Wrongful Death Basics
As previously stated, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by the family of a victim who was killed as the result of another person’s actions. In order for a wrongful death to ensue, your family member must not have been 100% at fault for the accident that ultimately caused his or her death, but was instead a result of the other party’s negligence or actions. The wrongful party does not necessarily have to be another driver, but could be a car manufacturer or even a driver in the same vehicle in which your loved one was traveling (if your loved one was a passenger).
It is unfortunate, but most wrongful death suits will fail due to the charged party not having adequate insurance under which the victim’s family can collect. Because this is such a common situation, having an attorney on your side is helpful because he or she will be able to look at other parties and your loved one’s own insurance policy from which compensation may be received. Often your loved one may be eligible for uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). This is insurance that your loved one paid for in case he or she was injured by someone who did not have adequate insurance. Also, eligible defendants in a wrongful death case could include the auto manufacturer if the accident was caused by faulty equipment in the vehicle or maybe against the state or a property owner if the road was defective or not maintained safely.
Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Suits
Lawsuits are generally barred by a certain time limit in which you are allowed to bring a suit against another party. Each state has its own set of time limits determined by their own statutes and laws. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for an auto accident claim is two years from the time of the accident If you have a valid claim for a wrongful death suit, it is important to file your case as soon as possible as once this two-year time frame ends, your time to file suit and receive proper compensation will be waived forever. While there are exceptions to this rule, courts are generally strict when it comes to following statutes of limitations; thus, it is imperative that you act quickly. If you have a claim against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or other government entity, a potential plaintiff must give written notice of the injury to the Commonwealth or government unit within six months after an injury to his person or property. Failure to file the notice within six months bars a lawsuit for the injured party.
Contact a Philadelphia Fatal Car Accident Attorney Today
It is always a heartbreaking and stressful time when you lose a loved one, but having the right attorney on your side can help to make that time less stressful. At The Pearce Law Firm, P.C., we will strive to give you the best help, advice, and services to help you initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact us today and let us review your situation to see if you have a valid case. We know that compensation will never bring back your loved one, but let us fight to take some of the burden off that the victim’s death may have caused.