What Is a Wrongful Death Attorney?

When a death occurs due to another person’s recklessness or negligence, the deceased’s survivors can file a wrongful death claim. This type of claim seeks compensation for the loss of life and any other emotional and financial hardships that the surviving family may incur.

When a victim loses their life due to unlawful violence, for instance, an injury attorney can help prove this wrongful act in court and bring the responsible party to justice. If a car accident occurs and fatalities arise due to the motorist’s distracted driving, speeding, or intoxication, a wrongful death claim may be filed.

A wrongful death attorney is an attorney trained in personal injury law. Their experience in handling personal injury claims can help survivors hold the liable party accountable for the emotional trauma they’ve suffered. Below, we explore some of the ways that a wrongful death lawyer can help you during this difficult time.

Legal Rights

Laws on wrongful death claims differ from one state to another. In some states, for instance, only immediate surviving family members can sue for wrongful death while other states allow distant surviving relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

In other states, no family members or beneficiaries can file a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, only a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death action. If they have a successful case, the personal representative of the deceased then distributes the financial compensation to eligible family members.

The statute of limitations on wrongful death issues also varies by state. To compare, Pennsylvania law has a time limit of two years from the deceased’s date of death, while a wrongful death case in the state of Washington has to be filed within three years of the date of death. In this case, if you happen to live in the Philadelphia area, a Philadelphia wrongful death attorney can explain your legal rights, legal options, and address any legal concerns you may have.

Financial Compensation

An experienced wrongful death attorney will know how to look at the value of a wrongful death case and help you pursue awards to recover fair compensation. While no amount of financial compensation will ever make up for your family member’s death, the amount of money won from a wrongful death suit for the surviving family members will ease some of the financial stress caused by their loved one’s untimely death.

Some of the economic damages that the financial compensation can help you cover include funeral costs, the deceased’s medical bills, loss of earnings, and other financial stress. These costs also cover the amount of suffering your loved one endured, potential loss of companionship for their spouse, and the resulting emotional distress and mental anguish that this may have caused them.

Case Building and Investigation

Case Building and Investigation

If your family member died because of a healthcare provider’s negligence and you’re suing for medical malpractice, as part of building a strong injury case, your personal injury lawyer will call on medical experts to review your loved one’s medical records and establish whether the physician who treated your relative met the required standard of care.

If the investigation finds that the doctor performed unnecessary surgery, made an inaccurate diagnosis, or prescribed the wrong medication, that could help the legal team prove that the doctor committed medical malpractice.

Processing the untimely passing of a family member takes time, and a compassionate Philadelphia injury attorney understands this. Plus, the fact that they aren’t personally connected to the deceased means that they’re better placed to focus on the facts of your wrongful death case, gather evidence, and help you build the strongest case possible.