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Wrongful Death and Survival Damages: Understanding Your Legal Rights
Close up of female hand on coffin saying goodbye at outdoor funeral ceremony

Wrongful Death and Survival Damages: Understanding Your Legal Rights

Losing a loved one is a devastating experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and helpless. If the death resulted from someone else’s negligence, the situation could be even more traumatic. In such cases, the surviving family members can pursue legal action against the party responsible for their loved one’s death. This type of legal action is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.

At Marcus & Mack, we understand that no amount of money can ever replace your loved one. However, we believe justice should be served, and those responsible for the death should be held accountable. This blog post will discuss wrongful death and survival damages and help you understand the legal process.

What Does Wrongful Death Mean?

Wrongful death is when someone dies due to another individual or entity’s negligence or intentional act. Negligence can include actions such as medical malpractice, defective products, automobile accidents, or workplace accidents. The surviving family members of the deceased individual can file this lawsuit to seek compensation for losing their loved one.  This claim accounts for the family members’ own losses in the guidance and comfort of their lost family member.

What Is the Survival Act?

Survival Act damages refer to the damages the deceased person would have been entitled to, had he or she survived the accident. This includes the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering between the moment of the accident and the death, as well as future wages that would have been earned, with an offset for personal maintenance expenses (such as housing and food) that the decedent would have spent.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Pennsylvania, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit belongs to the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The personal representative is the person appointed through the decedent’s will, if he or she had a will.  In the absence of a will, the personal representative can be a family member, a friend of the deceased person, or an attorney appointed by the court.  The actual beneficiaries of a wrongful death lawsuit, however, are only the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.

What Types of Damages May Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death and Survival Act Lawsuit?

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit that could be recovered include:

  1. Economic damages. These damages include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of earning capacity.
  2. Non-economic damages. These include compensation for the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering, the survivors’ loss of companionship and comfort.
  3. Punitive damages. These are awarded to punish the responsible party for his or her reckless behavior.

Contact Our Compassionate Attorneys for Help Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

At Marcus & Mack, we understand that losing a loved one is a traumatic experience. We’re here to help you seek justice and hold those responsible for your loved one’s death accountable.

If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, contact us today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys can assist you through the legal process and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Come And Visit Our Offices

Marcus & Mack

Marcus & Mack
N/a
57 S 6th Street,
The Mitchell House

Indiana PA   15701
1216 11th Ave,
Suite 219

Altoona PA   16601
108 West Beaver Avenue,
Suite 203

State College PA  16801
334 Budfield St,
#132

Johnstown PA  15904
12 West Long Ave.
Suite 203

DuBois PA  15801