Somerset Attorney Provides Dedicated Guidance for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Aggressive lawyer seeks justice for grieving families in southeastern Pennsylvania

Accidents happen every day, but the most devastating ones are those that result in the death of a loved one. If you have lost a beloved family member due to someone’s negligence, recklessness or deliberate criminal act, Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law can help you get justice. For more than 15 years, I have fought to hold wrongdoers accountable for the irreparable harm they’ve caused to victims and their grieving families. Although no amount of money can ever replace a beloved family member, a damage award can ease your financial hardship in the wake of their death and give you some much needed closure. In every case I undertake, I fight aggressively to deliver the best outcome for my clients so that they can move forward.

What is considered wrongful death?

Pennsylvania law defines wrongful death as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, negligence or unlawful violence of another. The cause of the wrongful death may, for instance, be an intentional assault, an auto accident, an unsafe condition on the defendant’s property or a job the deceased undertook at your behest in an unsafe manner.

Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

A wrongful death action allows the decedent’s surviving spouse, children and/or parents to recover for damages caused by the decedent’s death. In order to be eligible to collect damages, Pennsylvania requires surviving family to file their wrongful death action in court within two years of the decedent’s death. If I represent you in a wrongful death action, I will help you file your case in a timely manner and aggressively work to obtain a just result on your behalf.

What damages are recoverable in a wrongful death claim?

If you win your wrongful death action, you may be entitled to recover damages for several expenses and losses, including:

  • Medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, such as any surgeries or treatments the loved one underwent related to the accident prior to their death
  • Funeral expenses
  • The expenses of administering your deceased loved one’s estate
  • Loss of your deceased love one’s financial support, household services, society, comfort and guidance to their family
  • Your emotional distress caused by the loss of your deceased loved one

In all my cases, I seek to maximize my clients’ damages, either through settlement negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company or at trial.

What is a survival action?

Pennsylvania recognizes a separate and distinct cause of action called a survival action. This is brought by a representative of the victim’s estate to recover damages that the decedent could have recovered for an accident or other wrongful act that the decedent could have recovered in a personal injury case if they had survived. Some of the damages that can be collected in these actions, such as reimbursement of medical bills, may be the same as in a wrongful death action, while others, such as the decedent’s pain and suffering, are not. These damages are distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate in accordance with Pennsylvania’s laws of inheritance, which might include others besides those entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death claim. The two-year period for bringing suit generally begins when the injury for which you seek damages occurred. If a survival action is appropriate, I will file it along with the wrongful death action.

Contact an aggressive trial lawyer for wrongful death representation in Somerset

Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law takes on wrongful death cases and helps his clients collect damages after losing a loved one. Call 814-443-1631 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation. I serve clients throughout Somerset County, Bedford County, Cambria County and Indiana County.