The death of a loved one as a result of the negligent or intentional conduct of another party precipitates two available causes of action to compensate family members for their loss: wrongful death and survival. The family of a decedent must understand the unique distinctions between both of these causes of action.
It is important that family members retain attorneys familiar with the factors related to successful claims under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute. For 113 years, Powell Law has litigated Pennsylvania wrongful death actions in all types of personal injury cases including motor vehicle accidents and incidents of medical malpractice.
Only certain family members may sue in Pennsylvania wrongful death actions. Spouses, parents or children of the deceased are eligible to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death action if none of these individual family members are available.
Wrongful death damages focus on the losses to the family of the victim, rather than the losses to the decedent. Damages include medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of support, as well as loss of the decedent’s companionship (consortium), guidance, and other positive contributions to family life. While the value of a decedent’s positive contributions is subjective and difficult to prove in exact, economic figures, Pennsylvania juries must nevertheless award an amount of damages that is fair, just, and reasonable based on the circumstances of a case.
Damages in wrongful death actions are distributed according to Pennsylvania intestacy distribution law. They are allocated in the same way as distributions made when a decedent dies without a will. Wrongful death damages are not subject to estate taxes or creditor claims against the decedent’s estate.
For over a century, the attorneys at Powell Law have helped families that have lost a loved one receive compensation through wrongful death and survival actions. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury resulting from an accident, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. Our decades of experience make us the clear and obvious choice for all types of legal representation in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win.