Request a consultation with us today and we’ll help determine if you have a case.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful deaths are a tragic event that leaves families and loved ones traumatized and looking for answers. If a person suffers an injury due to another’s negligence, the injured party can sue the other party for compensation in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. When a negligent party inadvertently causes a fatality, the deceased’s loved ones or representatives need to pursue a wrongful death claim to secure damages. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys can help guide you through the legal process to ensure the family is rightfully compensated for their tremendous loss, both financially and emotionally, and does not have to suffer from additional hardships as a result of wrongful death.


Over 80 Years Of Personal Injury Case Experience.

We’ve helped our clients receive significant monetary rewards from wrongful death cases.

What Kind of Accidents can Cause Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim may be brought into action if the victim, who would have otherwise sustained personal injury, dies as a result of either negligence or an intentionally harmful act. There are a wide variety of different situations that can result In wrongful death, but some of the most common are:

When a victim is intentionally killed, a prime example of this is the famous OJ Simpson case where Simpson was sued for the wrongful death with the intentional act of killing of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

If a victim dies as a result of medical malpractice. If a doctor failed to diagnose a condition, or death was a result of negligent care, a wrongful death action can be brought against the doctor or hospital.

If a victim dies as a result of negligent driving. If a victim dies as a result of a car accident, a wrongful death claim may be brought against the negligent party.

A wrongful death claim can stem from almost any kind of personal injury situation, although one notable exception exists for work injuries that result in death, which usually must be handled exclusively through the worker's compensation system.

photo of gavel

What can family members recover?

When filing a wrongful death claim, the family affected may be entitled to recover compensation for costs and hardships. Some of these factors are hard to quantify and require a judge to determine. Some of the possible recovering coasts are:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills for the decedent’s final illness or injury
  • All expenses related to the administration of the decedent’s estate
  • Lost financial support. The surviving family members can sue for the financial aid or income provided by the deceased. This includes the wages the deceased would have reasonably expected to earn had he or she survived.
  • Lost companionship. An unexpected death in the family results in a loss of guidance, attention, comfort, support, and affection. Damages of this kind are meant to compensate surviving loved ones, so these damages typically only apply when the deceased leaves behind a spouse, parents, or children.
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased during his or her final injury or illness. A difficult factor to turn into a dollar amount, but witness testimony may demonstrate to a judge how the final injury or illness affected the deceased. The judge will award an amount he or she deems fair.

Who can be held responsible?

Determining the cause of the wrongful death determines who can be held responsible in a wrongful death suit. If death is a result of personal negligence, the negligent party can be held responsible. In the case of medical malpractice or a vehicular accident, either the person or the organization may be held responsible. For example, in a car accident could be caused by another driver, a dangerous roadway or defective vehicle. In the cases of a defective vehicle or dangerous roadway, the defendant may make a claim against the manufacturer or the department in control of that stretch of roadway.


Who can Recover Assets?

Wrongful death laws vary by state, but in many states, including Pennsylvania the right to sue is limited to a surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the decedent. Other states, like Maryland, allow any beneficiary who would have inherited from the decedent to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Have you lost a loved one?

If you have lost a loved one and suspect negligence, talk to a professional and determine your options. Our experienced attorneys will work for you to bring justice to you and your loved ones. To set up a consultation call the Thistle Law Firm at 215-525-6824 or contact us through our website using the form below.

Free Consultation


We’ll determine if you have a case. Call today at 215-525-6824 or complete this form: