If someone has made a mistake and injured or even caused the death of an innocent person, they should be held accountable. While this is true, the law only allows a certain amount of time after a person's death to make such a claim. Although this process may seem inherently complicated, it is actually simple at its premise. Wrongful death suits aim to put responsibility on a party, or parties, that caused the death of a person.
When responsibility for such an act is established, it means that party and their insurance company could be responsible for the financial repercussions associated with the situation. Often times, there was no ill-will on behalf of the negligent party after a fatal accident. Instead, 'carelessness' is often a term used to describe actions of those found responsible for a person's wrongful death. Lack of care can come in a variety of manifestations, but the point is that a person owed a duty to the deceased and that duty was not carried out and thus caused or contributed to the person's death.
The State of Pennsylvania determines how long after a person's wrongful death that another person can file a lawsuit on the behalf of the deceased person's estate. But, the sooner it is addressed, the better.
If a person is unsure whether their loved one's death was caused by someone else's negligence it is certainly worth investigating the matter and looking into possible legal options. At the very least, such an inquiry can help to answer some questions about how a loved one died.
Answers are a common goal for those whose loved one's have passed away unexpectedly. It can give peace of mind to loved ones who are traumatized by the sudden nature of a loved one's death. It is understandable that this can be a very difficult time for the family. As difficult as it may be, family members should act on a wrongful death case as soon as possible.
Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Claims: Time Limits and the Discovery Rule," Accessed Feb. 8, 2016