For most of us, the hardest parts of our lives are when we lose loved ones, and oftentimes the circumstances of their passing can make things much more difficult and confusing. If your loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligence, irresponsibility, or recklessness, know that you have legal recourse to get compensation. Of course, nothing can truly “compensate” you for losing someone you loved, but you do have the right to seek a semblance of justice. 


If someone close to you just passed away, we know talking to attorneys and going through the court system is probably the last thing you want to do, but it’ll be necessary to get in touch with an experienced, wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia if you want to be compensated for your loved one’s death. 


Philadelphia’s laws regarding wrongful death


Sometimes it might not be clear whether someone else is at fault for the death of another. In the state of Pennsylvania, wrongful death is defined in Title 42, Chapter 83, Section 8301 of the General Assembly as a death “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” 


Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits, but instead of seeking compensation for things like lost wages and disabilities, you will be seeking compensation for things like loss of companionship and/or loss of household income and financial support.


Common scenarios of wrongful death include:


  • Construction accidents/terminal illnesses, for example, asbestos poisoning
  • Defective products or services
  • Medical malpractice/abuse
  • Nursing home malpractice/abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Dangerous premises
  • Irresponsible horseplay


Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by a personal representative of the deceased’s parents, spouse, or children within 2 years. Siblings and non-immediate relatives like nephews or nieces don’t have a right to sue. 


Getting compensation


Compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death can come in the form of:


  • Loss of companionship/pain and suffering
  • Loss of your household income/financial support
  • Medical expenses if your loved one was in hospital before their passing
  • Administrative costs and fees


Your attorney can walk you through the specifics of these expenses, as well as walk you through the process of compensation should the courts award it to you. For example, if the deceased leaves behind a spouse and children, the spouse is legally entitled to the first $30,000, and then 50% of the remaining compensation goes to the children.


If the deceased has children but no spouse, then the children will be rewarded equal amounts of the compensation. There’s a myriad of other possible scenarios of compensation depending on who survives the deceased, and your attorney can assist you with any of them. 


Do you need legal assistance with a wrongful death? 


Your loved one’s life is worth it, so get in touch with a seasoned wrongful death attorney here at PhillyLaw so we can get you on a path to justice.