In any personal injury or wrongful death circumstance, one thing that is important to note is that different legal “causes of action” (in other words, legal bases for suing and obtaining compensation) may have different “statutes of limitations.” In a practical sense, this means that different claims may have different deadlines after which you are no longer allowed to seek compensation. These deadlines can be very strict and the potential negative impact (a total loss of the legal right to pursue your case) is so severe that it is always a good idea to begin taking action and consulting knowledgeable Pennsylvania injury counsel right away to ensure compliance with all statutes of limitation and no loss of any potential claims.
A recent case originating in Philadelphia demonstrated the importance of understanding these statutes of limitation. The case involved W.B., who was a resident at two health care facilities in Philadelphia for part of 2013. W.B. died on Sept. 3, 2013, and his death certificate listed the cause of death as “cerebral vascular accident” and hypertension. However, W.B. also suffered from multiple bedsores that allegedly got worse during his time at the two care facilities. D.B., who was the administrator of W.B.’s estate, sued the facilities on Sept. 2, 2015. The lawsuit asserted two claims of negligence, one claim of wrongful death and one survival claim.
When a loved one dies as a result of another person (or entity)’s negligence, the law in Pennsylvania may permit various different bases for suing and receiving compensation. There is a legal claim for wrongful death. That claim allows the deceased person’s family to recover damages that compensate them for the losses they suffered as a result of the deceased person’s premature death.