Philadelphia Wrongful Death Attorney
In most personal injury cases, the victim can sue for damages, including medical expenses, the cost of subsequent medical treatments or additional surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medications, pain and suffering, and lost wages from missed time at work. Unfortunately, some victims die because of another person’s carelessness. In those circumstances, their surviving loved ones may wish to pursue wrongful death lawsuits against those responsible.
Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to other personal injury lawsuits, but the victim’s family member may also pursue compensation for the money their departed loved one would have provided to the family members between the time of death and the end of his or her life expectancy.
A wrongful death victim’s family members can also claim damages for the services the deceased person would have provided to them, including guidance and moral upbringing of children. Speak to a Philadelphia personal injury attorney today to learn more.
Philadelphia Wrongful Death Resources:
- Why Choose A Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer From Ciccarelli Law Offices?
- Damages You Can Recover From A. Philadelphia Wrongful Death Case
- What Is A Survival Act In Philadelphia?
- Factors In A Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- Causes Of Wrongful Death In Philadelphia
- Preserving Evidence In A Wrongful Death Claim
- Philadelphia Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations
- How To Win A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- How Much Does A Wrongful Death Lawyer Cost?
Why Use Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyers From our Law Firm?
Our law firm at the Ciccarelli Law Offices understands that this is a difficult time for you and your family members. You need a wrongful death attorney by your side that recognizes the gravity of wrongful death cases. This law firm was founded by Lee Ciccarelli with the goal of creating a practice devoted to its clients.
- When you come to our personal injury law firm for a wrongful death lawsuit, you are getting decades of experience on your side, which is invaluable in a wrongful death case. Our personal injury law firm is here for you.
- Our law firm has extensive experience ranging from Philadelphia slip and fall attorneys that can also handle wrongful death claims. Our personal injury lawyers understand the tactics used by the other side and will be ready to fight back.
- The personal injury team at the Ciccarelli Law Offices will vigorously negotiate on your behalf and will be ready to take your wrongful death lawsuits to trial if a fair settlement is not offered.
- Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Lee Ciccarelli says that the foundation of this personal injury firm is integrity, passion, and experience; all qualities needed to help win the toughest legal battles.
One personal injury client said of the law firm, “Appreciated everyone’s guidance and support at Ciccarelli Law Offices and everyone played a vital role on my behalf. Lee and his office calmed my anxiety and everyone’s professionalism was way beyond what I expected. Thank you again. I recommend this firm to everyone. I rate them an A+ firm.” Contact our law firm to help answer questions and for a free consultation.
Damages You Can Recover In A Wrongful Death Case
Damages that are recoverable through a wrongful death lawsuit are meant to provide compensation to the surviving family members and the estate of the deceased. There are various types of compensation that may be available in these situations, and your wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia will work with trusted medical and economic experts to adequately calculate these total expected losses.
Our team works diligently to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of every family and estate that we assist. Even though we know that no amount of money will replace your loved one, we also know that this compensation can help you move forward and gain some closure related to this tragic incident. The law in Pennsylvania allows plaintiffs to recover compensation through both a wrongful death civil claim and a survival action. In a wrongful death claim, the following types of compensation are available.
These refer to calculable financial compensation that families and the estate are likely to experience after the death. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages the deceased would have earned had they lived
- Estate administration fees
- Loss of benefits or inheritance the deceased will no longer be able to provide
- The reasonable value of household services the deceased can no longer provide
- Punitive damages
These are more immeasurable losses experienced by the family, and these types of losses are generally harder to calculate because they have no specific bills or receipts that can be added up. Non-economic damages revolve around the loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, moral support, and love the deceased provided and is no longer able to provide. Additionally, loss of consortium damages is meant to provide a spouse with compensation for a loss of the relationship and sexual relations.
What Is A Survival Act?
Survival action in Pennsylvania law allows for a personal representative of the deceased’s estate to recover damages the decedent would have gained had they otherwise survived. This can include the following:
- Pain and suffering resulted from the negligent party’s actions.
- Net earnings that a person would have made in their lifetime, had they not died. This includes the total expected gross income as well as fringe benefits a person would have earned from their date of death to the end of their life expectancy.
