The Guidelines and Qualifications for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

                By on March 28th, 2018 in Blog

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Wrongful Death in PennsylvaniaThere is no comfort in dealing with a wrongful death, no matter what the cause. During a time like this, you are most certainly devastated by the unexpected loss of a loved one, not to mention the financial woes that are overwhelming you. Section 8301 of The Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act describes a wrongful death as the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another person, and that the financial benefits that are to be recovered consist of any and all lost benefits that would have otherwise been attained by the deceased. This is typically considered the number of wages that would have been issued to the deceased before their untimely death.

Qualifications for a Wrongful Death Suit

We understand that a wrongful death may be determined in many different ways, and it is obviously vital to know whether your case qualifies as such. Although first and foremost you should be aware that the economic benefits of the deceased are only ever paid out to the closest living family members such as the deceased’s children, parents, and/or spouse. It is crucial to know the limits of who may be eligible to receive benefits in the case of a wrongful death before attempting to file a claim.

Besides the limitations of being a child, spouse, or parent of the deceased, there are other qualifications pertinent to the claim itself. Wrongful deaths are not only limited to negligence as in a case of malpractice but also may include murder or other crimes purposefully perpetrated against your loved one(s). There are numerous instances that may qualify as a wrongful death case, just as there are several that may not. The safest bet is always to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the numerous rules and regulations surrounding your claim. 

The Wrongful Death Award and Survival Actions

The entirety of all compensation that is bestowed in the case of a wrongful death is called the Wrongful Death Award, and none of this is subjected to federal state tax or the Pennsylvania inheritance tax. The sum of all monies given directly to the beneficiaries cannot be considered income, and it is therefore not subject to income tax.

On the contrary, survival actions can be understood as whichever actions the deceased may have been able to take in order to be compensated for their injuries had they not passed away. The proceeds garnered from these actions, unlike the total wrongful death award, is subjected to federal taxes as well as the Pennsylvania inheritance tax. In the event of the deceased’s estate having any debts to any creditors, survival action proceeds will be used, whereas benefits from the wrongful death award will not.

Of course, there are many more details that only add unnecessary complexities for you as a victim to worry about in your time of need. The steps and fragility of your actions immediately after a loved ones’ life is lost due to negligence is terribly vital. The last thing you need to do is further bog yourself down with financial stress. If you need an attorney for a wrongful death case in Pennsylvania, call Edelstein Martin & Nelson at 888-208-1810 today.

Sources:

http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/102421np.pdf

http://www.revenue.pa.gov/FormsandPublications/FormsforIndividuals/Documents/Inheritance%20Tax/rev-1518.pdf

http://www.revenue.pa.gov/GeneralTaxInformation/Tax%20Types%20and%20Information/InheritanceTax/Pages/default.aspx