Schemery Zicolello

Seeking justice through a wrongful death lawsuit

Following the accident that took the life of your loved one, you likely felt grief like never before. Whether you received the news of your spouse's death at once or you sat by the hospital bed and watched until the suffering ended, the days that passed are probably a blur in your memory.

Perhaps only now are you beginning to realize the full extent of your loss. Whether the driver responsible for the accident was impaired, distracted or simply careless, the full weight of the injustice of the event may burden you. The driver continues in life, and you and your family are left to struggle without your loved one.

The many areas affected by your loss

Your struggle may take many forms, including emotional, personal and financial. As you and your family work through your grief, you may soon begin to look for alternatives to finding closure and maybe even some sense of justice. One way to do this is to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.

While the laws vary in different states, all states, including Pennsylvania, allow for the filing of wrongful death claims by the spouses and children or the parents of those who die as a result of someone else's negligence, recklessness or intentional actions. Most often, these actions include car accidents, medical errors or criminal acts. If you decide to file a wrongful death action, you may request damages for the following:

  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of your partner's income, both now and in the future
  • Expenses for child care or household services you must now provide

Although it may be difficult to place monetary value on the companionship you lost when your loved one died, wrongful death claims may include compensation for that loss, for the suffering you and your family must endure due to the absence of your loved one.

Finding a foothold

While the decision to take action against the person responsible for your loved one's death may be difficult, time is of the essence. Each state has a statute of limitations for filing wrongful death suits, and missing the deadline will prohibit you from seeking the compensation you deserve.

Additionally, legal issues, such as opening a probate estate, may seem overwhelming, especially if you are still in the early stages of coping with your loss. To allow you the chance to tend to the needs of your family, you may find the assistance of an attorney beneficial. Such an attorney will handle the complex matters of your case and guide you through with determination and compassion.

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