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Wrongful Death Lawyer in Pennsylvania

A wrongful death lawyer can help bring justice after tragedy.

You will need a wrongful death lawyer when a tragic accident causes the death of another person because of someone else’s negligence. Some wrongful death lawsuits follow a criminal case in which another person unlawfully killed a victim, but most involve negligence. Wrongful death lawsuits are a civil lawsuit where families can seek to recover damages like:

  • Hospital and medical bills before the person’s death
  • Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before their time of death
  • Lost wages from between the person’s injury and the time of death
  • The decedent’s emotional distress before their death
  • Costs related to the funeral, burial, and administration of the decedent’s estate

Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims are similar kinds of lawsuits. Both actions will result from the same types of events. For families who lose a loved one in a wrongful death action, filing a lawsuit might not be the first thing on their minds. However, untimely accidental deaths can cause financial hardship and emotional stress. The damages available in a personal injury claim can help shift some of the burden to the liable party.

If your family lost someone in a tragic accident, contact a Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer for a free consultation at Kitay Law Offices to discuss your options for pursuing a claim.

Suing for Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Lawyer in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years or less of the date of the victim’s death.

When one person causes the death of another individual, the law offers remedies so that the family can hold the responsible party liable and recover compensation. Certain types of accidents commonly lead to personal injuries and, potentially, fatalities. Wrongful death claims frequently fall into one of the below categories.

Car Accidents

Traveling in an automobile is one of the most dangerous things most of us do regularly. Car crashes kill tens of thousands of Americans each year and injure many more. Personal injury cases often involve negligent drivers who cause collisions.

Some common causes of car accidents include drivers who are drunk, distracted, texting, speeding, or violating other traffic laws. Other vehicles also lead to different types of collisions. For instance, large trucks present risks to others on the road because of their size. Motorcycles tend to be smaller than other vehicles on the road, and drivers frequently overlook them, leading to tragic results and the need for a wrongful death lawyer.

Pedestrian and Bike Crashes

People in vehicles are not the only ones at risk on the road. Anyone walking or cycling near the traffic flow is potentially at risk of being hurt or killed by motorists.

Medical Malpractice

We rely on medical professionals to keep us healthy and safe. However, malpractice in the medical field leads to injuries and death more often than many people realize. Doctors may cause injuries by failing to diagnose the condition, prescribing the wrong medication, or harming a patient during a surgical procedure. Medical malpractice cases often lead to personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Premises Liability

Injuries that occur because of dangerous circumstances on a piece of property are another source of wrongful death claims. For example, if you walk into a store and trip on broken tiles that the building manager or owner failed to repair, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. The law demands that property owners and managers keep their premises reasonably safe.

The level of care owed will vary depending on whether the victim is a customer at a store, a social visitor, or a trespasser. However, some level of care will exist in any of these cases. If a fall or other premises-related injury leads to death, the victim’s family may have a wrongful death claim against the owner or manager. If this happens you will need a wrongful death lawyer.

Product Liability

Product liability claims involve a dangerous product that causes injury or death to a person who uses that product in a foreseeable way or as intended. One example of the product liability claim would be if a victim suffered fatal injuries in a minor car crash because their airbag exploded with too much force.

Workplace Accidents

Injuries and fatalities at workplaces may also lead to wrongful death claims. Certain professions are more prone to these types of accidents. For example, industrial sites, factories, and construction sites tend to be potentially dangerous for workers. If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Pennsylvania about whether you should file a wrongful death action or workers compensation claim.  In fact, both claims may be possible, depending on the circumstances.

Wrongful Death Law

In Pennsylvania, the law provides two different types of claims relating to the accidental loss of life of a loved one. First, there are wrongful death claims under Pa.C.S. Section 5524. Secondly, there are survival actions under 42 Pa. Cons. State. Ann. Section 8302.

What happens in a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit seeks to recover compensation for losses families suffer because someone is no longer in their life. Courts will calculate your damages based on the loss from the time your loved one died through your expected lifespan.

In these cases, you may recover compensation for the following:

  • Financial support the deceased individual provided
  • The work that the deceased individual contributed to the home
  • The loss of companionship and guidance provided by the deceased
  • In the case of spouses, for the loss of affection

Survival Action Damages

Survival actions differ from wrongful death claims because they seek to address separate grievances from those involved in wrongful death claims. In a survival action, plaintiffs can seek to recover losses experienced by the decedent.

