Have you ever received a phone call and while it was ringing you just knew that something was wrong? Have you ever received an unexpected knock on the door and your heart just sank? Instinctively we are all connected to our loved ones. We learn to feel them even when they are from us and unfortunately we sometimes sense when something isn’t quite right. There is no news more devastating than hearing that you have lost a loved one. Especially when your loved one’s death was due to the negligence or willfulness of some other person or party.
In the legal realm, wrongful death is when someone dies due to the negligence or willfulness of a person or party. Wrongful Death is exactly how it sounds. It is a death that is wrong. Your loved one would still be here had it not been for the actions of the negligent person or party. Wrongful Death can be applied to any situation and can be filed in conjunction with a criminal suit. Wrongful death can be filed in absence of a criminal suit too. The main difference between the two is that in a criminal case you have to prove without reasonable doubt that the person caused the death of your loved. Wrongful Deaths, as civil suits, have a lower threshold and you have to prove that negligent behavior led to the death of your loved one.
Our Philadelphia wrongful death attorney at Dan Doyle Law Group want to first share with you our condolences if you are dealing with a situation like this. There is no amount of comfort or kind words that can bring your true desire which is to reverse the day your loved one died and hold them just one more time. Unfortunately, we know that it is not possible, but our personal injury attorney at the Dan Doyle Law Group promise to work aggressively on your case to ensure that we get justice for your loved one.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
When filing a wrongful death suit you are opening an investigation to see what happened at the time of death and how a person or people are responsible for the death. Get prepared for some emotional times as you have to witness the exact connection between negligence and the death of your loved one. Our Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer promises to work tirelessly in investigating the case to ensure that there is a link between negligence of the person or party to the accident.
The purpose of the wrongful death suit is to ensure that the surviving family members such as the spouse, children, or parents are able to receive compensation for the funeral expenses, lost wages due to losing a main financial contributor, and pain and suffering. You can’t put a price on losing a loved one, but you can use monetary value to help you financially while you are suffering emotionally. Call and let our lawyer at Dan Doyle Law Group help you through this stressful time.
Losing a family member is always tough, but not all deaths are recognized as wrongful deaths under Pennsylvania law. Wrongful death refers to instances where the death of one person is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing by another person or entity.
Unlike murder or manslaughter, which are pursued in criminal courts, wrongful death cases are pursued in civil courts in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania. When a wrongful death occurs, the family or estate of the deceased has the right to seek damages on behalf of the victim.
Being represented by a wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia from Dan Doyle Law Group increases your chance of recovering fair reimbursement for all the damages and losses that you and other surviving family members have suffered as a result of your loved one’s death.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE RECOVERABLE IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE?
Pennsylvania courts recognize not only financial damages suffered by the deceased’s family members, but also emotional, psychological, mental, and other non-economic damages. When pursuing a wrongful death claim, the following factors will be considered when assessing damages:
- Medical expenses before the death
- Loss of wages and benefits associated with the death
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of mentorship and guidance and
- Punitive damages.
ARE WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES TAXABLE IN PENNSYLVANIA?
Do surviving family members have to pay taxes on a wrongful death settlement in Pennsylvania? The answer is No. According to the IRS, any lawsuit settlement proceeds that a court awards for physical injury or wrongful death are non-taxable for the surviving family members.
However, the surviving family members may still be expected to pay taxes on their wrongful death compensation if they are awarded punitive damages as part of their claim. In certain circumstances, punitive damages are subject to income tax in wrongful death cases.
WILL MY WRONGFUL DEATH SETTLEMENT BE PUBLIC RECORD?
Typically, wrongful death settlements in Philadelphia are kept private between the parties involved and are not public record. In fact, the defendant’s insurance company and the surviving family members named in a wrongful death lawsuit as plaintiffs are the only parties that know the amount of a wrongful death settlement.
However, wrongful death settlement becomes available to the public when the case goes to trial, so the amount of the verdict and other details of the case will be made a public record.
IS AN AUTOPSY NECESSARY IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES?
In some cases, it is. In others, meanwhile, it’s not. Autopsy, which is a postmortem examination of the deceased’s body to discover the cause of death, is performed in wrongful death cases when the cause of death is not clear.
Autopsies are necessary in complex wrongful death cases where the at-fault party’s defense lawyer and insurance companies insist that some other factor was responsible for causing the death as a way to escape liability and minimize or deny your claim. An autopsy is almost always necessary in medical malpractice cases.
LEARN MORE FROM A PHILADELPHIA WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER
If you have other questions about a case involving the death of your loved one, do not hesitate to schedule a free phone consultation with our wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia at Dan Doyle Law Group. Call to have our attorneys evaluate your case for free.