Super Lawyers at Tom Fowler Law Firm Serving Altoona | Altoona Wrongful Death Lawyer
The unexpected passing of a loved one can take a major toll on the financial and emotional well-being of the surviving family members. Not only does a person deal with overwhelming emotional distress, but they may also find themselves battling the stress of outstanding funeral costs, medical bills, and even the loss of an income stream.
Thankfully, Tom Fowler is a wrongful death lawyer in Altoona who is able to help those in a wrongful death lawsuit obtain the financial recovery they need to ensure stability in their future. This Altoona wrongful death attorney is available to anyone who has had their loved one pass due to the negligence of another person or entity and will help them seek the justice they deserve and recover compensation.
Legal Basis for Wrongful Death Claims in Altoona, Pennsylvania
There are many common events that happen that give rise to a wrongful death claim; these are namely:
Auto accidents like a truck accident, car accident, or motorcycle accident
Defective products claim
Medical malpractice cases
Premises liability claims
Dangerous drug claims
In order for the family members of accident victims to successfully prevail in their wrongful death claim, they must be able to prove under personal injury law that the negligence of the defendant is what directly resulted in the death of their loved one. Those looking for more information concerning the legal basis of a wrongful death lawsuit should seek the help of a good personal injury lawyer from Tom Fowler Law for legal advice.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and Typical Personal Injury Lawsuits?
While a wrongful death case is somewhat similar to a personal injury claim due to the fact that in both cases, the at-fault party must be determined, there are other special considerations that the plaintiff must take into account when pursuing an Altoona wrongful death claim.
There are two different cases that arise from the death of an accident victim:
#1 Compensation for Surviving Family Members
Firstly, wrongful death cases, unlike personal injury cases, have been specifically designed to compensate the surviving loved ones of the deceased for their loss of support, companionship, and tutelage.
#2 Compensation for the Decedent
Secondly, in order to recover the deceased's own damages, survival actions can also be filed suit in wrongful death cases. Things like the conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to their death are considered to have survived the death when dealing with wrongful death cases.
An example of a consideration that must be kept in mind when dealing with an Altoona wrongful death is who is eligible to bring the lawsuit. In this case, only the deceased's personal representative is eligible to serve as the plaintiff in these wrongful death cases. It is only the proper personal representative who is able to seek recovery on behalf of the deceased's surviving children, spouse, or parents.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?
The courts in Altoona apply Pennsylvania law, and Altoona wrongful death lawyers who are familiar with these state laws will know that it recognizes a wide variety of available damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death case; these include the following:
Costs for the administration of the estate
Loss of guidance or companionship
There is currently no limit to the amount of damages a jury may reward a grieving family, unlike in many other jurisdictions. As long as a plaintiff is able to prove that damages were sustained, for example, by showing medical reports, the court is given the authority to award compensation for those damages.
This is where Altoona personal injury attorneys prove to be useful as they are able to evaluate the losses of a family and demand full monetary compensation.
Can Wrongful Death Lawyers Recover Damages for the Pain and Suffering of the Deceased?
A surviving family member of an accident victim may, in addition to a wrongful death claim, file a survival action. A survival action is what allows a decedent's estate to pursue what the decedent would have filed in a personal injury claim should they have survived.
As already mentioned, this includes the conscious pain and suffering that occurred prior to their death and any lost wages that the deceased would have earned.
Regarding a person's unique legal situation, the wrongful death lawyers of Altoona, such as the personal injury lawyer at Tom Fowler Law, can further determine whether this type of claim is appropriate for their clients.
What Happens If the Decedent was Partially Responsible?
Unfortunately, when it comes to wrongful death cases, they are similar to other types of personal injury claims, and comparative negligence does play a role. If it is determined by the court that the deceased was partially negligent in the fatal accident and, therefore, partially responsible for causing the accident, the court may reduce the compensation that can be recovered by the family of the deceased.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Altoona, because personal injury law governs wrongful death claims, those seeking to file suit must obey the civil statute of limitations set by state law. This deadline is usually two years from the date of the deceased's death.
This deadline does not apply in only a few exceptional circumstances, and Altoona wrongful death lawyers are able to confirm whether this deadline is applicable in a client's particular set of circumstances, all while ensuring that these time limitations do not negatively impact the client's claim.
How Tom Fowler Law Can Protect a Family's Future in a Wrongful Death
While a family's loved one cannot be bought back, a successful wrongful death case may provide families with the compensation they need to support their futures. Tom Fowler Law is an Altoona personal injury lawyer firm that has years of experience in pursuing wrongful death claims.
Even if a defendant didn't mean to cause any harm, they must be held responsible for their actions. Tom Fowler Law can be reached at (515) 203-8434 for those wanting a free consultation. It is during this free consultation that Tom Fowler Law will be able to discuss with its clients how to go about holding negligent actors accountable for the passing of their loved ones.