While it’s not unheard of for a wrongful death lawsuit to progress all the way to civil court for a judge to issue a final verdict, the vast majority of these claims end with private out-of-court settlements, often without anyone ever formally filing a lawsuit at any point. Just because this outcome is common, though, does not mean it’s easy to achieve a fair settlement from this sort of claim without guidance from experienced legal counsel. No matter what kinds of damages you need to factor into a Bensalem wrongful death settlement, a skilled negligent passing lawyer’s support will almost certainly be crucial to getting a positive final outcome.
How to Settle a Wrongful Death Claim for a Fair Amount of Money
Much like other types of personal injury claims, there’s not really any average value for a wrongful death settlement in Bensalem that would be helpful for people trying to figure out how much money they might be owed. Every civil case is unique, and what qualifies as a fair value for a settlement depends on what types of losses you’ve sustained and how long—and how dramatically—you expect those losses to negatively impact your life.
Some of the losses that typically factor into wrongful death settlement negotiations include:
- Funeral and burial or cremation costs
- Costs of estate administration services
- Lost financial support the deceased person would’ve provided to dependent family members if they had survived
- Lost value of inheritance and other property the deceased person would’ve gained if they had survived
- What kind of medical treatment the deceased person received between initially getting injured and ultimately passing away
- Physical pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person
- Your own emotional anguish, as well as that of other immediate family members
- The value of lost household services, love, companionship, and consortium with a spouse
In addition to helping you figure out what kinds of losses you need to work into your claim, a skilled legal professional can also help you estimate the long-term value of losses that won’t fully come to pass until after filing deadlines set by Pennsylvania law have expired.
How Is Wrongful Death Settlement Money Paid Out?
In Pennsylvania, only the spouse, children, and parents of someone who wrongfully dies in Bensalem can recover compensation through a wrongful death settlement. Any money recovered through the settlement will then be divided among those family members based on the following intestate succession rules:
- If there is a spouse but no children or parents, the spouse gets everything
- If there is a child but no spouse, the child gets everything
- If there are multiple children but no spouse, the settlement money is split evenly among all the children
- If there is one parent but no spouse or children, the parent gets everything
- If there are two parents but no spouse or children, the parents each get 50% of the settlement money
- If there is a spouse and children, the spouse gets the first $30,000 of settlement money plus half of what remains after that, and the children split the remaining money equally
- If there is a spouse and parents but no children, the spouse gets the first $30,000 of settlement money plus half of what remains after that, and the parents split the remaining money equally
Once again, a lawyer can explain how these rules work in further detail during a private initial meeting.
Learn More About Wrongful Death Settlements from a Bensalem Attorney
This is just a brief overview of the legal rules and restrictions placed on the wrongful death settlement process by Pennsylvania law. Navigating these laws effectively and getting the best possible case result is not something you should try to accomplish alone—and fortunately, you don’t have to. Call today to learn how a winning wrongful death lawyer can assist with your Bensalem wrongful death settlement.