Wrongful Death Legal Definition

What is Wrongful Death?” 

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  • Wrongful Death
Wrongful Death Legal Definition

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Wrongful Death legal definition: Wrongful death is a civil action filed when a person’s death was legally caused by someone else’s negligence. Damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral, burial, or cremation costs
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Payments for pain and suffering
  • Expenses related to the administration of the decedent’s estate 
  • Payments for emotional distress, loss of companionship, and more

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date the victim died. 

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The purpose of a wrongful death suit is to compensate the loved ones of someone who dies from injuries caused by the negligence of someone else. Wrongful death suits can stem from:

However, only certain people are permitted to bring a wrongful death action. Legally, the individuals who can file a wrongful death suit are referred to as “real parties of interest.” Real parties of interest in a potential wrongful death suit include:

  • Immediate family members such as the decedent’s spouse or children (biological and/or adopted)
  • Life partners and others who are financially dependent on the deceased 
  • Distant relatives, which are legally defined as siblings and grandparents
  • Parents of a deceased fetus

Types of wrongful death suits stemming from fatal car accident injuries include:

  • Claims against the at-fault driver, or employer of the driver who caused the fatal accident
  • The firm or company that designed or built a dangerous intersection or faulty roadway
  • The manufacturer, designer, retailer, or wholesaler of defective cars or faulty car parts (such as airbags)
  • The bartender or social host who overserved a drunk driver who caused the fatality







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“If someone has a serious case, they will get a great effort and a great outcome working with us,” award-winning attorney Victor Pribanic of Pribanic & Pribanic told Best Lawyers Magazine.

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