Wrongful Death Attorneys in Harrisburg, PA
Compassionate legal advocacy after the loss of a loved one in Dauphin County
The sudden death of a loved one or family member is a terrible loss. However, when that death results from the negligence or recklessness of another, this loss becomes an even greater tragedy. The legal name for this is “wrongful death,” and as a family member, you are entitled to bring a claim against the responsible party for the loss of your loved one. An experienced attorney can help you with the details.
At KBG Injury Law, our Harrisburg lawyers have been helping the people of South Central Pennsylvania for over 30 years. With a long history of successful results, you and your family can rest assured your wrongful death case is in good hands. We understand nothing can make up for the loss of your loved one, but we can work to ensure justice is served and your financial future is secure. We want to help.
How can we help?
- What is wrongful death?
- Who can sue for wrongful death in Harrisburg, PA?
- How do you prove a wrongful death case?
- How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Harrisburg?
- What if my loved one filed a personal injury claim before his/her death?
- What is the value of my wrongful death claim?
- Is there a Harrisburg wrongful death lawyer near me?
What is wrongful death?
A wrongful death claim is legal action brought against a person or party that caused an individual’s death through either negligence or misconduct. Note that a wrongful death claim is a civil action and not a criminal one. A wrongful death suit is separate from any criminal action taken by the state and can hold a party accountable for his/her actions, as well as recover financial compensation for the family of the person who lost his/her life.
Who can sue for wrongful death in Harrisburg, PA?
Not everyone can file a wrongful death action. Under Pennsylvania Chapter 2200, it is generally only a personal representative of the decedent’s (the person who died) estate can file a legal claim. This representative is a person either named in the will or assigned by the court. Note that this personal representative is not necessarily the beneficiary of a wrongful death action, but takes action on behalf of the decedent’s beneficiaries. Beneficiaries typically include people like the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents.
If a personal representative does not file a claim within six months, beneficiaries may be free to do so themselves.
How do you prove a wrongful death case?
When our Harrisburg wrongful death attorneys take your case, we work together to put together a strong claim on your family’s behalf. A successful claim hinges on several points, which we show with evidence from our legal team, expert witnesses, accident reconstruction experts, and other professionals:
- Duty of care. The first element is that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. Either by virtue of getting behind the wheel or picking up a scalpel, motorists owe each other a duty of care, medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care, and so on.
- Breach of duty. The defendant breached that duty of care through negligence, carelessness, or intention. When a person drives while intoxicated, a doctor misdiagnoses your loved one, or a company puts a defective vehicle on the road, they are breaching their duty of care.
- Causation. That negligence and breach of duty of care caused your loved one to suffer fatal injuries. For example, it is not enough to simply show that a driver was drunk behind the wheel. You must show the court that a driver being drunk behind the wheel caused an accident serious enough to take the life of your loved one.
- Losses. The final part is proving damages and losses as the surviving family member. This is where your attorneys show the court how you are affected by the loss of your loved one – financially and mentally. We show loss of income and future wages, as well as the emotional toll the loss is taking on you and your family.
Our attorneys work to build the strongest possible case on your behalf to ensure you have everything you need for the future.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Harrisburg?
Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death actions. It is important to get started on your claim as soon as possible to give your attorneys time to collect the proper information and documentation to file your paperwork.
However, this rule may be extended (called the “discovery rule”) in cases where relevant parties had no way of knowing the cause of death before the statute of limitations expired. These cases are typically rare, but the attorneys at KBG Injury Law can talk with you about your options.
What is the value of my wrongful death claim?
Although the circumstances of every wrongful death case are different, our attorneys understand that they are about justice. We want to hold the right people or parties accountable for the loss of your loved one, as well as help ensure that it never happens to another person again. We also work to secure financial compensation for your family’s losses, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Reimbursement for medical bills incurred before their death
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Loss of companionship to spouse or partner
- Loss of support, guidance, and instruction to children
Depending on the level of negligence involved, the court may also award punitive damages in an effort to deter further wrongdoing on the part of the defendant. It takes an experienced legal team to determine the proper amount of compensation to which you are entitled – let KBG Injury Law help.
What if my loved one filed a personal injury claim before his/her death?
If the decedent filed a personal injury claim before losing his or her life to injuries, the case survives his or her death. As a beneficiary or heir, you are entitled to any damages awarded in a personal injury case.
Is there a Harrisburg wrongful death lawyer near me?
You can find KBG Injury Law at 717 Market Street, between N. 8th and N. 7th Streets in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. Our offices are only a few minutes away from PA district and state courts. We also maintain four locations throughout the state.
Compassionate Harrisburg wrongful death attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you need honest, experienced legal help. At KBG Injury Law, we provide legal advocacy you can rely on when you need a wrongful death attorney to help your family. Let us support you in this difficult time by taking the necessary legal action against the party or parties responsible. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call 717-848-3838 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg and serve clients throughout South Central Pennsylvania for your convenience.