Pennsylvania’s rules for a wrongful death settlement stipulate the following. Generally, only three parties may recover damages.
- The spouse of the deceased
- The deceased’s parent or guardian
- The deceased’s child(ren)
However, a third-party entity, like a health insurance company, may also claim a portion of allocated damages in certain situations under the principle of subrogation.
Health Insurance and Wrongful Death
In some cases, a deceased person who was the victim of a wrongful act (leading to death) may require medical treatment before death occurs. When medical care is required, the patient’s health insurance company may pay for the costs of this treatment. Often, these costs are large, totaling thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of dollars.
Wrongful Death Claims and Compensation for Medical Expenses
As part of a wrongful death claim for damages, the parties mentioned above may seek damages for the total cost of health and medical expenses prior to death, especially if the family paid for these costs out of pocket. If a health insurance company or public insurer (like Medicare) paid for the health costs prior to death, though, then the insurer may file a subrogation claim.
Health Insurance and Subrogation Claims
A subrogation claim is a claim that is filed on behalf of a party who has compensated the injured person (or deceased), and is entitled to recompense for those costs because another party (the defendant in a wrongful death suit) is ultimately responsible for them.
For example, if the party at fault for the deceased’s death is ordered to pay an amount of $250,000 to the deceased’s family, then $30,000 of that may have to be paid to a health insurance company if that company already paid the $30,000.
As such, when seeking damages for the wrongful death of a loved one, it’s important to keep in mind that you may have to cede a portion of damages to another party that previously made payments.
Learn More About Wrongful Death Law in Pennsylvania
For more case-specific information, call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC today. Not only will we provide you with everything you need to know about wrongful death law, but we’ll also start you off with a free case consultation. We’re ready to talk now at 215-642-2335.