Wrongful Death Cases Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law defines wrongful death as death resulting from a wrongful act of another, usually negligence or violence. The decedent's spouse, child, parent or personal representative may recover compensation by filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Wrongful death actions are subject to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations which means that the family member has a certain time period during which he/she may bring a this action.
Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Action In Pennsylvania?
The decedent's spouse, children, parents or personal representative may bring a wrongful death action in Pennsylvania. For example:
- Spouses of decedents who died in a fatal airplane crash brought wrongful death actions against the airplane manufacturer and the airline;
- A widower whose wife died in a car accident brought a wrongful death action against the driver responsible for the collision;
- A parent of a girl who was struck by a train in Pennsylvania brought a wrongful death action against the train operator;
- A hotel had a duty to provide safe premises, for purpose of Pennsylvania wrongful death action brought by relatives of the deceased (who died as a result of an altercation on the hotel's parking lot) against the hotel alleging failure to provide lighting and security sufficient to maintain reasonable and safe premises;
- Wives of decedents who died as a result of being exposed to asbestos, brought a wrongful death action against the company employing the decedents;
- The mother of a 14-year-old bicyclist who died when he was struck by a car, brought a wrongful death action against the driver;
- A child, who was not yet born at time of father's death in an automobile accident, was nevertheless entitled to recover damages under Wrongful Death Act; under the Act, which incorporates the rules of descent, the child had to be treated as if born before his father's death;
- A cause of action may be maintained under the Wrongful Death Act on behalf of a seven-week-old, non-viable fetus for injuries allegedly received while in the womb even though the child was not born alive;
- Right of recovery existed under Wrongful Death Act on behalf of a stillborn child who died as result of injuries received en ventre sa mere (literally, in his mother's belly);
- Under Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act, a mother of a deceased workman was entitled to damages for the loss of the financial support, which she had been receiving from her son.
Who Are the Responsible Parties in Wrongful Death Cases?
Wrongful death action may be filed against those whose negligence caused the death. An experienced Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer will help indentify those whose negligence or violence was the cause of death.
The responsible parties in wrongful death cases in Pennsylvania may include:
- Hospital blood bank employees who administered wrong type of blood which caused death of a patient;
- Employer of a remodeling workman who died when scaffolding in the workplace collapsed;
- The city and traffic control company responsible for the traffic accident;
- An employer of an independent contractor who failed to warn of a dangerous condition on the premises;
- A steel company that knew or should have known of visibility problems attending the plant operations; the steel company was held liable, when the decedent was killed as result of his machine falling off the edge of pile at night, for its failure to take the special precaution of providing artificial lighting;
- The proprietor of an ice plant who for eight years knew that young children trespassed on strip of his land between sidewalk and building, and who created a dangerous condition by keeping on sloping platform on such strip an unfastened heavy cylinder which any reasonably prudent person would expect to harm playing children by rolling off at a slightest jar, and risk of which young children could not be expected to realize, was negligent and liable for death of a trespassing child who was struck by cylinder which rolled off platform;
- A truck company whose driver was negligently operating the company's truck when it collided with the decedent's truck and caused the decedent's death;
- A physician who failed to timely diagnose a wife's breast cancer and was liable under the Wrongful Death Act in the husband's wrongful death action;
- A trolley company whose employee was driving a trolley in a negligent manner and killed a decedent;
- The manufacturer of a metal tower was responsible for death of an employee who was fatally injured as a result of a fall from the metal tower;
- The manufacturer of a helicopter that crashed and caused the decedent's death was liable for breach of warranties in the manufacture of a helicopter;
If you have recently lost a loved one due to negligence or violence of another, you may not have the strength now to deal with the complex and time-consuming procedure of obtaining compensation. Our experienced attorneys at the Lassen Law Firm are here to help. We will listen to you carefully, evaluate your case and advise you about your rights to sue. Call the Lassen Law Firm today to see how we can help.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
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Authored by: Christian Lassen