My Loved One Was Killed in a Car Accident. What are My Rights?

In a flash, a fatal auto accident can change a family’s life forever. While nothing can bring a loved one back, a family might be able to attain some measure of justice and compensation. An impaired, careless or otherwise at-fault driver can be held responsible for their wrongful or negligent actions.

Under Pennsylvania law, only certain people may claim damages suffered due to the victim’s death — a surviving spouse, child, parent or guardian may file a wrongful death action and obtain compensation as beneficiaries of the suit.

Siblings or other relatives not mentioned above may be able to bring suit if in their capacity as a representative of the deceased. In order to preserve their rights, survivors must generally file a lawsuit within two years of the date of death. Otherwise, no matter how just their case, relatives who fail to bring suit within the statutory time limit might forfeit their chance for compensation.

Possible recompense for family members’ emotional and financial injuries includes:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of care and companionship

Courts can generally take into account monies the victim would have provided their family but for their untimely death for: shelter, clothing, food, education, medical care and even recreation and entertainment.

Experienced wrongful death attorneys are skilled at quickly and thoroughly investigating an accident, to gather and preserve vital evidence. We are committed to effective and compassionate representation for family members who have lost a loved one. If you have questions about a personal tragedy and are seeking the assistance of an attorney experienced with wrongful death claims, contact Rosenn Jenkins and Greenwald LLP.