Wrongful Death Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s irresponsibility, you and your family should seek damages to compensate for your loss. Although a family member’s life is not replaceable, receiving a settlement can help their dependents continue their lives without financial burdens. Wrongful death claims can include two types of compensation, which include special and general damages.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death in Pittsburgh, PA?
In Pennsylvania, state law defines wrongful death as an act that is neglectful or unlawful due to another’s violence or negligence. This means that an individual is at fault because they were responsible for the death of another. Negligence-based incidents are caused by careless acts or mistakes that could have easily been avoided. Sometimes, wrongful death is intentional and can be considered a criminal act. Another reason is that the other individual failed to provide a professional service, such as when a doctor provides subpar healthcare. When this happens, the survivors can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased individual.
What Causes Wrongful Death?
Just about any type of personal injury where the victim passes away can be claimed as wrongful death, as long as it can be shown that another individual is directly responsible. This can include the following:
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Slip and Fall
- Car Accident Injuries
- Boat Accident Injuries
- Dog Bites
- Workplace Accidents
What Does an Attorney Include in a Wrongful Death Settlement
Every year, millions of individuals get into fatal accidents, and often it wasn’t their fault. When someone can be held responsible for the death of your loved one, you can work with a wrongful death lawyer who can calculate a settlement that accurately reflects how much you are owed in damages. The attorney will then negotiate the settlement with the individual or organization that can be held accountable for the accident.
Personal Relationship Damages
If the deceased victim was your spouse, you could include a loss of consortium and any household services they provided, such as helping clean the home or taking care of the children. Survivors can also claim loss of companionship, mentorship, and other ways that the deceased benefited their life. Without the decedent’s presence, the remaining family members are missing out on the guidance and advice they could have had if their loved one had not passed away. You can speak with your attorney to learn about what other damages you can claim regarding the value the deceased provided.
You can claim any funeral and burial costs that you have to pay. The cost of an average funeral is $8,755, and cemeteries might add $1,000 to $2,000 for event fees. These expenses can include basic funeral services, the casket or urn, flowers, a tombstone, printed materials, and a death certificate. You can also include any rentals, such as the funeral home and the vehicle for the procession.
Before your loved one passed away, they may have received healthcare treatment due to the injuries they experienced. You can also include these costs in the total amount. Medical bills can include on-site stabilization and emergency room treatment. Any imaging scans, surgeries, medical tests, and medical monitoring should be included in the total amount.
Pain and Suffering
The deceased may have experienced a lot of pain and suffering before passing. The survivors can provide information to the attorney about the type of physical discomfort the deceased endured. You can also include how they felt emotionally. For example, trauma, anxiety, shame, despair, and other hurtful emotions can be included as pain and suffering damages.
Income and Earning Capacity
If the decedent was the breadwinner of the family, their dependents and spouse would be missing their income and be unable to live life the way they used to. If this applies to you, your settlement should include the income they were receiving at the time of their death and their future earning capacity. Any pay they would have received had they continued living will be calculated into the settlement amount.
Age, State of Health, and Other Factors
Your attorney uses different methods to estimate the settlement according to industry standards. The age of the deceased, their state of health, and other factors about their personal circumstances will be important in calculating the settlement.
Dependents will be included in the wrongful death claim. Your wrongful death attorney will include the life circumstances of each of the dependents, where each one will be added to the total settlement amount.
If your loved one has a pension fund, life insurance, or other benefits, this will be estimated as part of the settlement. You may receive the amount that they would have saved in their account had they not passed away.
Education and Other Valuable Services
Any certifications, degrees, and other forms of education will be included in your settlement. This is because the deceased will no longer be able to provide their services and skills. Their past accomplishments and talents will be added to your wrongful death claim.
Learn More from a Wrongful Death Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
Wrongful death can be a painful experience for you and your family members and can impact you for the rest of your life. When your loved one dies because of the negligence of another, you should seek the compensation that you deserve. You can learn from a wrongful death attorney who can provide useful advice on receiving the maximum settlement amount. They can prove your case and represent you in court should you need to file a lawsuit. Contact Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky for a free consultation.