Unexpectedly losing a loved one is difficult, especially if his or her passing was caused by another person. If someone else’s negligence caused the loss of a loved one, you could benefit from contacting a DuBois wrongful death lawyer. With help from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you could seek financial compensation from the at-fault parties and hold them accountable for your losses.
Common Causes of Untimely Deaths
Only certain individuals may file suit in wrongful death cases. This may include the deceased person’s spouse, parents, or children.
When another person’s negligence, failure to act, or purposeful actions cause the death, there may be a basis for a wrongful death claim. Common causes for wrongful deaths include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Medical mistakes
- Slip and fall incidents
- Manslaughter or murder
- Workplace accidents
An experienced DuBois attorney could conduct an independent investigation of the wrongful death to determine which parties are responsible. After gathering strong evidence, lawyers could help families hold the at-fault party responsible for the untimely passing of their loved ones.
Deadline for Beneficiaries to File a Wrongful Death Claim
In Pennsylvania, wrongful death claims are subject to strict deadline, and failure to file within the time limit could cause the claim to be dismissed, regardless of its merits. This deadline is called the statute of limitations and typically requires that plaintiffs file the claim within two years from the date of the accident. In some rare circumstances, this deadline may be extended if the plaintiff could not have reasonably known of the wrongful conduct.
If the deadline passes, the plaintiff could be left without legal recourse. DuBois families should consider seeking the opinion of a seasoned lawyer to determine the applicable deadline and the validity of their claim.
Recovering Damages for a Wrongful Death
A plaintiff must prove certain elements in a case to recover damages. This requires proving that the defendant owed a legal duty to the victim, the defendant failed to act reasonably, and that failure was the actual and proximate cause of damages.
For personal injury claims, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the claims by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard means that given all the valid evidence considered by a judge or a jury, it is more likely than not that the plaintiff is entitled to a recovery.
The amount of compensation available depends on the facts of the case. A knowledgeable lawyer in DuBois could help determine the damages available in a wrongful death claim.
In a successful claim, a plaintiff could recover any medical expenses the deceased accumulated before their death. The plaintiff could also recover funeral expenses and the amount of money that the deceased would have earned throughout their lifetime. This could include both his or her income and the value of lost benefits. There are typically reductions in the award of lost wages, to account for personal maintenance expenses that the decedent would have incurred in caring for him or herself over her remaining life.
Consult a DuBois Wrongful Death Attorney Immediately
A DuBois wrongful death lawyer could help you by gathering evidence to determine who might be responsible for your loved one’s death. An attorney could also help you recover damages for your loss by standing by your side through the litigation process and helping you file suit within the statute of limitations. Schedule a consultation with Marcus & Mack today.