In Pennsylvania, if someone dies as a result of an accident, their Personal Representative can file a lawsuit under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act. The Act is designed to compensate certain designated surviving family members of the decedent for the loss they sustained as a result of the death of their loved one.
The damages include reasonable medical care, the cost of the funeral and estate administration, and the pecuniary value of the services that the decedent would have rendered to his or her family, including contributions or support that the decedent would likely have provided to the survivors for living expenses food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, education etc.. A surviving husband or wife may recover for the loss of affection, assistance and consortium. If there are surviving minor children the can recover for the loss of guidance and nurturing.
It is important to note that the damages recoverable under this Act go directly to the decedent’s beneficiaries and do not pass through the estate and therefore the creditors of the decedent, if any, cannot make any claims to the funds recovered.
If you, or someone you know, has questions regarding the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act, please feel free to contact me here in my firm’s Yardley, PA office to set up a free consultation to discuss your case in more detail.