When a loved one’s death in Bristol, PA is caused by someone else’s reckless or careless actions, Pennsylvania’s wrongful death laws allow a personal representative of the decedent to bring a wrongful death claim for the benefit of surviving family. Among the various wrongful death damages awarded in these claims, funeral and burial benefits may be included.
How is compensation for funeral costs determined?
Families can incur an assortment of expenses as a result of a fatal accident. One of the most costly is a funeral. Funeral benefits recovered in a wrongful death claim must be fair to the family but must also be reasonable. Extravagant costs may not be recoverable in a claim.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of an adult funeral in 2012 was just over $7,000. It increases to about $8,300 with a vault. Of course, there are ways to cut costs and reduce that price, but there are also options that can also make it pricier.
It’s important to sit down with a funeral director to go over all the expenses involved when planning the funeral. Tacking on services that may not be reasonable can make justifying the costs in a claim difficult. For example, it may not be reasonable to demand compensation for the most expensive casket available.
Keep in mind that the costs listed above don’t include burial costs, which can run another couple thousand or more. So when considering fair compensation, it’s important to take all of this into account. An attorney can help Bristol families determine the amount of damages that the decedent’s personal representative may seek for funeral costs in a wrongful death claim.
What other types of expenses can a wrongful death claim seek?
A wrongful death action allows family members to pursue compensation for their expenses and losses, which goes well beyond funeral and burial costs. Medical costs are often a major cost for families dealing with a loved one’s death. If the decedent required hospitalization prior to passing, for example, the claim can address these costs. The claim may also include other financial costs, like lost income or benefits.
Further, families can consider emotional damages available in a wrongful death action. This includes mental anguish and other non-economic losses related to the decedent’s death. These damages can vary depending on the beneficiaries on whose behalf the claim is filed. In certain circumstances it’s also possible to receive punitive damages in a wrongful death action. These may be awarded in cases of gross misconduct or intentional harm by the defendant.
Not sure where to begin? Let Cordisco & Saile help!
Cordisco & Saile LLC works with Bristol families and decedents’ personal representatives to pursue rightful funeral and burial benefits as well as other wrongful death benefits. Set up your free legal consultation today: 215-642-2335.