Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyers
Compassionate Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyers Work Tirelessly to Help Families Recover from the Loss of a Loved One in Allegheny County and Throughout Western Pennsylvania
When you and your family have a loved one pass away, the emotional process of recovering from their death can often be difficult for your family. But your loss may be felt much more acutely when you learn or suspect that your loved one’s death was entirely preventable because it was caused by another party’s wrongful actions or omissions. Although money cannot bring your loved one back, your loved one’s passing does leave financial losses for you and your family. You and your family also deserve to obtain accountability and justice from those responsible for their death. Our experienced Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers can help you and your family understand your rights and options and fight to secure the compensation and justice you need to recover and heal from your loved one’s passing.
At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience advocating for the rights and interests of families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence or recklessness of others. You may feel hopeless and powerless after losing a family member to another person’s wrongful acts. We are here to empower you to pursue accountability from those who harmed your loved one and your family. We understand how financially devastating a family member’s passing can be for your family, especially if your deceased loved one was the primary breadwinner for your household. When you choose our firm to represent you in your Pittsburgh wrongful death claim, you can expect that we will not only pursue maximum compensation for your family but also work to offer compassionate support to you and your family through this difficult time, including working with your family to resolve any legal, financial, or personal issues that may arise following your loved one’s passing.
Don’t wait another day to begin pursuing accountability and justice for your loved one’s death. Contact us for an initial case review to learn more about how a Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyer from our firm can help your family recover after your loved one’s tragic and avoidable passing.
How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work in Pittsburgh.
A wrongful death claim in Pittsburgh is governed by Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute. Under the statute, surviving immediate family members of a person who is killed by the negligence, recklessness, or wrongful act of another party may be entitled to recover compensation for financial and emotional losses that they suffer due to their loved one’s passing. A wrongful death claim can be thought of as the legal claim that your deceased loved one could have brought had they survived their fatal injury or illness. In pursuing a wrongful death case, surviving family members can recover compensation for:
- Loss of their loved one’s companionship, society, comfort, guidance, and service.
- Loss of their loved one’s future expected financial contributions (including benefits such as health insurance) and future expected accumulated wealth.
- Emotional distress and anguish.
- Medical expenses incurred to treat a loved one’s final injury or illness.
- Property damage from the accident that resulted in your loved one’s fatal injury or illness.
- Conscious pain and suffering experienced by a loved one prior to their death.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Punitive damages, where the liable party committed intentional, wanton, reckless, or grossly negligent conduct.
When you choose to work with a Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyer from Goodrich & Geist, P.C., you can expect that your attorney will work tirelessly to maximize the compensation you and your family receive in your case. Our goal is to not only ensure you are compensated for your financial losses but also that you and your family receive some measure of justice after losing a loved one to the wrongful acts of another party.
A Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyer from Goodrich & Geist, P.C. Can Help Your Family Obtain Closure and Justice
At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., we understand how difficult it can be to recover after the death of a loved one, especially when your loved one’s death could have been avoided if other parties acted with care. Our Pittsburgh PA Accident Attorneys have extensive experience helping families obtain recovery and justice after losing a loved one in accidents such as:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Fires and explosions
- Institutional sexual abuse and assault
No matter what kind of accident caused your loved one’s death, you and your family deserve to have effective, vigorous legal advocacy in your corner. Let our firm handle negotiations with the insurance companies and defense lawyers so that you and your family have the time and space to grieve and heal. Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating with insurers and corporations. We will not be swayed by low-ball settlement offers or aggressive tactics that insurers may use to get you to accept less than the full recovery and justice that your family deserves. Insurance companies and defense firms know our reputation and track record of success that we’ve obtained on behalf of our clients, so they understand that we will not back down until we’ve obtained the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Reach Out to Our Firm for a Free Case Evaluation to Learn More about What a Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Do for You and Your Family
Losing a loved one is already a tragic experience for any family. But the pain of your loss is compounded when you learn that your loved one’s death was caused by the careless, reckless, or wrongful acts of another party. You and your family deserve to seek justice on behalf of your loved one and for the loss that your family has had to suffer through. Call or contact Goodrich & Geist, P.C. today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyer to discuss your family’s rights and options for pursuing a claim for compensation against those responsible for your loved one’s passing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims in Pennsylvania
Although no amount of money can ever fully compensate you for the loss of a loved one, if someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, financial compensation can help you move forward.
