- $ Billion+ Won
- + Lawyers Nationwide
- The Fee is FreeTM, Only Pay If We Win
- America’s Largest Injury Law Firm
- Protecting Families Since 1988
Wrongful Death Lawyer in Pittsburgh
If you have recently lost a loved one in a preventable accident or an accident caused by another person's negligence, you may have the right to pursue compensation with the help of a wrongful death lawyer in Pittsburgh. As a wrongful death attorney in Pittsburgh can tell you, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation when another person's reckless or negligent actions contributed to or entirely caused the death of a loved one. If this is the case for you, it is very important to find a qualified Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible, as you have a limited amount of time in which to file a claim.
No amount of money will be able to repair the grief that your family has gone through because of this accident, but you may have already begun to feel the financial impact of your loved one's loss right away. If this is impacting your family, you at least deserve to know your rights to receive the means necessary to move forward with your life.
Losing a loved one is a very difficult experience, and at Morgan & Morgan, we understand the difficulty of your situation. Reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to see how we can help.
Morgan & Morgan
What are Wrongful Death Actions?
Pennsylvania CSA section 8301 governs wrongful death actions. This entitles people to recover damages for the death of an individual caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, so long as no claims were obtained by that injured individual during the course of their lifetime.
There are many different kinds of damages that can be recovered under a Pennsylvania wrongful death lawsuit, including economic loss for the descendant's family, payment for comfort and society that the decedent would have provided or contributed to had they survived, and more. Pennsylvania case law also allows for wrongful death damages for psychological and emotional losses that the family suffers as a result of the individual's death.
Who are Wrongful Death Beneficiaries?
Not everyone in Pennsylvania is entitled to bring a wrongful death action. This is why it is so important to consult with a wrongful death lawyer in Pittsburgh as soon as possible, so an attorney can walk you through the legal process for recovery and so that you can verify that you have the eligibility to pursue a claim.
Only people who qualify as beneficiaries are eligible to bring wrongful death claims. This includes spouses, children, and parents of the person who passed away. This means that in most cases, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and long-term, non-married partners cannot be wrongful death beneficiaries. This is true regardless of how reliant those individuals may have been on the decedent at the time of death. Wrongful death claims cannot be brought on behalf of a deceased person if there are no qualifying wrongful death beneficiaries.
What are Pennsylvania Intestacy Laws?
Damage proceeds are split according to Pennsylvania intestacy law. This includes that:
- When there is a surviving spouse of the decedent, the first $30,000 of any financial recovery goes to that spouse, and the rest is evenly split between the children and the spouse.
- If there is no surviving spouse, then the proceeds are split evenly between surviving children, and if there are no children, then two surviving parents.
- If there are no children, then the remainder is split between surviving parents and the spouse.
What to Know About Filing Survival Actions?
Survival actions can also be brought by the personal representative of a decedent's estate per 42 PACSA section 8302. The estate is the representative of the person who has passed away in these cases, and the personal representative is eligible to initiate these claims that the decedent would have been able to bring were they still alive. For example, for things such as pain and suffering, past and future wage loss and medical loss. In those cases, the estate of the decedent is the beneficiary of any damages recovered and any funds recovered under that action pass through the estate into the probate process. If there is no will established for the person who passed away in Pennsylvania, the money passes per the intestacy law explained above. Survival action damage proceeds are subject to taxes and can also be used to pay outstanding estate creditor claims.
How to Find an Experienced and Qualified Lawyer?
One of the most important things you can do in the event of losing a loved one is to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible. A wrongful death lawyer in Pennsylvania can guide you through the process of damage recovery, and can explain your legal rights to you. A wrongful death lawyer in Pittsburgh will also help you avoid many of the most common mistakes associated with wrongful death lawsuits so that you can have peace of mind about the handling of these claims. The support of a wrongful death attorney in Pittsburgh is often instrumental in recovering full and fair compensation on behalf of the victims or on behalf of the loved one's estate.
To find the right match for your case, you can fill out this online form to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
When to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
It is strongly recommended that you retain a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. This legal assistance can be priceless if your case requires an exhaustive investigation to identify the cause of death.
For example, if you believe your loved one's death was the result of medical malpractice, you'll want to identify a medical malpractice attorney who can send out the medical records and other details about your loved one's case to an independent medical examiner. The independent medical examiner will review all of these materials and then report back to your wrongful death lawyer in Pittsburgh about whether or not there are enough grounds to proceed with a claim. The specific type of injuries alleged in the lawsuit will influence the wrongful death claim, which is why it is so important to promptly seek a wrongful death lawyer in Pittsburgh who has experience in that area of the law.
While it may take some time to open the lawsuit, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible because you have a limited period of time in which to file a wrongful death claim. If you exceed the Pennsylvania statute of limitations, you will be unable to recover any compensation regardless of the legitimacy or the strength of your wrongful death claim. With so many complex factors involved, it is imperative to identify the right legal representation early on in the process. Your attorney can play a crucial role in helping you to recover compensation and in making sure the right paperwork is filed and details are handled early on.
Given that it can take some time to uncover all of the issues that may have contributed to your loved one's death, and that you already have enough on your plate in the wake of dealing with all of this grief, finding the right wrongful death attorney in Pittsburgh is a crucial component of being able to recover compensation. Your family may have relied on the financial contributions of your loved one prior to their death, and this loss can represent a significant change in your ability to pay bills and to move forward emotionally. Recognizing this, Pennsylvania wrongful death law enables you to recover compensation by filing a lawsuit with the help of a qualified lawyer.
If the bills are stacking up and the stress is continuing to mount in your household, you may need to consult with a wrongful death attorney immediately. Likewise, if you are not someone living in the direct family of the person who was killed but you wish to help those other surviving family members, your decision to consult with legal professionals can make a big difference in the future of their life. Many people who are coping with grief and the loss of a loved one find it difficult to get through the day today, and your decision to get involved and help them with the legal claims may ultimately give them some peace and a sense of closure. Make sure that you identify the right legal team to help you, since finding a qualified lawyer can be a difficult process for family members already struggling through this difficult time.
Seek out a legal team with the right background in protecting the rights of victims. The Morgan and Morgan lawyers know what it takes to get justice and are not afraid to pursue it diligently in a wrongful death claim.
Get the peace and closure that your family deserves by having an attorney look into whether this is a case of wrongful death. Nothing can change what has happened to your family, but you might be able to recover compensation that helps to support surviving family members. Far too many people find themselves reeling from the consequences of preventable deaths in Pittsburgh. If someone else is at fault for the nightmare your family may be living through, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.