For instance, in a survival action, you may recover for:

  • The cost of medical bills associated with the person’s death
  • Compensation for any pain and suffering your loved one experienced before their time of death
  • Lost wages which would have been earned by the deceased person from the time of injury to the time of death
  • The emotional distress suffered by the deceased’s loved one prior to the death
  • Expenses associated with the funeral, burial, and administration of the decedent’s estate

There are technical differences between how the state taxes damages recovered in these two types of actions. Beneficiaries recover compensation differently in settlements or verdicts for either of these claims as well. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you will need to consult with a Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer who can guide you through the process. Your attorney will explain how the different types of claims apply in your case.

Can Parents Sue for Wrongful Death?  Who Can File a Claim?

Only certain relatives have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Qualifying relatives include spouses, children, and parents.

Survival actions are different. A personal representative, such as an executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate, must bring the action. The beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will can recover the damages from that lawsuit. In some cases, a personal representative will fail to file a claim within six months of the person’s death. If that happens, beneficiaries can take the steps necessary to file a survival action on their own behalf. When a decedent listed a charity as a beneficiary in their will, that organization may also recover compensation.

What is Considered Wrongful Death?

In order to file a successful wrongful death claim, your wrongful death lawyer will have to be able to prove several things, including:

  • The defendant acted negligently when they caused the accident that killed your loved one
  • That person owed a duty of care
  • The defendant violated their duty of care
  • The violation of the defendant’s duty led to your loved one’s death
  • You experienced losses because of your loved one’s death

For example, if your loved one died in a car accident, you would need to show that another driver negligently operated their vehicle and that the negligent act caused a collision that killed your loved one. In this example, the driver owed everyone on the road a duty to operate their vehicle as a reasonably cautious driver. A violation of that duty would include running through a red light or any number of other traffic violations. If that driver did violate a red light and therefore crashed into your loved one’s car, then the violation is a cause of the victim’s death.

Comparative Negligence Claims in Pennsylvania

Car accidents and other similar events can often be difficult to understand after the fact. In many cases, more than one person will be responsible for causing a collision. If someone suffers injuries or dies because of that crash, the victim or their family may need to illustrate that the other driver or other person is more at fault for the accident than was the victim. Individuals who share liability may still recover from a more at-fault party because Pennsylvania practices comparative negligence.

How to Calculate Comparative Damages

Imagine that a motorcyclist is speeding as they approach a vehicle in an adjacent lane. Next, the driver in the other lane changes into the motorcyclist’s lane without checking their blind spot or using a turn signal. The two vehicles collide. In this scenario, both motorists may share liability. Of course, the motorcyclist, in this case, will be more likely to suffer the consequences of the crash.

If the motorcyclist dies in that collision, family members may wish to hold the driver of the other vehicle accountable. Filing a wrongful death action or a survival action can accomplish that objective. The driver in the other car may argue that the motorcyclist, who was speeding, bears most of the responsibility.

In this case, courts may assign a percentage of liability to each of the motorists. As long as the motorcyclist was 50 percent, or less, liable for the crash, the family will still be able to recover damages.

The ability to recover damages remains so long as the victim is not more at fault than the other individual. However, in such matters, the victim’s family will recover a lower percentage of the damages.

Imagine that in the above example, the court found that the motorcyclist was 40 percent at fault. The other driver would therefore be 60 percent at fault. If the court calculates the total compensation for the loss of life at $1,000,000, the family will recover $600,000. The reduced damages will reflect a motorcyclist’s share of liability for the crash.

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Wrongful Death?

Families who lose a loved one in an accident will struggle emotionally and potentially financially as well. While loved ones will need time to grieve, you should never wait to speak to a wrongful death lawyer about your claim. In Pennsylvania, families must typically file a wrongful death action within two years or less of the date of the accident.

If the statute of limitations prevents a claim, courts will not hear the matter. The court will bar the claim even if the family has an otherwise valid lawsuit. Although two years may sound like a long time, the sooner you speak to a wrongful death lawyer, the better. Your attorney can help by speaking to insurance companies on your behalf. Providing your representative with extra time to investigate, build a strategy, and attempt to negotiate a settlement will help improve your case.

