Losing a loved one is always painful, especially when their passing could have been prevented. If someone else’s negligent or wrongful act resulted in your family member’s death, you could be entitled to compensation for the harm that’s been caused. The Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. want to help you demand it. We have recovered over $1.6 billion on behalf of clients like you and can put this experience to work on your behalf. Contact our firm today to learn more about your options during a free case review.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Under Pennsylvania law, a death is wrongful if it results from someone else’s negligent, intentional, or otherwise wrongful behavior. The deceased’s surviving family members and dependents can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek financial compensation for their losses.
No amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, but seeking fair compensation through a wrongful death claim is still essential. The money recovered from a successful case can offset expenses, income losses, and other personal harm incurred by the wrongful death. Moreover, it can provide a valuable measure of accountability and justice for the loss of your loved one.
The Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims
An injury victim brings a personal injury claim against a liable party, such as a drunk driver who causes a traffic accident or the manufacturer of a defective drug. Injury victims file personal injury claims to seek monetary compensation for the financial and personal losses they suffer due to their injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages from missed time at work.
It is helpful to think of a wrongful death claim as a special type of personal injury claim that the injury victim is no longer alive to pursue themselves. Instead, wrongful death claims are allowed for the benefit of the victim’s survivors and dependents for the harm they suffered because of their loved one’s passing. The loved ones stand in the place of their deceased family member to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
The most common causes of wrongful death cases in Philadelphia include the following:
- Traffic collisions – Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians result in many preventable deaths each year.
- Premises liability accidents – If property owners neglect to keep their premises reasonably safe, visitors can die from falls, acts of violence, or other dangerous conditions.
- Product liability accidents – When manufacturers fail to design, test, or assemble their products responsibly, they put patients and consumers at risk of fatal injuries.
- Workplace accidents – Workplace fatalities can occur in any industry, but construction workers and others with physically demanding jobs are especially at risk.
- Medical malpractice – Patients can die when their physicians, pharmacists, or other healthcare providers fail to adhere to acceptable standards of care.
What to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case
As with any personal injury case, you must prove certain elements to obtain compensation through a wrongful death claim, including:
- The other party had a responsibility to avoid harming the deceased, such as by following the rules of the road or providing adequate medical treatment.
- The other party failed to uphold their responsibility to the deceased, such as by driving under the influence or misdiagnosing a medical condition.
- As a result of the other party’s negligent or intentionally harmful behavior, the victim sustained injuries that contributed to their death.
- As a result of the victim’s wrongful death, surviving family members suffered real, measurable losses, such as medical expenses and lost household income.
The Importance of Preserving Evidence
Strong evidence is essential in any wrongful death lawsuit in Philadelphia. An experienced wrongful death attorney can identify, obtain, and preserve valuable evidence like:
- Photos or video footage of the underlying incident
- Police crash reports and other formal incident reports
- Statements from witnesses, family members, and others
- Testimony from experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts
- Company hiring, firing, training, safety, and communication records
- Toxicology test results showing alcohol or drug intoxication
- Product design schematics, test results, and manufacturing histories
- Medical records, death records, and other proof of fatal injuries
- Documents relating to the deceased’s employment, income, and benefits
Compensation from a Wrongful Death Claim
A successful wrongful death claim or lawsuit can recover compensation for:
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses incurred by the deceased before their death
- Funeral expenses, burial costs, or cremation services
- The value of any lost household income or benefits the deceased would have provided had they survived
- The subjective value of the loss of the services, society, comfort, and guidance the deceased likely would have provided had they lived
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
Wrongful death cases can be complicated, and one wrong move can derail an otherwise strong suit. A wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia can help you with every aspect of your case by:
- Evaluating your situation to determine whether you have grounds for a claim
- Conducting an independent investigation into the cause of the wrongful death
- Obtaining medical records, incident reports, and other evidence to support your claim
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and medical experts for valuable case testimony
- Calculating the potential value of your claim
- Managing important case documents, details, and deadlines on your behalf
- Representing you in court and at trial if the at-fault party does not make a fair settlement offer
Start a Fatal Injury Case Today with a Free Consultation
The wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. are ready to help you demand justice and accountability from those responsible for your loved one’s passing. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about your options.