Fatal accidents can happen at any moment in Pennsylvania. Whether the accident was caused by a deadly car crash, a workplace accident, medical malpractice or some other personal injury, the sudden death of a loved one can be difficult for families. People may want to take legal action when someone is killed as a result of another person's negligence. Pennsylvania law allows people to file a wrongful death suit when this happens.
Families in this situation may wonder what types of compensation they can receive in a wrongful death suit. While this compensation can never replace what the family has lost, it can help to relieve the financial burden placed on the family following a deadly accident.
There are two main types of damages that a family can receive in a wrongful death suit. First, families can receive compensation for pecuniary losses that they have suffered. These losses are the actual damages that the family has suffered. These can include lost wages, funeral expenses, medical expenses from before the person died and others.
Pecuniary damages are determined by looking at a variety of factors. The victim's age, occupation, earning potential intelligence, health and more will be evaluated to determine the amount of the damages. In some cases, expert testimony may be necessary in order to determine the amount of compensation owed.
The second type of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death suit are punitive damages. These punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party for that person's actions. These damages are not available in all states, or in all situations. The damages are meant to help prevent others from acting in a similar way to the negligent party.
It can be important for families to receive financial compensation following the death of a loved one. While an attorney can give specific legal advice on wrongful death lawsuit, this blog post should only be used as general information.