Looking for an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer?

If you are searching for wrongful death lawyers, use our helpful guide to find the best fit for your case.  Importantly, you should speak with a Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your legal rights as soon as possible. You may have available options for recovering damages. The compensation available to family members can help alleviate financial stresses created by a tragic event.

Kitay Law Offices has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Immigration, and Criminal & DUI Defense matters. We have offices conveniently located throughout central and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Call Kitay Law Offices today to speak to a compassionate and experienced Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer.

dayetzi mendoza
dayetzi mendoza
18:59 02 Nov 18
I highly recommend them. They fight for your case until you win!!! I’m very content with my results.
David Daiello
David Daiello
15:54 02 Nov 18
Mr. Ken Kitay is very professional and I have been dealing with him and known him for about 15 years. He has been not only my attorney,but we have used him in several family members cases as well. When you deal with mr. kitay and his staff ,you're not only a client ,your family! Mr. Kitay and his team only know one thing ,your best interest and how to win!! On behalf of myself and my family, there's no one better we can recommend, A TRUE WINNING TEAM!!! And on a final note ,my family not only had a great attorney, he is part of our family for life. Thank you and may God bless you and your staff as you have blessed my family .
Jocelyn Gabriel
Jocelyn Gabriel
16:06 21 Sep 18
I have known Ken through a mutual friend for over 2 years. Over those 2 years Ken has been a great mentor, friend and my own personal attorney. His staff is helpful and responsive to all my questions and provides great service. Ken has a good team and they're great at what they do. I strongly recommend Ken to anyone who needs an attorney!
Iliana Cruz
Iliana Cruz
20:26 20 Aug 18
Ken was very caring and concerned about my legal situation. Ken was also very attentive and showed me the direction to take. The law firm handled my social security case and did an excellent job. I didn't have to do anything. I'll refer all my friends and family to Kitay Law offices they are amazing.
Erica Julia
Erica Julia
20:12 20 Aug 18
Ken gave me good advice and tried to help me as much as he could. He gave me a couple of different options and directions to take for my legal issue. Id refer all my friends and family to Ken
Maria Garcia
Maria Garcia
16:40 17 Aug 18
Ken Kitay is a great attorney. I think he is very kindhearted, smart and knows what he is doing. I feel very comfortable with him it's like I have known him forever. I recommend all my friends and family to Kitay Law Offices.
Maiker Lora
Maiker Lora
22:41 05 Jun 18
While no one wishes to find themselves injured, one word describes Kitay The Best . Kitay knows what he is doing. Ken is really knowledgable, trustworthy, smart and knows the right people... Kitay is an attorney who can guide you through the process. I was very impressed with Kitay's ability. I always refer all my friends and family to Ken Kitay.
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Yanissa de Leon
Yanissa de Leon
2020-03-13T16:19:29+0000
Great recommendation , Paul is awesome!!
Rocio Alava
Rocio Alava
2020-02-07T18:32:46+0000
excelente servicio muy buenas personas. los recomiendo.. te hacen sentir muy seguros y te ayudan mucho..
Monica A Masteller
Monica A Masteller
2020-01-02T19:58:11+0000
Excellent service, Excellent Lawyers, Best Law Firm in Lehigh Valley!
Yudy LR
Yudy LR
2019-10-05T14:14:25+0000
Fue dificil la mala experiencia que me tocó vivir que me llevó a buscar la ayuda legal de esta firma de abogados, quienes me han representado muy bien... me siento muy complacida y satisfecha por su buen trabajo y su buen trato... mi agradecimiento en especial es para Raysha
Dazzy Torres
Dazzy Torres
2019-08-16T21:25:53+0000
About two or three weeks ago, I went to Kitay Law Office for some legal advice. I was in an unfortunate accident & needed a sense of direction. Rysha reassured me that I do have a case. Unfortunately she couldn’t take the case but she explained exactly what I could do in order to pursue my case.
