Before you start taking meaningful steps to file a wrongful death claim, you must understand what constitutes a wrongful death in the Keystone State.
In Pennsylvania, wrongful death is classified as being "caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another," according to Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301.
Wrongful death can be a result of a person acting negligently, intentionally wishing to cause harm, or failing to act responsibly as another reasonable person would.
To sue for wrongful death, the deceased must never have filed and won a personal injury lawsuit for those same injuries. Common wrongful death suits are the result of medical malpractice, workplace accident, product malfunctions, or car accidents.
Speaking with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you evaluate if your loved one's death is classified as wrongful in Pennsylvania.
If your family has experienced a wrongful death, time is of the essence. Your first step should be to call an experienced wrongful death attorney, such as the team at Ross Feller Casey, right away. There is a two-year statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for wrongful death suits, so you must call as soon as possible.
Our top wrongful death lawyers can help you understand how the Pennsylvania legal system works in regards to wrongful death cases. We can help you file the claim, collect evidence, and call in expert witnesses to strengthen the case.
Even if you are the spouse or child of someone who died a wrongful death, you may not be able to bring the case yourself. First, the personal representative of the deceased person's estate must file the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased's beneficiaries. However, you may be "real parties of interest," if you are the deceased's immediate family, life partner, or financial dependent.
Wrongful death lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, which is common in many states. The statue means you have two years from the day your loved one died to file the suit. If you or the personal representative of the deceased's estate fails to file within two years of the death, the court will not hear the case.
While the personal representative typically needs to be the first person to file the claim, if they fail to file the wrongful death claim within six months of the day your loved one died, then any of the deceased beneficiaries may file the complaint on behalf of all beneficiaries.
One of the best first steps you can take in a wrongful death case is hiring an experienced attorney, such as the legal team at Ross Feller Casey.
Our team can help you understand your rights, give you an idea of what your claimed damages may be, and ultimately save you and your loved one’s time and money during the case, thanks to our expertise. Ross Feller Casey takes all wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, so you and your loved ones won't pay any legal fees unless we win our case.
Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.