At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our trusted wrongful death lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience helping families move forward after the loss of a loved one. We know it can be hard to know where to turn to protect your rights. We have answered some questions that our clients frequently ask about wrongful death claims below. To get more specific information, call or contact us to schedule a free consultation today.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit claiming compensation from someone whose negligence caused your loved one’s accident. It allows a surviving spouse, children or even the personal representative of your loved one’s estate to recover compensation similar to what would be available in a personal injury lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits essentially provide a way for surviving loved ones to pursue compensation when the injured party is no longer able to do so.
A wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate on behalf of the deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents, who are the parties who will recover compensation. If the personal representative fails to file a lawsuit within six months of the death, the beneficiaries themselves may file suit. In some cases, however, the decedent’s estate itself may file a lawsuit for compensation on behalf of the deceased individual, although this type of lawsuit is often referred to as a survival action. In other words, the estate is entitled to pursue a lawsuit for compensation for all expenses incurred because of the accident and death (medical expenses, funeral expenses, administrative expenses) even if the deceased was not survived by children, parents or a spouse.
The elements for recovering compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to personal injury cases. That means it is necessary to prove that someone was negligent and caused an accident in which your loved one sustained injuries that led to his or her death.
In wrongful death cases, it is important to first consult with a lawyer who has experience in these cases and so understands all available types of compensation to which you may be entitled. In many cases, the insurance company might offer to pay fully for all medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, and may even offer to pay for your out-of-pocket expenses related to the funeral and administration of the estate. While this may seem generous, you are really entitled to significantly more in wrongful death cases—including compensation to reflect the loss of your loved one’s presence in your life, both financially and emotionally.
The personal injury lawsuit survives your loved one’s death—meaning that his or her heirs will receive the compensation. Our lawyers may also modify the claim to request additional compensation based on the fact that the injuries were fatal—assuming your loved one died because of the same accident involved in the personal injury lawsuit.
The personal injury lawsuit still survives. The personal representative or estate executor can continue to recover compensation even though your loved one’s death was caused by something unrelated to the original claim.
The level of compensation will depend upon a number of factors, including your loved one’s life expectancy and earning capacity. A fair compensation award should include:
– All of your loved one’s medical expenses related to the injury that caused his or her death,
– Lost wages,
– Lost future earning potential,
– Funeral and burial costs,
– Loss of a pension and other employment benefits,
– Loss of services (such as the service of raising a child) in the home,
– Pain and suffering,
– Damages to account for the loss of your loved one’s company and support.
The answer depends upon the circumstances surrounding the accident. If your loved one was an employee, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits (which provide a funeral & burial benefit, as well as a portion of lost wages for a surviving spouse and minor children). Surviving spouses can generally continue to receive benefits until they remarry and for two years after remarriage. If a non-employer caused the accident, we may also be able to recover additional compensation by filing a third party claim for compensation like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Wrongful death lawsuits are generally based upon negligence. However, intentional acts can also be dealt with via the wrongful death lawsuit process. The primary difference is the standard of proof required to prove your case. In a wrongful death case, the family is seeking financial compensation via a civil lawsuit, while a criminal action can carry jail time and other criminal penalties. The standard of proof is the much lower “preponderance of the evidence” threshold in a civil case, while the more difficult “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard applies in criminal prosecution.
Yes. You can recover compensation for the loss of your spouse’s contributions to the household, the loss of company, pain and suffering and more. The fact that your spouse didn’t have any lost wages is not relevant to your right to bring a claim for compensation via a wrongful death suit.
At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., we handle all types of wrongful death claims. Some of the most common types of accidents leading to wrongful death include:
– Car accidents,
– Truck accidents,
– Motorcycle accidents,
– Pedestrian accidents,
– Construction accidents,
– Medical malpractice,
– Work-related accidents,
– Nursing home abuse & neglect.
Regardless of how your loved one died, we are here to help you explore your right to financial compensation when that death was caused by someone else’s actions.
Even if it seems like a clear-cut case, complications often arise in wrongful death cases—not the least of which is the fact that your loved one’s side of the story may be missing from the evidence. Our lawyers will handle every aspect of your case, including:
– Investigating to determine what happened to cause the accident,
– Advancing the costs associated with hiring experts to testify,
– Making sure all of the detailed procedural and court requirements are satisfied,
– Negotiating with the insurance company to make sure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve,
– Advocating on your behalf at trial if necessary.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death.
Yes and no. Within the first six months of the death, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate is entitled to file a lawsuit. After six months have passed, the family may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Schedule Your Free Case Review with the Trusted Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C.
The time following the loss of a loved one is traumatic and simple acts of life may seem overwhelming. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our experienced Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyers are here to protect your financial future while you focus on taking care of yourself and your family. To schedule a free case review, call or contact our office today.