Negligence should never take the life of another…but unfortunately it does happen.
Some people have been faced with the horrible tragedy of losing a loved one. In my practice I have frequently seen innocent people die because another person was at fault for causing their death. Whether it is a car accident, motorcycle accident and/or work-related accident, the pain of losing a loved one never goes away.
In these situations, I hear people say that no amount of money can bring a person back. And while I agree with this statement, the law, through allowing a recovery of money, does at least provide a means to help a family cope with their loss and a means of getting back to the way of life before their loved one was killed.
The law through the “Wrongful Death and Survival Act” allows a family to recover money against the person(s) at fault for their loved one’s death. This money is presumably the amount of money that would have otherwise been provided to them if their loved one was still alive. Specifically, a family can recover what is called “loss of earnings” and” earnings capacity.” This is a calculation to determine the amount of money which the deceased loved one could realistically have earned considering his or her age, health, training and education, if they were still alive. In addition, fringe benefits such as healthcare insurance and retirement benefits are included in this calculation. The lost value of household services that the deceased would have likely provided is also permitted to be claimed. This is generally calculated by looking at the type of services the deceased person had (such as landscapers) and looking at the amount to replace these services.
As mentioned above, while it is painfully apparent that no amount of money can bring a person back, awarding a family money for the wrongful death of their love one does help a family resume some normalcy in giving them the life they may have otherwise had if their loved one was not killed. Specifically, I have seen this money used for worthy causes such as children’s educations, helping others in similar situations and creating charities to prevent, or create awareness about the same type of accidents or tragedy that killed their family member.
If your loved one has been killed due to the fault of another and you would like to discuss how to recover money in hopes of helping your family have a means to return to a similar life to that of before your loved one was killed, please contact me for a free consultation here in my firm’s Yardley, Pennsylvania office.