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Common Questions About Wrongful Death Claims

February 11, 2020

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

In December the family of a cardiologist’s patient was awarded $6.3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. A jury made this decision after finding that a cardiologist failed to properly diagnose the patient’s heart disease, leading him to suffer a fatal heart attack while he was out jogging. The story shows how families can, and should, seek justice when their loved one is a victim of a death that could have been prevented.

Are all wrongful death cases worth as much as the damages awarded in this recent story, though? What if an insurance company is willing to settle in a wrongful death case? These are just a few of the questions family members are often left with, and the answers to them are below.

Do I have a Wrongful Death Case?

If you have lost a family member due to another person’s negligence, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. However, the best way to determine if you have a case is to speak to an attorney that can review the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options.

What is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?

No one can say with certainty what a wrongful death case is worth without reviewing the case. However, certain damages are available in wrongful death claims that can help family members estimate how much their claim may be worth. The lost income of the deceased, funeral costs, burial expenses, and loss of companionship are just a few of the damages available in wrongful death claims.

The Insurance Company has Offered a Settlement. Should I Take It?

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. Due to this, the settlement offers they provide families are typically very low and will not fully cover the costs of all the losses families will incur. People should always talk to an attorney before accepting any settlement offer. A personal injury attorney can fully evaluate a claim to ensure families receive the fair settlement they deserve.

Will I Have to Go to Court?

The majority of wrongful death cases do settle out of court. When working with an attorney, though, you should choose one that will take insurance companies to court when necessary. Sometimes this is the only way to ensure insurers pay what families deserve.

How Much Time do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the death. This statute can sometimes be tolled if the family members did not learn the death was due to negligence right away.

How Can a Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Lawyer Help with My Claim?

No one should ever file a wrongful death claim on their own. An Allentown personal injury lawyer will conduct a full investigation, collect evidence to support the claim, and ensure the lawsuit is filed correctly and on time. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we aggressively pursue at-fault parties and their insurance companies when they have caused a wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, call us today at (215) 486-0123 to learn more about how we can help.



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