- This amount will be deducted from the amount the decedent would have given to their family during their lifetime (already awarded to in the wrongful death claim) as well as the amount the decedent would have spent on their personal maintenance during their lifetime (food, shelter, clothing, etc.).
- This act also allows for the recovery of mental and physical pain and suffering damages the loved one endured from the moment of their personal injury to the moment they died as a result of the negligent actions of the other party. Speak to our Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys to learn more.
What Factors Might Affect A Philadelphia Wrongful Death Compensation?
No two wrongful death cases are the same, so there is no way to say you will receive “X” amount of money for this case. There are a variety of factors that go into each case, and the amount of compensation will be affected by these.
- The type of accident or intentional act that caused the loved one’s wrongful death.
- The circumstances surrounding the wrongful death.
- The age of the victim as well as their potential future earning potential.
- How long the loved one survives after sustaining a personal injury that ultimately caused their death? If there was a lengthy survival period, they would have incurred more medical expenses.
- How much insurance does the at-fault party hold? This can vary depending on who the negligent party is. Sometimes, the at-fault party is an individual, while in other cases, it is a company or other entity. Individuals who cause wrongful death due to a car accident or another personal injury may not have a large insurance policy, while corporations will likely have higher limits.
Some other factors that might affect personal injury compensation include:
- The total damages suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one. A case involving an employed mother of three who dies will be different than a single male in his 50s with no children.
- The evidence in the case will determine how much liability the other party has in the incident. Sometimes a wrongful death case will result in a person being charged and convicted criminally as well. In these cases, the evidence is strong, and the other side may wish to settle. However, there does not have to be a criminal case in order for there to be a civil wrongful death claim. In those instances, our wrongful death attorneys will have to investigate the case and ensure the evidence is strong.
- Experienced Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys from our law firm can dramatically affect the outcome of a case. Due to the complexity of these cases, it is important that you have a lawyer by your side who can thoroughly investigate your claims, explain your legal rights, and is a skilled negotiator.
Common Causes Of Wrongful Death
There are several ways in which wrongful death cases arise, and each brings a different set of factors to how these cases are helped:
- Construction accidents: According to OSHA, approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities each year revolve around the construction industry. The construction place is filled with hazards that could lead to catastrophic personal injury or death for workers as well as those in the vicinity of an unprotected construction site.
- Bicycle accidents: Bicyclists are incredibly vulnerable to impacts from vehicles and impacts with the ground. If a bicyclist loses their life due to the careless or negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway, their family should have a way to recover compensation.
- Truck accidents: Commercial trucking accidents are much more likely to result in fatalities due to the sheer size of these vehicles. When a commercial truck driver or company is negligent and causes death, they must be held liable.
- Brain injuries: Brain injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways, including vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, medical mistakes, sports injuries, and violence. Anytime a person sustains a brain injury, they face a heightened risk of death.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians are another vulnerable group of individuals near the roadway, and any impact with a vehicle risks certain types of injuries that could lead to death, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding.
- Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than those inside traditional passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable due to the speed that these vehicles can operate and the fact that they have very little protection from the force of an impact on the vehicle or the ground.
- Medical malpractice: Johns Hopkins researchers state that approximately 250,000 individuals lose their lives each year due to preventable medical errors. These errors can occur in any medical setting and include misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, anesthesia errors, medication mistakes, patient falls, and more.
- Birth injuries: Doctors and other medical staff responsible for the birth of a child can make mistakes. This can include failing to monitor a mother and child before, during, or right after birth. This can also include the misuse of birthing tools such as forceps or vacuum devices and a failure to order a C-section when one becomes necessary based on vital signs.
- Nursing home neglect: Data from the National Council on Aging shows that one out of every ten Americans over the age of 60 has faced some form of elder abuse. In the nursing home, this elder abuse could elevate to the level that it causes the death of a resident.
Each of these causes of wrongful death will require your personal injury attorney to investigate and communicate with multiple parties, including those accused of negligence, their insurance company, their legal teams, and more. How a firm helps with these issues can affect the outcome of the case and the compensation amount.
If death was the result of a car accident due to another individual’s negligence, please reach out to our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers today to review your case.
How To Preserve Evidence In A Philadelphia Wrongful Death Claim?
