If you recently lost a loved one in Lancaster, PA, our team at Marzzacco Niven & Associates can help you fight for justice. You may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral costs, and the loss of your loved one’s support and companionship. An experienced Lancaster wrongful death lawyer can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 120 years of experience helping clients get the money they need to move forward. Our dedication has helped us recover tens of millions of dollars for our clients over the years.
We want to make it easy to get the legal advice you deserve after the loss of a beloved family member. Call our law firm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to schedule your free consultation today at (717) 616-2954.
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How Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help After the Wrongful Death of a Loved One in Lancaster, PA
Losing a loved one is difficult enough. Unfortunately, financial insecurity is one of the difficulties that many families experience. With a lawyer’s help, you may be able to recover fair compensation from the people responsible for your loved one’s death. That way, you can rest assured that your family’s future is secure.
At Marzzacco Niven & Associates, our Lancaster personal injury attorneys have decades of experience. We’ve received recognition from the most well-known lawyer rating services, including Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, and the National Trial Lawyers’ “Top 40 Under 40”.
When you hire us, we’ll handle every aspect of your case, including:
- Conducting an investigation to determine who was responsible
- Hiring leading experts and specialists to support your case
- Defending your loved one if they’re blamed for their own death
- Calculating your case value so the insurance company can’t take advantage of you
- Handling all communications and negotiations with the insurance companies
You deserve time to heal and focus on your family. Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients recover every dollar they deserve. We’d be proud to stand up and help your family fight for justice.
Ready to learn more? Call our legal team to schedule your free consultation today.
How Common Are Fatal Accidents in Lancaster?
Not everyone who is involved in an accident survives. Sadly, thousands of Pennsylvania families are forced to grieve the loss of their loved ones each year.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 1,129 people died in car accidents across the state in 2020. A total of 43 fatal motor vehicle accidents were reported in Lancaster County that year. It was also reported that 148 Pennsylvania workers were killed on the job in 2020 – down from 154 in 2019.
Thousands more people are killed because of preventable medical errors and slips and falls.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Not all grieving families have the right to file a lawsuit for compensation. You may have a valid wrongful death case, however, if your loved one died because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful acts.
Generally speaking, wrongful death actions are a substitute for personal injury lawsuits that deceased individuals would have been entitled to file had they survived.
Under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death law, the following surviving family members are eligible to sue for wrongful death:
- A surviving spouse
If the deceased person doesn’t have an eligible surviving family member, the personal representative may be entitled to sue for damages.
In either case, any compensation recovered is distributed according to the decedent’s will or under state intestacy laws.
What Is My Lancaster Wrongful Death Case Worth?
As with any personal injury claim, you shouldn’t expect the insurance company to simply hand over full compensation. It’s up to the survivors to prove the value of their case. An experienced lawyer can help you determine how much your wrongful death case is worth.
Some of the key factors that will impact your case value are:
- The cost of your loved one’s medical care
- Your loved one’s life expectancy prior to the accident
- Your loved one’s lost earning potential, which is measured by looking at past earnings, education, and experience
- The identities of any surviving dependents, including young children
- The circumstances of the wrongful death
- The trauma experienced by your loved one and your family
- The strength of your negligence case and the nature of the at-fault party’s acts
In the end, assigning a dollar value to a life is never easy. Examining the specific facts of your case is the only way to accurately assess your case value.
Our lawyers have most likely handled cases similar to yours before. After all, we have over 120 years of experience between us. Let us put that experience to work for your family. Call our law offices today to learn more about the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Wrongful Death Victims?
Under Pennsylvania personal injury laws, accident victims are entitled to compensation to cover economic damages and non-economic damages. The types of damages available in a wrongful death case are slightly different.
The following types of damages may be available:
- Medical expenses and treatment costs incurred between the date of the injury or accident and the date of your loved one’s death
- Estate administration costs
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Lost wages and loss of financial support
- The value of lost household services the deceased would have performed
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Most of the time, wrongful death cases are based on negligence. Since the defendant didn’t intend to hurt anyone, the courts only award damages to compensate survivors for specific losses.
However, cases where the defendant’s acts were intentional or especially shocking are handled differently. In these cases, the courts may also award punitive damages solely to punish the at-fault party.
Can I Recover Damages If My Loved One is Being Blamed for Their Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania?
Under Pennsylvania comparative negligence laws, if an injured party is at least 51% responsible for causing the accident, the victim loses their right to seek compensation entirely. If the victim was partly responsible (less than 51%), their compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault. The same rules apply in wrongful death cases.
An accident victim’s death won’t stop the insurance companies from trying to maximize their profits. They often use Pennsylvania’s shared fault rules to avoid paying full compensation – and you could walk away with nothing at all.
This harsh result can be avoided in some situations. The insurance company might be blaming your loved one unfairly. They don’t always have the evidence to back up their claims – and might even be trying to scare you into accepting a lowball settlement.
Our Lancaster wrongful death attorneys have seen these tactics all too many times. We’re prepared to step in and protect you. Just call to schedule a free case review to learn more.
What Causes Most Fatal Accidents in Lancaster, Pennsylvania?
There are countless ways to get injured. Any accident can result in death if it’s severe enough.
At Marzzacco Niven & Associates, we often handle fatal accident cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus, train, and mass transit accidents
- Uber accidents
- Lyft accidents
- Boating accidents
- Dog bites
- Negligent security and premises liability
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Intentional criminal acts
Because we have so much experience handling personal injury cases, we know how to help regardless of how your loved one died. You can learn more about our experience in a free consultation, so give us a call today.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Fatal Accident in Pennsylvania?
All too often, people die because of simple negligence. In other words, they die in accidents that could have been prevented if someone had been more careful.
Someone is considered “negligent” if:
- They owed your loved one a legal duty of care
- They breached that duty
- The breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death
- Your family suffered damages
There are many different ways to hold someone liable. It’s possible that strict liability laws might also apply in your case. Our lawyers understand these complex legal theories and have the resources to find evidence to support your wrongful death claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident in Pennsylvania?
Under Pennsylvania law, survivors have only two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The two-year clock begins to run on the date of your loved one’s death (not the date of the accident).
Depending on the facts of your case, it’s possible that you could have even less time to take legal action – and the consequences of missing the deadline are serious. You’ll almost always lose your right to compensation entirely.
Contact a Lancaster Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
You’re probably feeling overwhelmed right now. Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult enough without wondering how you’ll pay the bills. You don’t have to rely on a lawyer directory to get the help you need. Instead, contact an experienced Lancaster wrongful death lawyer at Marzzacco Niven & Associates for help seeking the compensation you deserve today.