Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyers
Caring support and advocacy when a parent, child, or spouse dies in a Pittsburgh accident
It’s the worst call possible to receive: “Your loved one has died.” No amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of your loved one. The aim of every wrongful death claim is to hold the people and companies that caused your relative to die accountable for ending your loved one’s life and shattering the lives of everyone he/she loved.
At Carmody and Ging, Attorneys at Law, our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers honor your need to mourn while also investigating how the accident happened. We’ll guide you through each phase of the claims process from explaining how to file a wrongful death claim and who is entitled to benefits to working to show that the defendants are liable for the death of a parent, child, spouse, or another close relative who supported you. We work to show the defendants were negligent or that a product defect caused the death of your loved one. We do settle many wrongful death cases – but we are always ready to honor your loved one’s need for justice by trying your case in court.
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What would you like to know?
- What are survival claims and wrongful death claims?
- How do you fight to prove the defendants are liable?
- What kinds of Pittsburgh accidents can cause someone to die?
- Which members of the family can claim wrongful death benefits in Pennsylvania?
- How are wrongful death damages determined in Pittsburgh?
- Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim?
- Do you have a wrongful death lawyer near me?
What are survival claims and wrongful death claims?
In Pennsylvania, there are two types of claims you can make after your loved one has died. Our Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers handle both types of claims. These claims are:
- A wrongful death action. This type of claim is brought by the family members of the person who was killed in an accident. The claim is normally filed by the personal representative of the estate to compensate the living family members for the funeral and burial costs, their financial losses due to the premature death of their loved one, and their personal losses because your loved one isn’t alive to emotionally support his/her family.
- A survival action. This is a personal injury claim that the personal representative also files to compensate your loved one’s estate for any medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses between the time of the accident and the time of death. For example, your loved one may have suffered a heart attack which caused his death a week after a car accident.
Normally, the wrongful death claim and the survival action are filed together.
How do you fight to prove the defendants are liable?
Wrongful death cases are not quite the same as personal injury cases. In addition to the many standard issues in personal injury cases (such as proving liability), our Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers address the following issues:
- The unavailability of the victim’s testimony. Since your loved one is deceased, he/she cannot testify at trial. This means our skilled wrongful death lawyers need to find alternative ways to show the defendants are liable. Alternative ways include the testimony of other witnesses such as speaking with the police, our own investigators, product safety experts, medical staff, and other witnesses – depending on how the accident happened. We also, among other strategies, examine the accident site and the damage to any vehicles, property, or products involved in the accident.
- The potential companion criminal case. Our lawyers work with the prosecutors when criminal charges are filed – such as when a drunk driver caused the death of your loved one and the government files Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges.
- Your need to mourn. Our lawyers understand that no amount of compensation can ever replace your loved one. We respect your need and right to mourn your loved one and honor his/her memory.
What kinds of Pittsburgh accidents can cause someone to die?
At Carmody and Ging, our Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers represent families when a loved one dies due to:
The defendants may include drivers, property owners, manufacturers, trucking companies, medical professionals, and many other individual and company defendants.
Which members of the family can claim wrongful death benefits in Pennsylvania?
The wrongful death damages are paid based on the intestate laws of Pennsylvania. The beneficiaries are normally the spouse and children. If there are no children, then the beneficiaries are the spouse and the parents. Our Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers will explain how much and in what proportion each beneficiary’s share is. Where there is no surviving spouse and no parents or children, then wrongful death damages may be paid to other relatives.
Normally, the personal representative of the estate of the decedent files both a survival action and a wrongful death action.
The funds from the survival action become part of the estate of the decedent. The funds are distributed in accordance with the terms of the will of the intestate laws of Pennsylvania.
How are wrongful death damages determined in Pittsburgh?
The damages in a wrongful death case include:
- The funeral and burial expenses
- The loss of earnings because your loved one died prematurely
- The loss of benefits such as pension benefits
- Loss of an inheritance
- The value of the services the decedent would have provided
- Loss of consortium for a spouse
- Loss of nurturing, guidance, and advice
- Loss of companionship
- The emotional pain of the survivors
Our lawyers usually work with professionals who can place a value on these damages.
The damages in the survival action are the same as if the decedent had survived and filed a personal injury claim.
Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim?
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is generally two years. It is best to speak with our skilled Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible. We need to investigate the accident site and speak to witnesses, especially because your loved one is not alive to testify. There are very short time limits for notifying your insurance company and for filing claims against the state or a state agency/entity.
Do you have a wrongful death lawyer near me?
Carmody and Ging is located at 801 Vinial Street in Pittsburgh, on the 3rd floor of the Deutschtown Center building. You can find us across the street from Penn Brewery. There is plenty of parking onsite.
Our lawyers understand how the death of a loved one changes the lives of every family member. We guide you through this extremely difficult time with compassion and clear advice. Our lawyers fight to honor your loved one by obtaining the maximum compensation families deserve.
Talk with our caring experienced Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers today
We understand you are in pain. Carmody and Ging is here to help. We’re a local firm with deep community ties. We want to help your family mourn while also protecting your family’s right to hold the wrongdoers accountable. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh wrongful death and survival lawyer, please call 412.281.2929 or fill out our contact form. Proudly serving the injured in Allegheny County.