Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

To lose a loved one is to lose a part of yourself. It is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. A case of wrongful death, where someone’s negligence caused your loss, can be especially painful. You deserve time to grieve, process your emotions, and be with the people who care about you.

When a loved one dies, many families and individuals suffer a monetary loss as well. Financial stress is the last thing a grieving person should have to worry about. Among other things, wrongful death claims can help cover medical, funeral, and burial expenses.

At O’Donnell Law Offices, we’ll help you simplify the claims process so that in this difficult time, you can focus on what’s important.

How is Wrongful Death Different From a Criminal Case?

According to Pennsylvania law, a wrongful death is any death caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or unlawful violence of another person.

A wrongful death case takes place in civil, rather than criminal, court and follows a different process. Rather than facing criminal charges, the party found responsible for the death pays compensation to surviving loved ones. It’s intended to help you cover the financial loss that you personally suffer as a result of the death.

Loved ones can file a wrongful death claim even if a criminal case has already been filed.

How is Wrongful Death Different From a Survival Action?

In Pennsylvania, survival actions are like personal injury claims for the person who has passed. In such a case, the responsible party pays a literal price to compensate for the pain, suffering, and medical expenses of the person whose death they caused.

Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are meant to provide compensation to you, as a surviving loved one. As an example, wrongful death claims can help you cover the lost wages that your partner used to contribute to your family, in addition to funeral and burial costs. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

There are many tragic events that can lead to a wrongful death claim, but they all involve some kind of legal negligence, including:

  • Car collisions
  • Motorcycle collisions
  • Truck collisions
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Defective products
  • Nursing home abuse

If you aren’t sure whether your loved one’s situation falls into the category of negligence, we’re here to give you clarity.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Under Pennsylvania Law, immediately following the incident, only the “personal representative” of your loved one’s estate can file these claims. They do this on your behalf. 

That said, if the personal representative doesn’t file a claim within six months of your loved one’s passing, any beneficiaries of the estate—their spouse, children, or others listed in their will—are allowed to file the claim instead.

We’re Here to Make It Easier

In your grief, you deserve to lean on others. A wrongful death claim can make your life a little easier, and we’re here to make the process easy, too. Reach out to us today for a free consultation by calling (570) 821-5717 or contacting us online.

Skip to content