McKarski-Law – Wrongful Death
Any injury is devastating, but an accident or negligent behavior that leads to a death is especially tragic. A death causes both financial and emotional losses for surviving family members, as well as significant pain and suffering in the deceased person's last moments. While there is no way to erase the pain of an avoidable and unnecessary death, Pennsylvania law does provide family members of deceased victims the right to seek compensation from the person or entity that caused the accident or injury.
A lawsuit commenced to recover compensation for a death caused by the negligent actions of another party is called a “wrongful death” case. Wrongful death matters are a special type of personal injury case and, in many situations, the compensation for a wrongful death can be high due to the significance of the loss.
Because so much is at stake in a wrongful death case, it is imperative to retain a qualified Bethlehem lawyer to represent you in a wrongful death proceeding. At McKarski-Law, we have represented clients throughout the Lehigh Valley in wrongful death cases and we understand the nuances of these cases. To learn more about how we can help, contact one of our dedicated Bethlehem lawyers today at 610-866-0198 or complete our online form.
Making a Wrongful Death Claim with the Help of McKarski-Law
The surviving spouse, child, or other close relative of a person killed in an accident may file a wrongful death lawsuit. A successful wrongful death action will provide both compensation for losses suffered prior to the death, such as for medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as compensation for losses that the survivors experience after the death. These damages include payment for a lifetime of lost financial support that the deceased would have provided if the death had not occurred. Because the surviving family members also experience the emotional loss of a loved one, compensation is typically also available for loss of companionship.
To collect wrongful death damages, the person filing the lawsuit must prove the necessary elements of a wrongful death claim. This includes proving that the person or entity responsible for the death was negligent or behaved below the expected standard of care, in making this determination, a court will assess whether a hypothetical reasonable person would have been more cautious than the defendant under the same circumstances.
Once negligence has been established, the plaintiff must also show that the negligence was the direct cause of the death and that if the defendant had been more careful, no death would have occurred. Finally, the plaintiff must prove the extent of his financial and other damages. Calculating damages is a complex process involving calculations of lost earnings and life expectancy, as well as an assessment of the relationship between the deceased and the surviving family members.
In some situations, wrongful death claims settle outside of court. In other cases, wrongful death claims are taken to trial because the parties dispute liability or cannot agree on a fair amount of compensation. Whether your case involves insurance settlement negotiations or strong advocacy in court, the dedicated Bethlehem attorneys at The Law Offices of Edward J. McKarski will provide the guidance and legal support you need. Our caring, knowledgeable Lehigh Valley lawyers understand wrongful death cases and will do what it takes to help you achieve a just and fair outcome. Contact us today at 610-866-0198 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.