Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Attorney
How Can Your Family Recover After a Fatal Accident?
Our wrongful death attorneys can guide you in seeking financial compensation for your loss. Call the personal injury lawyers at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. in Pittsburgh, throughout Pennsylvania or Ohio at 1-800-777-4081. The consultation is free.
We cannot bring your loved one back. We cannot ease the pain and anger you feel knowing that someone else’s negligence or carelessness has cost your family so much. We can, however, help your family obtain financial recovery so that you can move forward together without a financial burden.
For over 24 years, our firm has fought for justice for the victims of fatal accidents and deadly medical negligence in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.
Sometimes Financial Justice Is the Only Justice We Can Offer
It’s not just about assigning blame and making the responsible parties pay for what they have done. It’s about making sure that your family has the resources to rebuild after a tragedy.
Our commitment is to see to it that you receive the maximum fair compensation for your loss so that you can provide for your needs. Our hope is that, with our help, you will be in a position to once again build a life of happiness.
How long do I have to file a Wrongful Death Case in Pennsylvania?
There is a specific time frame in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania in which to file a wrongful death claim. This is known as a “statute of limitations”. Currently the time maximum in PA is within 2 years of the date of the death of your loved one. It is maximum 2 years in Ohio as well. If you exceed this timeframe, it’s possible that the court will reject the claim, unless there are exceptional circumstances to justify the delay in filing.
Statutes of limitations differ from state to state, and there are different timeframes in place for different types of personal injury cases. Some states have adopted the 2 year limit like Pennsylvania, however others have one year or even three year statutes in place.
What is a Survival Action, and how does it differ from a Wrongful Death Claim?
A survival action is a legal process for family members or loved ones to seek damages from the lifetime of the deceased. This includes not only compensation from pain & suffering, but also the loss of earnings from the past or in the future. There is a 2 year statue of limitations on this type of claim as well in Pennsylvania, and it starts on the actual date of the injury of the victim.
The difference between a regular wrongful death claim and a survival action is this: a survival action claim protects the descendent rights during his or her lifetime, while a wrongful death action is the primary method by which a decedent’s wrongful death beneficiaries may recover for their loss of physical, emotional, and financial support because of the loss of their loved one.
What do I have to prove for a Wrongful Death Case?
To win a Pittsburgh wrongful death case, you must successfully provide what is known as the “burden of proof” to indicate that the defendant caused the death of the victim. You need to prove all of the following:
- An opposing party owed a duty of care to the deceased victim.
- The defendant failed to provide the duty of care by a reckless or negligent act.
- The act in question was the legal cause of the victim’s death.
- To what extent was the harm caused by this negligent event.
And unlike a murder case, which the evidence needs to prove beyond a doubt the guilt of the defendant, in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff only needs evidence to show that the defendant more likely than not caused the death.
Who can file a wrongful death case in Pennsylvania?
According to Pennsylvania law, only a personal representative of the victim’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. This representative can be determined by the deceased person’s will, or is designated by the court. This representative has up to six months from the death of the individual to file a claim. After this time, however, if a representative hasn’t filed a claim, it is opened up to other immediate family members, distant relatives like grandparents or siblings, or other financial dependents of the deceased.
The Truth Is That Wrongful Death Claims Are Difficult, Both Legally and Emotionally
It is important for you to understand that filing a wrongful death claim will require us to determine the price you have had to pay for another’s carelessness in financial terms. Treating a loved one’s death as a monetary issue is emotionally hard for some of our clients.
Our respected wrongful death attorneys have the experience and skill to handle the complicated and often unpleasant legal details while you focus on holding your life and your family together.
Experienced Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyers with a Reputation You Can Trust!
As a comprehensive personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death law firm, the team at Dallas W. Hartman P.C., Attorneys at Law frequently handles complex and significant cases. We are proud of our record of success in standing up for the rights of families like yours who have lost so much.
If you would like to talk to one of our attorneys who will answer your questions and give you honest advice you can trust, contact us today. Your consultation will be free of charge and free of any pressure. Call us today! (412) 262-2888 in Pittsburgh or toll-free (800) 777-4081 today!