Easton Wrongful Death Attorney
Legal Advocacy For Those Left Behind
Few situations are more devastating than prematurely losing a loved one. Fatal accidents occur in the blink of an eye, seldom leaving opportunity for survivors to say their goodbyes. Lives once full of potential are lost, leaving a gaping hole in the lives and hearts of those left behind.
At the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy, in Easton, Pennsylvania, we offer compassionate counsel and aggressive advocacy to families wishing to pursue a wrongful death claim following a fatal accident. We recognize you are deep in grief. No amount of money can begin to replace your loss. However, securing compensation from liable parties may provide some relief and allow you to move forward.
For more than 25 years, Edward P. Shaughnessy, a highly skilled personal injury and wrongful death lawyer, has helped families seek justice after an accidental fatality. Call 610-258-9955 to arrange a free consultation. All wrongful death cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you and your family will not be responsible for attorney fees unless our firm is successful in your case.*
Wrongful Death Claims
The causes of wrongful death are innumerable. A loved one can be prematurely lost in virtually any kind of accident, including those involving cars, trucks, or motorcycles. An act of medical malpractice may also lead to a case of accidental death. No matter the cause, the results are always the same. Survivors are left questioning — why did this have to happen to us? To that, there is no answer.
Moving on with life is essential. Pursuing a wrongful death claim may bring some sense of closure to all you have suffered.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania?
Death is inevitable. However, you can never prepare enough for a loved one’s death. The pain and devastation become unbearable when a loved one’s death could have been prevented.
If a loved one dies as a result of another person or entity’s unlawful or illegal actions, you may pursue the liable party for damages through a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are basically designed to recover expenses such as medical bills if the victim spent days in hospital before succumbing to their injuries, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income if you were financially dependent on the victim and loss of companionship among other damages.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death claim in Pennsylvania?
While a loved one’s death can impact several people, Pennsylvania law restricts who may bring a claim. Per Pennsylvania statute, only the decedent’s surviving spouse, children or parents may sue for monetary damages following a loved one’s wrongful death. And the person bringing the lawsuit does not have to be a resident of the state.
What Happens if the Decedent is not Survived by any of These?
When the victim has no surviving beneficiary who qualifies to bring a claim, their estate’s personal representative will be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The awarded damages would then go to the victim’s estate.
For instance, the estate’s personal representative may sue to recover the monies that were spent on the victim’s medical bills as well as funeral and burial expenses. They may also seek administrative expenses that were occasioned by the victim’s injury and death.
What Damages are you Entitled to With a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania?
There’s no amount of money that can compensate you for the loss of a loved one. When their death was preventable and their life was taken as a result of another’s negligence, it can make it even more difficult to accept and process.
Unfortunately, there are costs that come after a person dies. No one is ever prepared for these costs and it can cause financial difficulty, especially when your loved one was the main earner in the family. A wrongful death claim can provide you with a damages payment to help you financially while you take time to grieve.
Philadelphia’s Wrongful Death Laws
The law in PA allows for immediate family members such as the spouse, children or parents of the deceased to recover damages following the death of their loved one. The death must be as a result of the wrongful act, negligence or unlawful violence of another.
Available Damages for Wrongful Death Claims
- Economic damages – these costs are those which were accrued as a direct result of a person’s injuries and death. These damages may cover such expenses and hospital fees, paying for the funeral and the administrative costs that occur due to the death of your loved one. These costs are often easily calculable.
- What damages are you entitled to with a wrongful death claim? – these damages are not easy to quantify and it will never be possible to attribute a value to the pain that comes with losing someone you love. The law, however, does allow you to make a claim for damages to account for your pain and suffering following your loss. It takes into account the emotional distress you’ve experienced and the loss of love, loss of companionship and the emotional pain of a tragic loss.
If you have been affected by the wrongful death of a loved one due to the negligent or wrongful act of another, finding out about your rights to make a claim can help give you the financial space you need to grieve.
Special Damages for Wrongful Death Claims
In addition to other damages, plaintiffs are often well within their rights to seek damages for the following expenses:
- Hospital stays: Before the injured passes away, there are often significant medical bills.
- Nursing care: Sometimes an injured party spends time in a nursing home before leaving this life.
- Medical care: In addition to hospital stays, many receive numerous medical services such as labs, doctor appointments and outpatient surgeries.
- Funeral arrangements: Funeral and burial costs can be compensated for in the event of a wrongful death case.
- Administration of the estate: To conclude the affairs of a person means executing and administrating the remaining estate.
Common damages to a person or property are well known. However, the five special damages above can be surprising to some. The fifth one, the administration of the estate, is intuitive. If the person hadn’t died, they wouldn’t need the execution of their estate. The law strives to be just with all forms of damages.
Determining Fair Compensation for Wrongful Death
One of the most difficult aspects of our job is placing a monetary value on a human life. How can anyone really determine what a mother, father, sister or brother’s life was worth in dollars and cents? An exact calculation is not only impossible, but inconceivable. Working with a roster of experts, we strive to determine an acceptable amount for lost earning potential, lost services and a loss of companionship, knowing that no amount of money can make up for the wrongful death.
Our law firm is prepared to handle the legalities involved in a wrongful death claim while you and your family focus on rebuilding your lives. Contact us.