Schemery Zicolello

Wrongful death claim basics in Pennsylvania

People die in accidents every year, and in some cases, those accidents are highly preventable. When these accidents move into the realm of carelessness and negligence, it may be possible to bring a wrongful death claim against the person or company that caused the accident. In order to understand whether you might have a case for wrongful death it is important to talk to an attorney who has experience in that area. However, gaining knowledge of your own can help you understand the aspects of a wrongful death claim, which can help you start processing what happened and choose the best course of action for the future.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit brought about as a result of the death of a person. This death is generally due to the legal fault of another person. In some cases, the legal fault may belong to a company that created a faulty product or performed another type of negligent action, as opposed to a specific person who directly or indirectly caused a death. Medical malpractice, product liability, car accidents and both intentional and unintentional (negligent) actions of many different types can all be used as grounds to make a wrongful death claim.

Who can bring a claim for wrongful death?

In order to bring a claim for wrongful death, you must be one of the "real parties of interest." In other words, you must have been affected directly by the death of the person who passed away as a result of negligence or the intentional act of another. The people who are considered to be real parties of interest can vary depending on the state in which you live, so you will want to consider where to file your claim. Generally, parties of interest in Pennsylvania include immediate family members, life partners, financial dependents, distant family members and others who can prove they suffered financially from the person's death.

Who may be held responsible when a wrongful death claim is made?

When a wrongful death claim is made, it can be made against the driver in an automobile accident or that person's employer if the driver was on the job at the time. It can also be made against a person who served the driver alcohol, if the driver was impaired at the time of the accident. Additionally, a company or manufacturer can be sued over a faulty product, and a doctor and hospital could face a claim if there are allegations of malpractice. Other people who were part of the event may also be sued, such as other medical personnel in the event of malpractice, or the designers of a faulty product as well as the manufacturers. If you have questions about who may be responsible for the loss of a loved one, or if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim, speak to an attorney experienced in wrongful death matters.

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