Losing a close family member under any circumstances is a tragedy, but it can be especially painful when a loved one passes away because of another person’s misconduct. Unfortunately, this unimaginable scenario happens every day in Pennsylvania, and recovering fair compensation for the losses you and your family take on as a result can be next to impossible to accomplish alone.
Fortunately, help is available from a dedicated and compassionate Bedford County wrongful death lawyer who knows how to pursue sensitive claims like this effectively and efficiently. No matter what specific losses you want to seek compensation for or how your loved one’s wrongful death occurred, a seasoned injury attorney could be your loyal advocate from start to finish of your legal proceedings.
There are two types of claims that might arise from a fatality: (1) Wrongful Death and (2) Survival Actions. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to help a deceased person’s surviving family members recover for losses associated with that person’s death, including their loss of the comfort and services of the decedent. It is also possible to recover for financial losses sustained by the decedent’s estate because of his or her premature death, such as funeral costs. Survival Actions include the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering between the time of the accident and the time he or she ultimately passed away. Survival Action damages also include future income the decedent would have earned, offset by personal maintenance expenses (such as food and housing expenses) the decedent would have incurred through his or her remaining life.
With that in mind, a comprehensive wrongful death and survival can incorporate some or all the following damages based on the unique needs of the beneficiaries and/or estate involved:
A knowledgeable Bedford County wrongful death attorney could provide further detail about what specific losses might be available in a particular situation during a private meeting.
In Pennsylvania, the person designated in a deceased person’s will as the executor for his or her estate is the only person with legal standing to file a wrongful death claim in the first six months following the decedent’s date. If those six months pass without any litigation being pursued, any of the decedent’s surviving beneficiaries may start a claim on his or her own behalf or on the collective behalf of all beneficiaries. However, no one can file suit over wrongful death more than two years after the death occurred, due to the statute of limitations codified in 42 P.S. §5524.
It is also worth noting that civil litigation against a person accused of criminal wrongdoing leading to someone else’s death can proceed on its own civil track, and the outcome of either case would have no direct bearing on that of the other. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Bedford County could offer guidance throughout the entire legal process, even in situations where the prospective defendant in a civil claim is acquitted of wrongdoing in criminal court.
Almost any accident that has fatal consequences for someone involved can be the basis for civil litigation against the party responsible for the accident, as can any criminal act directly resulting in someone’s death. However, getting a fair and beneficial result from cases of this nature can be very challenging without support from capable legal professionals with a track record of positive outcomes in similar past claims.
Speaking with a Bedford County wrongful death lawyer could help you understand your rights and make the best decision possible for protecting your family’s interests. Call Marcus & Mack today to schedule a consultation.
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