The pain of losing a loved one is never easy to deal with, especially if someone could have prevented their death with just a little more care.

If another person’s negligence leads to the untimely passing of your family member, you may have grounds to seek compensation from the person who harmed them through a wrongful death claim. While no amount of money will relieve the pain of your loss, you may find comfort in seeking justice on your loved one’s behalf.

A caring and compassionate Johnstown wrongful death lawyer from Marcus & Mack can answer your questions and guide you through the claims process. Contact us today to discuss your case.

How Can Your Johnstown Wrongful Death Lawyers Help With My Wrongful Death Claim?

The National Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyers badgeA lawyer from Marcus & Mack can assist you with your Johnstown wrongful death claim by providing comprehensive legal representation and support throughout the entire process. Here’s how we can help:

Legal Guidance

A lawyer from Marcus & Mack can provide legal advice and guidance regarding your rights and options under Pennsylvania law. They can explain the legal process of filing a wrongful death claim and help you understand what to expect at each stage.


The legal team can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.

Case Preparation

Your lawyer will handle all aspects of case preparation, including gathering documentation, drafting legal pleadings, and preparing for court proceedings. They will ensure your case is well-prepared and ready to be presented effectively in court.


Marcus & Mack lawyers are skilled negotiators who can advocate for your interests during settlement negotiations with insurance companies or the opposing party. They will work to secure a fair and just settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.


If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial. They will represent you in court and present your case to a judge and jury, fighting vigorously for the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death refers to a legal term that describes a situation in which someone dies due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party.

This can include situations such as:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Workplace accidents

In essence, it’s a preventable death caused by the actions or negligence of another party.

A wrongful death claim is separate from any criminal charges that might result from loss of life. It’s a civil lawsuit filed by the survivors or beneficiaries of the deceased person seeking compensation for the damages resulting from the death. These damages can include funeral expenses, medical bills related to the deceased person’s final injury or illness, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and emotional pain and suffering.

Do I Have a Wrongful Death Claim?

Negligence plays a central role in personal injury claims, including wrongful death cases. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances.

In personal injury claims, including wrongful death cases, establishing negligence involves proving four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The first element is demonstrating that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person. This duty of care varies depending on the specific circumstances of the case but generally refers to the legal obligation to act reasonably and avoid causing harm to others.
  2. Breach of Duty: The second element requires showing that the defendant breached, or failed to fulfill, their duty of care. This breach typically involves an action or failure to act that falls below the standard of care expected in the situation. For example, a driver may breach their duty of care by running a red light, or a doctor may breach their duty by making a medical error.
  3. Causation: The third element is establishing that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the deceased person’s injuries or death. This requires demonstrating that the defendant’s actions or negligence were a substantial factor in causing the harm.
  4. Damages: The fourth and final element involves proving that the deceased person suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In wrongful death cases, these damages typically include economic losses such as medical expenses and lost income, as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.

To have a successful wrongful death case, you must establish all four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence caused the death.

If these elements are proven, the surviving family members or beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation for their losses through a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death Claims vs. Survival Actions in Johnstown

Johnstown Wrongful Death LawyerFamily members of the deceased have the choice to seek compensation for damages resulting from an accident through two separate legal avenues: wrongful death claims and survival actions.

The estate administrator usually initiates the wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries, provided the deceased left a will designating an executor of their estate or the court appointed an eligible person to serve as the administrator.

If the personal representative fails to file a claim within six months of the decedent’s death, any beneficiary of the estate has the right to file a claim on behalf of all the beneficiaries.

A wrongful death claim primarily addresses the losses experienced by the immediate family members of the deceased, such as the loss of financial support for surviving spouses, children, and parents.

Pennsylvania law also allows the estate administrator to pursue a survival action against negligent parties accountable for the premature death of the accident victim. In a survival action, the estate seeks compensation for the losses that the deceased would have been entitled to had they survived, which includes pain and suffering from the date the deceased was injured until their death.

What Compensation Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Compensation in a wrongful death claim usually falls into two main categories. The first involves damages intended to cover losses incurred by the deceased from the date of their injury to the time of their death.

These may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral, burial, and cremation costs
  • Estate administration expenses
  • Loss of wages or income
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased

The second category compensates surviving family members for the damages they suffered due to the loss of their loved one.

These may include:

  • Loss of household services the deceased provided, such as childcare or housekeeping
  • Loss of care, companionship, comfort, and guidance
  • Loss of financial support
  • Emotional distress

An individual’s right to receive compensation from the proceeds of a wrongful death case will depend on the deceased person’s will or estate plan. In the absence of a will, the proceeds will be distributed according to Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws. To learn more about compensation available in a wrongful death case, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Johnstown.

Contact the Johnstown Wrongful Death Lawyers from Marcus & Mack Today

Robert S. Marcus, Johnstown personal injury lawyer

Robert S. Marcus Personal Injury Attorney in Johnstown

Following the loss of a family member, grief can override all other considerations, making it challenging to focus on litigation. When you have the help of a Johnstown wrongful death attorney from Marcus & Mack, you can leave your claim in the hands of legal professionals, allowing you to prioritize your family while your attorney handles your claim. To learn more about your legal rights, contact us today at (814) 539-3213 or through our online form.

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Marcus & Mack

Marcus & Mack
334 Budfield St,

Johnstown PA  15904