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When families deal with the loss of a loved one, due to a fatal accident, they usually face many financial hardships. Unexpectedly, they find themselves having to pay for funeral arrangements, medical expenses, housing, car insurance, and many other bills that may pile up on the deceased loved ones.

Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 42 § 8301(b), relatives of a deceased family member have the right to recover damages for the death of an individual that was caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or unlawful violence of another individual.

Pennsylvania Accident Damages Lawyer

If your loved one has died in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence it is important to speak with the lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices as soon as possible. In Pennsylvania, under the statute of limitations, there is a certain amount of time that a victim and their families have in order to bring forth a claim for damages.

The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices have many years representing clients who have been injured in accidents and may be able to file a claim for damages to get the loved ones of someone who was involved in a fatal accident compensation for the expenses they have incurred as a result of the incident.

Our lawyers represent families throughout Chester County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, and Lancaster County. Contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 719-3190 today for a free consultation.

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Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Under the survival act which is a law that allows the deceased’s’ family to be awarded damages that the deceased  could’ve recovered if they had not died are recoverable under these claims:

  • Loss of earnings until death: the deceased would have had the responsibility of paying the cost of maintenance until their death, therefore their loved ones are entitled to recover the gross amount of their prospective earnings between injury and death, without a reduction for the cost of maintenance.
  • Loss of Retirement and social security income: Income from social security should be considered in the same manner as actual earnings for the purpose of providing a measure of loss under wrongful death or survival claims.   
  • Loss of net earnings: net earnings are gross earnings that are less than the cost of maintenance.
  • Pain and suffering: if the deceased was not killed instantly and remained conscious upon receiving injuries, recovery for their pain, suffering, and inconvenience endured before their death is allowed.

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Wrongful Death and Survival under the MCARE Act

The damages for future lost earnings should not be reduced by the cost of maintenance in an action governed by the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act. The MCARE act specifies damages for future lost earnings as mentioned below:

The future damages for lost earnings or earning capacity in a medical professional liability claim shall be reduced to a value based on the return that the person claiming damages can earn on a reasonably secure fixed income investment.

The damages should be presented with sufficient evidence of the effect of productivity and inflation over time.

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Damages under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law

Under this law, a representative of the deceased is entitled to receive first party benefits. These benefits include compensation for medical expenses of up to at least $5,000, income loss following the accident, and funeral expenses of up to at least $1500.

If additional insurance coverage has been granted, the representative of the deceased is entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses of up to at least $1,100,000, income loss following the accident of up to at least $2,500 a month and a maximum of up to at least 50,000, funeral expenses of up to at least $2,500, and accidental death benefits of up to at least $25,000.

Income loss does not include the loss of someone who could have been expected to be injured or die doing something that was prohibited. Such as when an operator or occupant of a recreational vehicle(one not intended for highway use), disregards this truth and proceeds to drive on a highway anyway and as a result of this behavior, they become injured, they will not be an eligible claimant for damages.

Any owner of a currently registered motor vehicle that does not have financial responsibility is also ineligible. This includes a claimant who is a named insured person on a policy covering another vehicle, but their own vehicle was not involved in the accident, they will not be eligible to file a claim.

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Additional Resources

MCARE: Visit the website of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department which administers the laws of Pennsylvania as they pertain to the regulation of the insurance industry in order to protect citizens. Here you can find out more about the MCARE Act.

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Pennsylvania Personal Injury Damages Attorney

If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to another party’s negligence contact a knowledgeable Pennsylvania personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices can hold the responsible party accountable for an accident and seek compensation for damages.

The Ciccarelli Law Offices have offices located in West Chester, Radnor, Plymouth Square, Malvern, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, and Kennett Square. Call the Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 719-3190 to set up a free consultation so that we can review the details of your case today.

This article was last updated on January 9, 2017