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Wrongful Death Damage Awards

When a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another person or parties, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Whether you are filing the suit on behalf of yourself or the decedent’s surviving family members, wrongful death suits are very difficult, both emotionally and legally.

In Pennsylvania, wrongful death damage awards are set up into two different categories: wrongful death damages and survival action damages.

Wrongful Death Damages

With wrongful death damages, the heirs of the decedent are looking for the award. Wrongful death damages cannot be taxed through estate or inheritance, and are not to be decreased by creditor claims on the remaining estate. Rather than going through the decedent’s will, wrongful death damage awards are disbursed to heirs by the state’s intestacy laws.  Wrongful death damages include:

·         Loss of consortium, companionship, services, and society

·         Loss of guidance and tutelage of a parent

·         Medical expenses

·         Funeral expenses

Survival Action Damages

These damages are made up of the damages of the decedent themselves had they not died. Unlike wrongful death damages, survival action damages can be decreased by creditor claims on the estate, as well as subject to inheritance and state taxes. Survival action damages are distributed according to the victim’s will or through intestacy laws if there is not a will. Survival action damages include:

·         Victim’s pain and suffering from the time of the negligent act to the time of death

·         Loss of future earnings through life expectancy

·         Loss of earnings from the time of the negligent act to the time of death

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, and would like to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney in the Philadelphia or Allentown, Pennsylvania area, please contact Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller today.