Losing a loved one in an unexpected accident is devastating, especially if their premature death was caused by someone else’s reckless or careless behavior. Unfortunately, tragic incidents like this happen every day in Pennsylvania. You and your family should not have to pay for the personal losses caused by someone else’s misconduct on top of the loss of your loved one.
If you believe someone else’s negligence played a role in your family member’s death, speak with a Reading wrongful death lawyer about a possible lawsuit or settlement proposal. An experienced attorney at Ostroff Injury Law will be a vital ally throughout this difficult time. In a previous wrongful death case, our team recovered $5,000,000 for the estate of a woman killed in a bus crash on Interstate 80. Let us fight for your family and support you throughout the legal process.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Berks County?
In most personal injury cases, the “plaintiff”—the person filing the lawsuit or making the settlement proposal—will be the person who was hurt in the accident. The plaintiff will try to prove that they suffered specific losses because of a reckless or careless act by the “defendant”—the person they’re suing—to make the defendant pay for the full value of those losses.
However, if someone acts irresponsibly and directly causes someone else’s death, the right to file suit would move to the deceased person’s personal representative. This is usually someone named in the deceased person’s will to manage their affairs after death. For the first six months after a wrongful death, the personal representative is the only person who can start a wrongful death claim in the deceased person’s name.
After those six months, any of the deceased person’s beneficiaries can file suit for up to two years after the wrongful death. This includes any family member or close relation who would receive money and/or property through the deceased person’s will. After two years, the statute of limitations will make it difficult for anyone to file a wrongful death claim for the fatal accident, as your Reading lawyer can further explain.
Types of Losses in Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim can seek repayment for losses suffered by a deceased person’s beneficiaries and their estate. Specific losses that often come up in cases like this include:
- Lost financial support the deceased person was expected to provide family members
- Lost future value of inheritance
- Loss of help around the house
- Lost guidance, comfort, and companionship
- Funeral and burial/cremation costs
- Medical bills for treatment the deceased person received between when they were hurt and when they passed away
- Out-of-pocket costs for estate administration services
Our skilled wrongful death lawyers in Reading can work to hold the defendant accountable for the full value of your family’s losses.
Contact an Experienced Reading Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a family member is a tragedy under any circumstances, but it can be particularly hard to learn that your loved one died because another person was irresponsible or reckless. Fortunately, you have the right in these situations to hold the wrongdoer accountable for your family’s losses.
A conversation with a Reading wrongful death lawyer will give you the information and answers you need in this difficult time. Call Ostroff Injury Law today for a free consultation with our team. You will not pay us anything until we recover the compensation you and your family deserve.