If you lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek damages for the pain and trauma you feel. Though it cannot make up for their absence, compensation can bring some form of atonement.
One thing to keep in mind is that different states abide by specific rules. Before you file your wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania, make sure that you are aware of a few key facts. It is critical that you understand the laws governing this type of claim. In Pennsylvania, such claims must follow the stipulations laid out in the Actions for Wrongful Death code.
Filing a claim
A personal representative of the estate must file the claim, and the courts must approve this individual according to the governing statutes. Usually, this person is a family member, but it can be anyone chosen to administer the estate, which the deceased’s will usually designate.
Once potential claimants determine the representative, that individual files the claim on behalf of the qualifying beneficiaries, including the surviving spouse, parents or children. Any of the beneficiaries are able to file a wrongful death suit if the personal representative does not do so within six months of the loved one’s passing.
Proving a case
There are a few different aspects the claimant has to prove. The person filing the claim must show that the accused party, or defendant, had a duty of care and breached that duty of care, that that negligent breach of care caused the death, and that the survivors sustained losses due to the passing of their loved one. To show this, the claimant will need to provide various pieces of evidence, such as medical records, police reports, video recordings, testimonies, financial records and more.
Proving a wrongful death claim is an in-depth process. However, the effort to assemble a claim and consult with a knowledgeable attorney can be worthwhile to get compensation for a loved one’s untimely loss.
Written on behalf of Friedman Schuman. Contact our firm for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.