Wrongful Death Claims: A Civil Option When Faced With the Loss of a Loved One

Nothing can bring back the life of a loved one lost to careless or reckless actions of another.  Their love and affection will be missed, and the loss of any financial support they provided can adversely affect everything from day-to-day expenses to mortgage payments.  Faced with so much grief, it is very difficult to simultaneously worry about economic concerns.  However, when a loved has been killed as a result of the careless or reckless actions of another, it is wise to consider a wrongful death lawsuit.  When you are ready, a dedicated and experienced Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney can help you in a bringing a claim to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one.

The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Legal Actions When a Loved One is Lost

When a person kills another person as the result of an intentional act, negligence, or recklessness, they will be tried in the criminal justice system.  For intentional acts or deaths occurring during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, murder is an appropriate charge.  With regard to negligence or recklessness, manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary, may be appropriate depending on the level of culpability.  For any of the scenarios (again, all pertaining to the criminal justice system), a guilty conviction will almost always result in a sentence of jail time.  While a sentence of jail time does punish a person for their malice, negligence, or recklessness, and thereby attempt to deter them from repeating the behavior in question, it does not bring back the lost loved one, or the role they played in the lives of the still living.  The existence of this imbalance is why the law provides a civil justice option for the survivors of the deceased.

In Pennsylvania, the parents, children or spouse of the deceased can typically file a wrongful death lawsuit. Again, the basis of such a lawsuit is the killing of a person due to the negligent or reckless actions of another.  Unlike in the criminal justice system, the civil context with regard to wrongful death seeks to address the circumstances of those who were financially dependent on the deceased.  Because this, wrongful death beneficiaries may be eligible for several different types of damages, including medical expenses that were incurred prior to the deceased’s death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial aid and economic support, and the loss of the love and affection previously provided by the deceased.

What To Do If You Have Lost a Loved One to a Wrongful Death

Because, under Pennsylvania, a wrongful death action must be brought within 2 years of the date of death, it is imperative that you begin the process of filing a lawsuit as soon as possible.  If you wait past the 2-year statute of limitations, your action may be nullified.  Please, contact the dedicated wrongful death lawyers at Solnick & Associates, LLC today to assist you during this difficult time.