Montgomery County Wrongful Death Lawyers

Losing a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another is the most trying situation you may ever go through. When a loved one is killed in an auto accident, slip and fall accident or workplace accident Pennsylvania wrongful death law allows for two separate claims to be filed. The premise behind these claims is to recover damages and financial losses caused by the death of your loved one. These 2 claims are a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Claim. There are differences between each claim with the primary differences being the benefits and damages each claim allows for. The one constant in Pennsylvania wrongful death claims and Pennsylvania survival claims is who can file these claims. Both claims are generally asserted by the deceased loved one's estate through a personal representative, most likely a wrongful death attorney, approved by the Court. People who can file an accidental death claims are the deceased person's children, domestic partner parents and spouse.

Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Claim Benefits

In a Wrongful Death claim, the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased may bring a claim to recover damages sustained by them as a result of the decedent's death.

The damages recoverable in a Wrongful Death action include:

  1. medical expenses, funeral expenses, burial expenses, estate administration expenses;
  2. an amount that will fairly and adequately compensate the family of the decedent (wife, children, parents, etc.) for their loss of any contributions they would have received between the time of the death of the decedent and today. such as: food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, gifts, entertainment;
  3. money value of contribution to support of family / compensation to family: society, comfort, services; and
  4. compensation to children for loss of services decedent would have provided, such as guidance, moral upbringing, etc.

Pennsylvania Survival Claim Benefits

In a Survival claim, the personal representative of the decedent's estate is substituted for the decedent. The recovery obtained depends on the cause of action the decedent possessed at the time of his or her death. Basically, a Survival Action is a statutory right of the personal representative of the decedent's estate to bring, or continue, those claim that the decedent had during his or her lifetime.

Under the Pennsylvania survivor statute, any causes of action or proceedings survive the death of the Decedent. For a negligence claim that arose during the decedent's lifetime, a decedent's estate may recover damages for:

  1. pain and suffering

  2. loss of gross earning power from the date of the injury until death 

  3. loss of earning power, less personal maintenance expenses form the time of the death through decedent's estimated working life span.

Typically, both the survival claim and wrongful death claim arise as a result of the negligent conduct of a third party. The most common types of accidents resulting in survival claims and wrongful death claims are car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, premises liability accidents, medical malpractice and fatal workers' compensation accidents.

Contact A Montgomery County Wrongful Death Attorney

Please do not hesitate to contact Norristown wrongful death lawyer James V. Monaghan by dialing (610) 275-5800 for a free consultation. Mr. Monaghan handles accident, injury, survival and wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis meaning he charges no fee unless he recovers for you and your family.