The KaplunMarx law firm comprises experienced trial attorneys who will fight for your rights every step of the way. Our lawyers have successfully represented individuals who have lost their loved ones under tragic circumstances. We understand the emotional and financial strain such a situation can put on surviving family members. We do everything in our power to ensure that we take on the paperwork and document preparation on your case so you can focus on grieving your loss and taking care of yourself and your family during this difficult time.
Our Pennsylvania wrongful death attorneys have helped secure millions in personal injury and wrongful death cases. What distinguishes us from other law firms is our superior level of customer service. We never treat you as “just another case.” We understand the tremendous losses our clients have suffered and bring compassion and sensitivity into our handling of each and every case.
What is Wrongful Death?
According to Section 8301 of the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act, a wrongful death action seeks to compensate a decedent’s family members for the death when it was caused by another’s negligence or wrongdoing. As opposed to something that’s handled in the criminal justice system, a wrongful death is a civil lawsuit, which essentially holds the defendant “liable” for the injuries, damages, and losses caused to the decedent’s family.
Therefore, the damages that are awarded to victims in wrongful death actions include medical and funeral expenses as well as money and value of services the decedent might have contributed to the family, had the decedent lived. In addition, survivors of the decedent can also seek compensation for emotional and psychological losses that come with such a traumatic event, which can be challenging to quantify. The potential beneficiaries of a wrongful death award are typically the spouse, children, parents or anyone else who was financially dependent on the decedent.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases We Handle
Our Pennsylvania lawyers handle wrongful death cases that stem from a number of events and situations including but not limited to:
- Auto accidents: Negligence on the part of a driver can lead to wrongful death actions. For example, when a driver operates a motor vehicle while drunk, distracted, speeding or driving recklessly and causes a fatal accident, that driver could be held liable for the decedent’s death. In some cases, when the at-fault driver is on the job, his or her employer can also be held liable for the wrongful death.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents have the potential to result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. In such cases, a property owner could be held liable for failing to properly and safely maintain the premises and for allowing a dangerous condition to exist.
- Medical malpractice: Recent statistics show that medical errors made in healthcare facilities are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 251,000 lives each year. That’s more than lives claimed by respiratory disease, car accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s. Wrongful deaths in a healthcare setting could occur due to errors that are made during surgery while administering anesthesia, prescribing medication or as a result of misdiagnosing a disease or health condition. In such cases, the doctor, hospital or other medical professionals who action (or lack of action) caused the death, could be held liable.
- Truck accidents: When a smaller passenger vehicle collides with a large truck or big rig, it is often the passengers of the smaller vehicle that suffer fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 alone, 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, an 8-percent increase from 2014.
Why Hire KaplunMarx?
Our wrongful death attorneys have more than 25-plus years of combined experience. We have a successful track record of going against large corporations and insurance companies and handling complex wrongful death cases. Our lawyers have significant knowledge of the law. We will use our years of experience to negotiate a fair settlement in your case and help recover maximum compensation for your losses. Our focus is always to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome.
We offer personal service to all our clients because we understand what an emotional rollercoaster ride this process can be. When you call us you will be able to speak to your lawyer, not an assistant. We are always available to personally go over your case and answer questions or address concerns. We have a vast knowledge not only of the law, but also the strategies insurance companies routinely use to shortchange our clients. Also, we take on cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any fees until we recover compensation for you.
Statue of Limitations in Wrongful Death Cases
Under Pennsylvania law, plaintiffs in wrongful death cases are required to file their lawsuit in a timely manner. This means that your wrongful death lawsuit should be filed within two years of the date of death. Generally speaking, if it is not filed within the stated time frame, then the plaintiff may forever be prohibited from pursuing damages in court. In wrongful death cases involving governmental entities, a Notice of Intent to file a claim should be filed within six months of the date of death. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys will be able to guide you through what can be a complex legal process and help you obtain maximum compensation for your significant losses.
How We Can Help
If you have lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the first thing you need to do is to take time to grieve and take care of yourself and your family members. It is also critical that you gather as many crucial pieces of evidence as possible including photographs from the scene (if applicable), eyewitness statements, medical and hospital records, coroner’s report, etc. This could all be quite overwhelming at a time when you are trying to handle family and financial matters. Call our law offices to find out how the Pennsylvania wrongful death attorneys at KaplunMarx PLLC can help you through this process. We offer free consultations and comprehensive case evaluations.