Preserving evidence in the aftermath of a wrongful death claim can be challenging. This is an emotional process. We strongly encourage you to work closely with your Philadelphia wrongful death attorney throughout every aspect of this process. Your attorney will certainly sympathize with your loss, but they may have an easier time than you or your family members when it comes to gathering and preserving the evidence needed to prove liability.
Much of the evidence needed to determine liability will be gathered at the scene of the incident. This could include photographs or video surveillance from the area, statements from eyewitnesses, as well as any police or accident reports related to the incident. Additionally, items such as clothing the deceased may have been wearing at the time should be kept and preserved, which is something your attorney will work with officials to obtain.
There are various types of documents that need to be obtained and preserved after an incident like this. Many of these documents will help determine how much compensation the at-fault party will need to pay the plaintiffs. This includes, but is not limited to, any medical bills related to the incident, pay stubs, bank reports, and tax returns of the deceased, proof of household services the disease is no longer able to help with, and more.
The investigation into death will likely continue for weeks or months after the incident occurs. An attorney will work closely with medical professionals to obtain autopsy reports on your behalf. The attorney will handle all of these phone calls so you can focus on spending time with your family and processing your pain and grief.
Philadelphia Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations
The personal representative of the deceased individual must remember that there are deadlines in place for filing wrongful death claims. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, civil wrongful death claims must be filed within two years from the date of the individual’s death. If the claim is not filed within this two-year time frame, it is likely that the court will dismiss the claim. This will result in the family members and the estate of the deceased becoming unable to recover any compensation for their losses.
How Does a Firm Win a Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
As with other personal injury claims, the plaintiff (in wrongful death cases, the plaintiff will usually be a loved one or appointed representative of the deceased) must prove negligence on the part of the defendant. This involves establishing three things as true:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty to act with reasonable care: This may mean an employer’s obligation to furnish employees with a workplace free of hazards or dangerous conditions or a motor vehicle operator who should know to follow traffic laws.
- The plaintiffs breached this duty by some action or inaction: If an employer knew about a workplace hazard and failed to address it in a timely manner and the hazard results in an employee’s death at no fault of the employee, then the employer may be responsible for the victim’s death.
- This breach of duty directly resulted in the victim’s death: The death of the victim may not always be immediate. In some cases, the victim may contract an illness or suffer from serious injuries from which they cannot recover, and they ultimately die. If a personal injury court determines they died due to injuries sustained from the defendant’s negligence, the court will hold the defendant accountable for the victim’s death.
While this may seem like a straightforward personal injury process, wrongful death cases can quickly become complicated when victims die immediately from the circumstances of their fatal personal injury, or if they are otherwise unable to provide testimony before their death. In some situations, a victim may suffer for a prolonged period after the incident, and cannot recover. The cost of ongoing, critical medical treatment can be astronomical.
Dealing with the death of a loved one or family member is never easy for anyone. Wrongful death cases can make an already difficult situation even more stressful. To obtain justice and fair compensation for the victim’s death, the surviving family members will have to gather documentation to prove their medical bills, the financial security that their deceased loved one would have provided had he or she survived, and myriad other pieces of evidence.
How Much Do Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyers Charge?
Our firm understands that you may be concerned about how much money Philadelphia a wrongful death lawyer may cost. At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, we strive to provide legal services to people in need at a reasonable fee.
When permissible, our law firm provides wrongful death legal services on a contingency fee basis for personal injury and wrongful death claims. This means that we do not get paid unless our clients get paid. Our fee comes from a percentage of the final settlement paid to the client. This percentage is arranged in a contract before we begin with the case. Our wrongful death clients face no out-of-pocket costs during the case.
Contact Our Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
The wrongful death process is arduous and having reliable, compassionate legal representation will make the process much more bearable. The legal professionals at Ciccarelli Law Offices have extensive experience with personal injury and wrongful death cases in the Philadelphia area, and we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients.
The surviving loved ones of someone who suffered a wrongful death should be given time to mourn and readjust to their lives. The legal issues of wrongful death cases are complex, so turn to a Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer who will explore every possible avenue for compensation and who will hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Reach out to the Philadelphia accident lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices so we can answer questions about wrongful death cases or for a free consultation of your case today.