Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer

Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer

Was your loved one killed due to someone’s negligent or unlawful actions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? You may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and more. While money may be the last thing on your mind while you’re grieving this unimaginable loss, you have limited time to take legal action in Pennsylvania. 

The Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers at Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers are here to provide the help, support, and guidance you need to get through this difficult time. We have over 80 years of combined experience and have recovered over $50 million for injured people and grieving families throughout Philadelphia, PA. 

Call us at (215) 875-7030 or contact our law office online today to speak with a top-rated attorney who will put your mind at ease. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation to hear your story and provide honest legal advice regarding your best steps forward. Schedule yours today to get started.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With My Wrongful Death Claim in Philadelphia, PA?

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With My Wrongful Death Claim in Philadelphia, PA?

A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will be your best ally if you need to file a wrongful death action. The at-fault party or their insurance company won’t be quick to give you the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one’s support. They’ll try to undervalue your claim and pay as little as possible. 

With an experienced attorney from Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers by your side, you’re more likely to win – and recover a larger settlement or verdict. Opposing parties will be less inclined to try and take advantage of you if you have a legal representative advocating for your best interests. We’ll use our collective eight decades of experience to fight for you. 

If you hire our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys to help you with your wrongful death claim, we’ll: 

  • Investigate the cause of your loved one’s death and coordinate with any ongoing criminal investigations (if applicable) 
  • Identify every party who may share liability for your loved one’s death 
  • Gather evidence and work with leading experts as we build your case and value the full extent of your losses
  • Communicate and negotiate with insurance companies and others on your behalf and push back against tactics that undervalue or deny your claim 
  • Fiercely litigate your case in a Philadelphia County courthouse if necessary 

Our compassionate legal team is ready to help you if you lost your family member in an avoidable accident. Contact our law firm today to get the help and support you need. 

What Is Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania? 

Wrongful death in Pennsylvania is a fatality caused by another party’s negligence, wrongful act, neglect, or unlawful violence. A wrongful death lawsuit allows specific surviving family members of the decedent to seek damages from the at-fault party. 

Wrongful death actions can only be initiated if the decedent could have filed a personal injury lawsuit for their damages had they survived. For example, a victim dies in a car accident due to a drunk driver. Had they survived the crash, they would’ve had a valid personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. 

Wrongful death cases are civil actions intended to compensate eligible survivors for the financial losses they sustain due to the victim’s death. They are separate from any criminal proceeding that the State of Pennsylvania may file.  

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Philadelphia, PA?

Under Pennsylvania law, only the following beneficiaries of the deceased may receive damages in a wrongful death claim: 

  • Spouse 
  • Children 
  • Parents 

If the decedent doesn’t have a surviving spouse, child, or parent, the personal representative of their estate can file a claim for certain expenses incurred, including medical bills and administration fees. 

How Common Are Fatal Accidents in Pennsylvania?

According to the latest data contained in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Crash Facts & Statistics Report, Philadelphia County was the top county for traffic-related fatalities in 2020. It had 14.7% of the state’s reported traffic deaths, with 166 people losing their lives. 

Of the 166 motor vehicle-related fatalities, 49 were pedestrians, and 29 were alcohol-related.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, there were 148 fatal workplace injuries in Pennsylvania, accounting for a little over 3% of nationwide workplace fatalities. Of the 148 deaths, 49 were caused by transportation incidents (33%), 28 were from slip and fall accidents (19%), and 25 were from exposure to harmful substances (17%).  

Many other accidents and incidents cause deaths daily in Pennsylvania. 

What Causes Most Fatal Accidents in Philadelphia?

Many kinds of accidents and incidents can cause fatalities in Philadelphia. 

At Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve helped families of victims who have died in all types of tragic incidents, including: 

No matter how you lost your loved one, we’ll help you identify the liable party and seek the damages you deserve. 

How Much Is My Philadelphia Wrongful Death Case Worth? 

Every wrongful death case is unique, with different victims, accident types, defendants, and circumstances. Therefore, the value will depend on the specifics of your case. 

The following factors will be important in determining how much your Philadelphia wrongful death case is worth: 

  • The medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs you incurred 
  • The level of financial support your loved one provided the family
  • The household services, guidance, and comfort your loved one provided 
  • Your loved one’s age at the date of death and their life expectancy 
  • The circumstances of their accident and whether the defendant acted unlawfully or intentionally 
  • The surviving family members left behind (e.g., young children)

Contact our Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys for more information regarding how much your case may be worth. We can discuss what happened and give you a better idea of what you can expect. 

What Types of Damages Are Available in a Philadelphia Wrongful Death Action?

Eligible family members may be entitled to economic damages (financial losses) and non-economic damages (personal, harder-to-value losses) in a Philadelphia wrongful death action, such as: 

  • Medical expenses, including nursing and hospital bills incurred prior to the victim’s death
  • Funeral and burial expenses 
  • Administration expenses 
  • Lost financial support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost household services
  • Loss of society, comfort, and guidance 
  • The psychological and emotional toll of the victim’s death on their surviving family

If the victim left no surviving beneficiaries and the personal representative files a wrongful death claim, they can only recover damages for reasonable medical bills, funeral expenses, and administration costs. 

Punitive damages may also be awarded in certain wrongful death cases, particularly those caused by a defendant’s intentional or unlawful conduct. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for malicious or wanton behavior. 

We’ll help you seek compensation for the full extent of your losses. 

How Do I Prove My Wrongful Death Case in Pennsylvania?

Most wrongful death cases are based on negligence, which consists of four distinct elements the plaintiff must prove: 

The evidence used to prove negligence will depend on how the victim died and their relationship to the defendant.

If your loved one died due to a defective product or dog bite, the wrongful death case may be based on strict liability rather than negligence. In that case, there are different elements that must be proven. 

We’ll help you identify the legal aspects of your case and gather the evidence needed.   

Can I Recover Compensation If My Loved One Is Being Blamed For Their Fatal Accident in Philadelphia, PA?

Under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence statute, you can recover compensation as long as your loved one wasn’t more than 50% at fault for their fatal accident. If your loved one was 50% or less responsible, your damages will be reduced in proportion to their assigned blame. 

For example, if the victim is assigned 30% of the blame for a fatal motorcycle accident, you can only take home 70% of the awarded damages. If they are allocated 51% fault, you take home nothing.

How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations gives you only two years after your loved one’s date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. 

Two years may seem like a long time to some. However, it can take time to build a case, including investigating the accident, determining who is liable, gathering evidence, negotiating, and filing the required documentation.  

Therefore, it’s best to reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to build a strong case and get the maximum compensation. 

If you miss the statutory deadline, you will lose the ability to hold the liable party responsible for your loved one’s death. During your free case evaluation, we can advise you of your wrongful death case’s deadline. 

Contact Our Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Philadelphia, PA, you don’t have to take on your legal fight alone. The Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers at Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you navigate the legal process so that you can focus on more important things, like your family. 

Contact our personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia today to schedule a free consultation to get the representation you deserve.