Fatal car accidents are a terrifying possibility that all drivers on the road face every day. When an accident causes the death of a loved one, multiple emotional, personal and financial complications may plague surviving family members for the days, months and even years following the tragedy.
Funeral expenses, property damage, outstanding medical bills and lost income may be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financial woes related to a fatal traffic accident. Emotional suffering and loss of companionship are weighty personal challenges that may affect a survivor’s quality of life for a long period of time.
When another driver's negligence or wrongdoing of another driver causes the fatal car accident, a grieving family may not know what options they have for restitution and compensation for their suffering. In some cases, fatal traffic accidents warrant the pursuit of a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Pennsylvania, laws have been established to protect the interests of individuals and families affected by a wrongful death event. Fatal vehicle accidents often result in wrongful death suits. The person or entity that caused the wrongful death may be responsible for the financial and/or emotional damages surviving loved ones suffer.
Who Might be Responsible for a Wrongful Death in a Traffic Accident?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal car accident and believe that another driver or other entity is responsible, a wrongful death attorney can help determine exactly who may be responsible for damages. This is not always a simple determination, and the specific details surrounding the car accident will dictate who is most likely at fault. Your attorney will help review documentation such as police reports, witness testimony and medical records to establish the best course of action for your case.
Some possible parties that could be held responsible for your loved one’s wrongful death include:
- The owner of the bar (or the bar itself) where a drunk driver was served alcohol prior to causing a fatal drunk driving accident.
- The government agency responsible for repairing a faulty roadway responsible for causing the fatal crash.
- The driver who was texting while driving prior to the accident.
- The entity responsible for failing to replace a damaged road sign that could have prevented the accident.
The Wrongful Death Statute in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the state determines what types of damages can be included in a wrongful death lawsuit. Statute 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8301(c) lists the categories of expenses and other losses that may qualify for compensation. Expenses may include but are not limited to the following costs and expenditures:
- Nursing expenses
- Hospital bills
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Burial fees
- Administrative costs associated with the death
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parenting support and/or guidance
Eligible recipients of compensation in wrongful death cases typically include spouses, children, parents and, in some cases, extended family members who have filled major roles in the victim’s life.
Call Cordisco & Saile LLC for Help
When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one after a fatal traffic accident, you may not be able to manage all the details surrounding the tragedy. You may be overwhelmed with responsibilities and will need support. Allow an experienced attorney to help with your wrongful death claim. Cordisco & Saile LLC specializes in wrongful death litigation, and we can help with your case. We will prepare documentation, file your claim and support you at every stage of the legal process. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.