West Chester Wrongful Death Lawyer
The untimely and possibly preventable loss of a loved one can be overwhelming for a family. There are often medical bills and final expenses to pay. If the deceased loved one was the family’s primary income source, monthly bills and financial obligations could push that family into bankruptcy.
If you lost a loved one due to the negligence, or recklessness, of another person or company, the wrongful death attorneys at Wilk Law can help. Wilk Law provides legal assistance to families entitled to compensation for the unexpected loss of a loved one.
Wilk Law has a track record of success securing compensation and holding negligent parties responsible for grieving families. Our wrongful death attorneys are:
- Compassionate and caring advocates;
- Dedicated to providing prompt, personal service; and
- Knowledgeable in all areas of Pennsylvania’s wrongful death laws.
If you would like to meet with a wrongful death attorney at no cost, Wilk Law offers a free initial claim consultation. Contact us online, or call our office at (855) 946-3678 and schedule your appointment to discuss how Wilk Law is the right choice for your wrongful death claim.
Our West Chester Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You
Wrongful death claims are some of the most complicated and challenging legal claims to prove. Wilk Law’s wrongful death attorneys take the time to explain the wrongful death claims to you and your family. We answer your legal questions and ensure you understand the litigation process.
Wilk Law handles all aspects of your wrongful death claim allowing you and your family to focus on healing from your loss. Our wrongful death attorneys do the following, and more, on your behalf:
- Gather all relevant evidence about your loved one’s accident;
- Hire needed experts and investigators;
- Speak with witnesses to the accident;
- File your wrongful death lawsuit;
- Handle all correspondence from the insurance company and accident-related creditors;
- Demand and negotiate a fair settlement from the insurance company; and
- Represent you at a jury trial, if no settlement is possible.
Contact Wilk Law today and learn more about the wrongful death claims process and our client services. There are no upfront costs or fees to retain our law firm. We only charge you when we win your claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Pennsylvania?
To file a wrongful death claim, an individual must have standing or the legal right to bring a lawsuit. Pennsylvania requires the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file the claim on behalf of any beneficiaries named in the will. If the personal representative does not file a wrongful death claim within six months, any of the deceased’s heirs may file.
If there is no will, any beneficiaries may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of themselves and the other heirs. Only immediate family, parents, children, or a spouse, can receive compensation from a wrongful death claim.
Pennsylvania also allows the personal representative to file a survival action. This is an action filed on behalf of the deceased, not the family, for the deceased’s expenses and suffering prior to death should the death not be instantaneous.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
All states, including Pennsylvania, have their own set of laws governing wrongful death claims. In Pennsylvania, wrongful death is a death “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.”
Wrongful death claims, and survival actions, typically arise out of personal injury accidents, including but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents;
- Truck accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents;
- Premises liability accidents;
- Workplace injury accidents;
- Product liability accidents; and
- Medical malpractice.
To prove a wrongful death claim, a family or their attorney must show:
- The at-fault party owed the deceased a duty of care;
- The at-fault party breached that duty;
- The breach of duty of care caused the death; and
- The death resulted in actual damages to the deceased’s family.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death Claim in West Chester
Although a criminal law case can run in tandem with a wrongful death claim, the two are wholly separate. The Commonwealth files and prosecutes a criminal law case on behalf of the state. The purpose of a criminal law case is to punish a wrongdoer through jail time, community service, or other criminal sanctions.
A wrongful death claim is a civil law case. The goal of a wrongful death claim is to procure money damages on behalf of the deceased’s family to compensate for their losses.
Damages in a wrongful death claim may include any of the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Medical bills and costs;
- Administration fees for the estate;
- Loss of the income and support contributed by the deceased;
- Loss of household services;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of guidance; and
- Pain and suffering.
Compensation paid for the deceased’s medical bills, cost of burial, and pain and suffering go to the deceased’s estate to reimburse the estate for any medical bills, funeral bills, or expenses. Monies for loss of support, guidance, household services, and the effects of the death on the family members go directly to the deceased’s beneficiaries.
In cases where the at-fault party willfully caused the accident or was grossly negligent, the court may award additional punitive or exemplary damages. These damages are primarily to punish a party and deter similar actions from any future parties.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations, or time, by which a personal representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit or survival action. This is within two years of the date of death. Otherwise, any ability to seek compensation is lost.
If you would like to know more about compensation available in a wrongful death lawsuit or need to know the statute of limitations for your case, call Wilk Law. Our attorneys will review your claim at no cost and answer your questions about the wrongful death claims process.
Contact a West Chester Wrongful Death Attorney Today
At Wilk Law, we know that no amount of compensation can ever replace your loved one; however, money damages can pay or reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses. A damages award also serves to hold any negligent parties responsible for your loved one’s death.
Contact Wilk Law today at (855) 946-3678. We want to help you find the closure and justice needed to move past this painful time in you and your family’s lives.