If someone dies in a Pennsylvania Car Accident caused by someone else, then the family members of the Decedent likely have legal claims for compensation from the Insurance Company for whoever caused the accident and potentially from any Underinsurance Coverage protecting the Decedent.
There are two claims that arise out of a Car Accident death, a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action Claim.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Wrongful Death Claims
The Wrongful Death Claims are available to the immediate Family of the Decedent like the Parents, Spouse and/or Children.
Damages recoverable under the Wrongful Death claim include:
- Hospital, Funeral, Burial and Estate Administration Expenses
- Lost monetary contributions for support from the Decedent
- Compensation for lost services like society and comfort
Pennsylvania Survival Act Claims
The Survival Action Claims are to compensate for claims the Decedent’s Estate has because of the Decedent’s death.
Damages recoverable under the Survival Act Claim include:
- The net earnings that the Decedent would have earned had he/she lived after subtracting reasonable costs of personal maintenance and the monetary contributions recovered by the family under the Wrongful Death Claim
- Compensation for conscious physical and emotional pain and suffering endured by the Decedent from the time of injury to the time of death
How to Proceed with the Death Claims
Step one in pursuing a Death claim in Pennsylvania is to retain a lawyer so that an Estate can be opened for the Decedent. An Estate is required in order to have the authority to pursue legal claims in court or settle the claims with any insurance company.
If the Decedent had a Will, then the Will will name an Executor who has the legal authority to open the Estate.
If there is no Will, then a Petition needs to be filed in the Court where the Decedent resided in order to have and Administrator appointed to handle the Death claims.
Once the Estate is opened, a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer can move forward with the Death claims.
For more information on your legal rights to compensation after a loved one dies in a Car Accident in Pennsylvania, contact Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer Tim Rayne. For over 25 years, Tim has been helping families understand their legal rights and get fair compensation after the death of a family member in a Car Accident. Tim practices at MacElree Harvey, Ltd. and has law offices in Kennett Square and West Chester, but also meets with families in their homes or virtually via Zoom or FaceTime.
Tim has Estate lawyers in his office who will open and administer the Decedent’s Estate. Having those lawyers on staff is a great benefit to Tim’s clients.