Wrongful Death Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Seeking Compensation on Behalf of Loved Ones of Wrongful Death Throughout Western Pennsylvania
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences you will ever go through. When you learn that your spouse, child or parent’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence – and could have been prevented – it can be devastating. At Matzus Law, we understand that you need answers and closure. Our Pittsburgh wrongful death lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident and find out who is at fault. We are dedicated to helping families get answers to provide some measure of closure and seek justice for their loved ones. Whether your loved one passed away due to injuries from a car or tractor trailer accident, medical malpractice or a defective product, we are here to help you.
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
In Pennsylvania, the decedent’s personal representative or family members (spouse, parents and/or children) may file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. Since you only have a limited amount of time to do so, it is important to consult an attorney to determine whether you are eligible to file a claim.
Wrongful death damages can include:
- Lost wages the deceased would have earned through retirement
- Lost pension and social security benefits
- Lost companionship, guidance and tutelage
- Lost services the deceased would have contributed to the family and household
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
What Determines Wrongful Death?
Simply defined, wrongful death occurs when a person is killed because of the wrongful or negligent conduct of another person. In medicine, this means the death occurred as a direct result of medical malpractice. According to Pennsylvania law, the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
The person filing a wrongful death suit is often a spouse, child, or parent. This person may be the estate executor, but that is not necessary for approval to file the suit. For example, if a decedent left no children or other close relatives but has a close friend with power of attorney, that person could file a wrongful death suit.
How Does Wrongful Death Occur?
Medical malpractice can lead to different types of wrongful death cases. Some common causes of wrongful death cases include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose: Delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose, and misdiagnosis often occur when physicians base their findings on superficial characteristics of a patient. For example, a physician might conclude a patient is too young to have a certain type of cancer because it usually affects older people. A physician might misdiagnose a major problem, such as intestinal ischemia as a minor problem, simple bowel infection, leading to bowel death and the eventual death of the patient.
- Medication errors: Medication errors are common and can be fatal. Medications can be prescribed or administered incorrectly. A doctor may prescribe the wrong medication, a nurse may inject medication into the wrong place, or a pharmacist may misread a prescription.
- Surgical errors: Surgical errors can occur during almost any type of surgery. A physician might cut or severed an artery, nerve or the spinal cord. A physician may use poor surgical technique and perforate the bowel, colon, liver, stomach or other structures. For example, during gall bladder surgery, the doctor may cut the Common Bile Duct. A patient might undergo a necessary surgery but die from complications that are misdiagnosed or not treated properly. Sometimes surgical instruments are left in patients following the surgery or patients develop post-surgical infections that are misdiagnosed or not properly treated that can lead to wrongful death.
- Emergency medicine malpractice: The emergency room is a rushed, chaotic environment. Most patients are treated by doctors they have never met, who may not have the necessary training for their illnesses or injuries. In addition, because emergency room patients must be treated quickly, serious illnesses such as heart attacks, meningitis, and aneurysms often go undiagnosed until it is too late.
Helping Families Seek Justice & Closure
For surviving family members, it is not about the money. No amount of money can truly compensate you for the loss of your loved one. Filing a wrongful death action is about justice and closure. We can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence so your family can move forward with peace of mind and restored security.
To schedule a consultation, call our office or fill out the online contact form.