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November 18, 2014

How do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Arise?

scared driver after crashThe sudden, unexpected loss of a family member or other loved one is always difficult. The loss can be even more tragic, however, if your loved one died due to a preventable accident or intentional act of violence. If another party’s negligence or violent act caused the death, Pennsylvania law gives [1] surviving family members the legal right to hold the responsible party liable for their actions in court. Though financial recovery can never bring a loved one back, it can help for you to find a sense of justice and also receive compensation for the losses you suffered.

Types of acts that commonly cause wrongful death

Wrongful deaths may occur in a wide variety of situations that involve negligence. Negligence occurs when a party—generally an individual, company, or government entity—has a duty of care to act in a certain manner in the situation, breaches that duty, and causes actual injury or death. Common examples of incidents arising from negligence that cause wrongful death include the following:

  • Auto accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Drowning incidents
  • Dangerous or defective products
  • Dangerous conditions on premises
  • Dog bites
  • Burns
  • Workplace injuries
  • Hotel injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Construction site accidents
  • Falls from heights

In addition to negligence, wrongful death acts also arise out of intentional acts. Such acts include police brutality, assaults, vehicular assault, and more. In addition to criminal charges, people who commit acts of violence may also face wrongful death lawsuits in civil court as well. This gives the surviving family members the opportunity to hold the responsible individual financially responsible in addition to any penal consequences they may face in a criminal case.

Wrongful death cases can help a family recover for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income and other financial contributions the deceased would have made to the household, loss of love, companionship, and other intangible losses. Valuating damages [2] in a wrongful death case can be extremely complicated, so you always want to make sure that you have an attorney handling your case who understands the nature of wrongful death claims.

[1] http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/231/chapter2200/chap2200toc.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damages

 

 

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September 25, 2014

Can I Recover Compensation for a Wrongful Death at a Construction Site Accident?

Construction SiteConstruction sites are dangerous places, as the ground is unstable, structures are usually incomplete and unsteady, and many tools, objects, materials, and debris may fall or be scattered on the ground. As a result, construction workers suffer the most workplace injuries of any occupation, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and many of those injuries are sadly fatal. If you have lost a loved one in or around a construction site, you should always contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss a possible case against the responsible party.

When discussing construction accidents, OSHA refers to the “Big Four,” which are the four most deadly hazards causing injury at construction sites. These four hazards are as follows:

1. Being struck by an object. People in or around construction sites may be struck by flying objects, falling objects, swinging objects, or even by equipment or objects at ground level. For example, a worker who is on scaffolding may drop a hammer that hits the head of another worker; a nail gun may malfunction and shoot a nail into someone else’s head; someone may be hit by materials on the end of a crane; or a person may be hit by a bulldozer on the ground.

2. Construction Fall Injuries. Construction workers often work at great heights, whether they are on a ladder, scaffolding, operating a crane, or simply standing on a roof. Anytime people work at heights, there is the risk of falling to their death.

3. Caught-in accidents. These accidents occur when a person becomes trapped. People may be trapped between two pieces of large building materials, a piece of large equipment and a wall or other structure, in a trench or hole that collapsed, and many more. These injuries are often fatal because the victim may be crushed or suffocated.

4. Electrocution. Construction sites often involve ungrounded wires or unfinished electrical systems, which cause a large number of fatal electrocutions each year.

If your loved one was killed on the job on a construction site, worker’s compensation may not provide adequate relief for you and your family. The Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act allows you to try to receive additional compensation for the sudden death of your spouse, parent, or other family member.

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