When a loved one dies due to a personal injury issue like medical malpractice or a fatal motor vehicle accident, you may wonder if you can file a lawsuit.
In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death claim may be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. Here are four common wrongful death questions:
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death is a legal description of a person’s death. It is the result of someone else’s negligence, intentional action or wrongdoing. This may include death as a result of medical negligence, careless driving or other common causes of serious personal injury.
Is murder the same as wrongful death?
No. While murder and wrongful death involve the death of someone because of another person’s actions, they are not the same. A wrongful death claim is a civil suit while murder is a criminal case.
What are wrongful death damages?
Wrongful death damages are civil lawsuits. In civil lawsuits, the person who filed the claim is asking the court to make the wrongdoer pay compensation for damage that happened. For example, if your spouse was killed by a drunk driver, the state may initiate criminal proceedings against the drunk driver. However, if you want to receive compensation for pain and suffering or lost income and financial support, you need to file a civil suit against the drunk driver.
Why should I hire an attorney?
You need a personal injury attorney because lawsuits may go to trial. The process can be confusing. You also need support and legal advice. An experienced attorney can provide you with all of the above plus fight for the maximum amount of compensation you deserve after the loss of a loved one.
Hiring a personal injury law firm like Schmidt Kramer is important when you decide to navigate through the wrongful death lawsuit maze.