An unexpected death can take a serious toll on the emotional and financial well-being of your family. In addition to the significant emotional distress that accompanies your loss, you may struggle with outstanding medical bills, funeral costs, and the loss of an income stream. An Altoona wrongful death and survival lawyer could be able to help obtain a financial recovery that will ensure stability for your future. If your loved one’s death occurred due to the negligence of another person or entity, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at Marcus & Mack to seek full compensation.
The Legal Basis for a Wrongful Death Claim
There are many common scenarios that may give rise to a wrongful death claim, including:
- Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective product claims
- Dangerous drug claims
- Premises liability claims
- Medical malpractice cases
To prevail in these cases, the plaintiff must prove that a defendant’s negligence caused the death. An Altoona wrongful death lawyer could help to provide more information about the legal basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Separates a Wrongful Death Case from a Typical Personal Injury Case?
As discussed above, wrongful death cases are similar to other personal injury claims when determining who is at fault for the incident. For example, a negligent driver in a truck accident case is equally liable whether the victim dies as a result of their injuries or survives. Still, there are special considerations that plaintiffs must keep in mind when pursuing a claim for wrongful death.
The first consideration is who may bring the lawsuit. 42 Pa.C.S. §8301(b) states that only a decedent’s personal representative can serve as a plaintiff in these matters. The proper personal representative will be seeking a recovery to benefit the surviving spouse, children, or parents.
Another key matter in wrongful death cases is the type of compensation available to the decedent’s family. Altoona’s courts apply Pennsylvania law which recognizes a wide variety of available damages, including:
- Funeral costs
- Outstanding medical bills
- Costs for the administration of the estate
- Lost wages and benefits for the future
- Payments for loss of companionship or guidance
Unlike in many other jurisdictions, there is no limit to the amount of damages that a jury may award a grieving family. If a plaintiff can prove damages, a court has the authority to award compensation for those damages. An Altoona wrongful death lawyer could help to evaluate a family’s losses and demand full compensation.
An Altoona Wrongful Death Lawyer Could Help Protect Your Family’s Future
While “being made whole” from the loss of a loved one is impossible from a practical and emotional standpoint, a successful wrongful death claim could provide the monetary compensation needed to support your future.
An Altoona wrongful death lawyer may be able to help you to pursue these claims. An at-fault defendant is responsible for their actions, even if they did not mean to cause any harm. Contact us at the Marcus & Mack Law Firm today to hold negligent actors accountable.