Gilda Martinez
Gilda Martinez
2019-08-16T21:13:14+0000
My girlfriend & I recently visited Kitay Law Office for a consultation , recommended by a friend . The services were great even though Rysha couldn’t take the case herself she pointed us in the right direction & we are very thankful .
Lori Capriglione
Lori Capriglione
2019-08-16T14:51:13+0000
The staff returned calls in a timely manner
José Fernandez
José Fernandez
2019-08-13T15:44:04+0000
Muy excelentes te ayudan y pelean por tus beneficios laborales ! Los recomiendo ..Marta es muy amable y atenta!!
Carla Buezo
Carla Buezo
2019-08-07T23:40:09+0000
Los numero #1 en todo el area de Pennsylvania. gracias por el apoyo a la comunidad hispana. Ellos an sido los abogados de mi familia por mas de 10 años. En casos de inmigración y en mi negocio.Perla y Marta son mis amigas por más de 10 años muy profesionales.Yo refiero a todos mis amigos y familiares a la s oficina de abogados de Kitay.
Yulianys Salazar
Yulianys Salazar
2019-08-07T01:44:51+0000
muy profecionales y excelente servicio al cliente, estoy tranquila de estar trbajando con ellos demuestran buena calidad humana y eso es dificil de encontrar, los recomiendo de corazon nuestra comunudad latina.
Dariel Martinez Morillo
Dariel Martinez Morillo
2019-07-31T15:58:58+0000
Estoy completamente satisfecho con este abogado de alentado es uno de lo mejor abogado que yo podido conocer me ayudó bastante y profesionalmente bien en mi caso es tuve una experiencia muy bien se los recomiendo
Enrique Aguirre
Enrique Aguirre
2019-07-27T18:15:59+0000
nos atendieron muy bien,y fue un placer conocernos, los felicito y los recomiendo.
Dalianna Martinez
Dalianna Martinez
2019-07-18T18:50:28+0000
Very good Service, thetas help a lot
N Fernandz Ortz
N Fernandz Ortz
2019-07-14T20:32:45+0000
exelente servicio muy confiables
Evelyn Liriano de Hernandez
Evelyn Liriano de Hernandez
2019-07-12T02:11:15+0000
i recommended Kitay 100% because the way they tread me very responsables and human be...thank you
Carlos H. Cordova
Carlos H. Cordova
2019-07-11T21:14:05+0000
Muy buena atención al cliente muy buena información
Yudiana Liz
Yudiana Liz
2018-12-18T20:59:39+0000
Me siento sumamente agradecida,con los servicios que recibí de Kitay law offices y de todos las agradables personas que forman parte de esta oficina,sigan así ayudando y representando a los que necesitamos de sus servicios,gracias bendiciones. Yudiana Liz. I feel very grateful, with the services I received from Kitay law offices and all the nice people who are part of this office, continue to help and represent those of us who need your services, thank you blessings. Yudiana Liz.
Angel Robert Ramirez
Angel Robert Ramirez
2018-11-15T02:03:21+0000
Los servicios ofrecidos por el personal de la Oficina son excelentes, tanto si vamos en persona o si llamamos por telefono. La persona que recibe a los clientes es muy amable y siempre preocupados por los requerimientos de los clientes. Excelentes Servicios!
Waldemar Morales Ortiz
Waldemar Morales Ortiz
2018-11-09T01:55:38+0000
I definitely will recommend Kitay law office they have excellent outstanding staff in Allentown office , they are friendly and professional they will help you out with your Law services.; )
Misael Rodriguez
Misael Rodriguez
2018-11-07T21:50:36+0000
Cuando estuve en la oficina de Allentown buscando ayuda para mi caso, inicialmente fui atendido por la señora Marta GUIDO , con la sorpresa de oírla hablar en español. Durante la conversación con la abogada, la señora Marta siempre estuvo muy atententa para ayudarme. Fue muy cortés y profesional. Le estoy muy agradecido con ella y con todos los empleados de esa oficina.Misael Rodríguez.
Luz Muñoz
Luz Muñoz
2018-11-07T02:25:21+0000
En la oficina de Allentown, la señora Marta fue muy amable cuando fuimos a averiguar para un caso de mi esposo y siempre está dispuesta para ayudar y su forma de tratarlo a uno de la mucha confianza y tranquilidad a uno es una excelente empleada
Yolanda Mulero
Yolanda Mulero
2018-11-05T20:50:24+0000
Excellent service. Would recommend Kitay group to any one who needs and attorney.
Mendez Luz
Mendez Luz
2015-03-10T11:57:37+0000
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