York Wrongful Death Settlements

No one ever wants to be put in a position where they have to assign a dollar value to the life of a family member that was unfairly cut short because of another person’s negligence. With that being said, getting a fair settlement offer from a wrongful death claim can be important to protecting your best interests and the best interests of the people you love, even if it can’t possibly make up for every harmful effect of a wrongful death in your family.

In York, wrongful death settlements are a fairly common way for these types of civil claims to end, but that does not mean that negotiating for a fair settlement offer is always—or really, ever—easy. If you want the best chance of getting the best possible outcome from your case, seek help from a compassionate wrongful death attorney as early as possible in the settlement negotiation process.

What Damages Should Be Factored into a Wrongful Death Settlement?

While it’s true that money alone can’t possibly make up for someone passing away before their natural time, financial compensation can help make up for specific “damages” that you and other surviving family members will experience because of their death. This can include, but isn’t strictly limited to things like:

  • Costs of funeral and burial or cremation services
  • Estate administration expenses
  • Hospital bills and other medical expenses for care related to the deceased person’s fatal injury
  • Lost future financial support the deceased person would’ve provided to dependents
  • Lost advice, support, help around the house, and/or “consortium” with a spouse

One thing worth emphasizing about the wrongful death settlement process in York, though, is that you only have one chance to negotiate for the money you and your family need. Once you accept a settlement offer, your case is permanently closed. You can’t go back to ask for more money later if your losses are worse than you were expecting. So, it’s important to identify and estimate a fair value for every form of harm a wrongful death will ever cause you long before some of those losses actually occur—something that experienced legal counsel can help with.

Who Gets the Money from a Wrongful Death Settlement?

Another thing you should know about settling a wrongful death case in York is that Pennsylvania law has specific rules governing who gets what amount of money after a settlement agreement is reached. Only the spouse, child(ren), and parent(s) of a deceased person are eligible to get money through this sort of claim, with the following rules applying to the process of dividing up settlement funds:

  • If the deceased person only had a surviving spouse and no surviving children or parents, the spouse gets everything
  • If the deceased person only had surviving children or only had surviving parents, the children or parents split the settlement funds evenly between them
  • If the deceased person had a surviving spouse and surviving children, the spouse always gets the first $30,000 of settlement money plus half of whatever remains after that, then the children split the remaining funds evenly
  • If the deceased person had a surviving spouse and surviving parents but no children, the same rules as those explained in the previous bullet point apply

During a private initial meeting, a qualified wrongful death lawyer can answer further questions about the value of a wrongful death settlement.

Talk to a York Attorney About Wrongful Death Settlements

Negotiating a fair settlement offer as a means of making up for a family member’s wrongful death is always complicated on more than one level. Fortunately, you have help available from respected legal professionals who understand what you’re going through and will make sure you get paid everything you deserve for the loss you should never have experienced. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to learn more about the process of pursuing a York wrongful death settlement.