton, PA?

At the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy, the Easton wrongful death attorneys play a critical and multifaceted role in the aftermath of a tragic loss, providing legal expertise and compassionate emotional support to those left behind.

Led by Edward P. Shaughnessy, our team of Easton wrongful death lawyers take on the responsibility of proving that your loved one’s death was a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional act, a task that requires a deep understanding of the law, attention to detail, and the ability to construct a compelling wrongful death case.

From the initial consultation, our Easton wrongful death attorneys work closely with the surviving spouse or family members to understand the full impact of their loss, meticulously gathering evidence to build a strong foundation for the wrongful death case.

One of the critical tasks of a wrongful death lawyer is to assess the full extent of damages. This includes immediate financial costs, such as funeral expenses and medical bills, and long-term financial impacts.

Additionally, wrongful death lawyers calculate non-economic damages, which includes compensation for the survivors’ mental anguish, loss of companionship, guidance, and support previously provided by the deceased.

Negotiation skills are paramount, as wrongful death lawyers often engage in settlement discussions with the at-fault party or their insurance company. Easton wrongful death attorneys must advocate fiercely on behalf of the grieving family to secure a wrongful death settlement that accurately reflects the magnitude of their loss, all while preparing for the possibility of taking the case to a jury trial.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the wrongful death attorney is prepared to present the case in court.

The Easton wrongful death attorneys navigate this legal process with sensitivity to the emotional state of their clients, providing support and understanding during one of the most challenging times in their lives. They handle the legal complexities and procedural requirements of wrongful death cases, allowing the family to focus on healing and remembrance.

How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work in Pennsylvania?

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A wrongful death lawsuit is initiated by the surviving spouse or family members of someone who has died as a result of a negligent act. A wrongful death lawsuit works by seeking financial compensation for the losses suffered by the deceased’s family members.

The process or a wrongful death lawsuit involves several key steps, each critical to building a solid case for compensation.

A wrongful death case begins with identifying who is eligible to file the wrongful death lawsuit. This generally includes immediate family members like spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children. In some cases, extended family members or the estate may be eligible to file the claim.

Next, your Easton wrongful death lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. This includes gathering evidence, speaking with medical experts, etc.

The goal is to establish the defendant breached their duty of care and provide a clear link between the negligent party and your loved one’s death.

Your Easton wrongful death attorney will then assess the full extent of damages, including medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings and benefits, loss of companionship and emotional support, and pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death.

Calculating a fair settlement requires a comprehensive understanding of the loss’s financial and emotional impact.

The next step is to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court officially. This wrongful death action outlines the basis of the wrongful death claim, including the evidence of negligence or wrongdoing and the damages being pursued.

After the wrongful death lawsuit is filed, both parties (either the insurance company or the defendant) engage in the discovery process, exchanging information and evidence related to the wrongful death case. This stage involves depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories.

Wrongful death cases are often settled out of court, with the attorneys for both sides negotiating and reaching a fair settlement agreement that compensates the plaintiffs for their loss. If a wrongful death settlement is reached, the wrongful death case ends without going to trial.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the wrongful death case moves to a trial. During the trial, both sides present their evidence and arguments to a judge or jury, who will then decide on the defendant’s liability and the amount of damages owed to the plaintiffs.

After the judge or jury trial, either party may appeal the decision if they believe a legal error affected the outcome. The appeals process involves higher courts reviewing the case to determine if the trial was conducted fairly and according to law.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Civil vs. Criminal in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, wrongful death lawsuits fall under civil law, distinct from criminal proceedings. A wrongful death lawsuit allows the deceased’s estate or family members to seek financial compensation from the party responsible for the death.

This civil action is separate from any criminal charges the responsible party might face, such as manslaughter or murder, which are pursued by the state and can result in penalties like imprisonment or fines.

While a criminal conviction focuses on punishing the offender, a wrongful death lawsuit aims to provide monetary relief to the deceased’s survivors for their losses and suffering.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit vs. Survival Action in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action are two distinct legal claims that can arise from the death of a person due to the negligence or wrongful act of another. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the deceased’s estate or family members to seek compensation for their own losses, such as funeral expenses and the loss of financial support.

On the other hand, a survival action is brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate to recover damages the deceased could have claimed if they had survived.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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For a successful wrongful death claim, the plaintiff and their experienced wrongful death attorney must establish the four elements of negligence: duty of care, breached duty of care, causation, and damages.

Duty of Care: The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, implying a legal obligation to act responsibly and prevent harm.

Breached Duty of Care: It must be proven that the defendant breached their duty of care through a negligent act, establishing their responsibility for the death.

Causation: A direct link must be established between the breach of duty and the death, meaning that the negligent party caused the fatal accident.

Damages: Surviving family members must have suffered damages as a result of the death, including financial losses, emotional distress, and other tangible and intangible losses.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

Under Pennsylvania law (42 Pa. C.S.A. Section 8301 (b)), the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is typically granted to specific family members, such as the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased person.

In cases where none of these individuals are available to pursue the lawsuit, other parties (such as siblings, close relatives, or even an estate representative) may be granted legal standing to file the claim.

Potential Liable Parties in a Wrongful Death Claim

In Easton, a family member may be able to file a wrongful death claim against numerous parties, including:

  • Drunk or distracted drivers;
  • Employers or employees;
  • Businesses or corporations;
  • Government entities;
  • Property owners;
  • Or medical professionals.

The specific circumstances of the wrongful death case will determine who exactly is liable for your loved one’s death. Our Easton wrongful death lawyers will analyze the case details and seek justice from the correct negligent party.

What is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement in Pennsylvania?

The amount of a wrongful death settlement can vary widely depending on several factors, including the extent of the damages suffered, the strength of the evidence, the age and characteristics of the deceased person, and the financial resources of the at-fault party. Wrongful death settlements can range from thousands to millions of dollars, with the primary goal being to provide just compensation for the family’s losses.

Easton wrongful death attorney, Edward Shaughnessy, can examine the details of your wrongful death action and help you calculate a fair settlement amount for your loss.

Wrongful Death Damages in Pennsylvania

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Damages in a wrongful death claim encompass a range of losses categorized into three primary types: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages are essentially quantifiable financial losses, including:

  • Medical bills of the deceased;
  • Loss of financial support from the deceased party;
  • And burial and funeral expenses.

Non-economic damages are those that cannot be quantified. They typically include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Loss of consortium;
  • And loss of emotional support.

Punitive damages may be awarded in rare cases involving particularly egregious conduct by the at-fault party. These damages punish the wrongdoer further and discourage similar behavior in the future.

Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Settlements in Pennsylvania?

No, Pennsylvania state law has no specific statutory cap on financial recovery for wrongful death lawsuits. To understand the current legal landscape regarding settlement caps, it’s essential to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy.

Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Pennsylvania imposes a statute of limitations governing the timeframe within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. Generally, the lawsuit must be initiated within two years of the date of the individual’s death.

Consulting with an Easton wrongful death attorney promptly is essential to ensure your wrongful death claim is filed within the applicable timeframe.

Experienced Easton Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you have tragically lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Easton, Pennsylvania, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy as soon as possible.

Experienced Easton wrongful death attorney Ed Shaughnessy is prepared to discuss your wrongful death case and help you through the challenging and emotional legal process. During this tragic time, our legal expertise can serve as a lifeline, guiding you toward justice and fair compensation. 

Contact the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy today at 610-258-9955 to schedule your free case evaluation and take the first step toward seeking legal action and holding the at-fault party accountable for their negligence.

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