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Who is Awarded Compensation in a Wrongful Death Suit?

Posted in Wrongful Death on Thursday, February 24, 2022.

Losing a loved one is always a tragic experience. Even more so when you lose your loved one suddenly, through the negligence of another person or entity. Not only do you have to deal with the unexpected loss of a lost one, but now you must decide whether or not to press charges against the responsible party. 

You should never have to go through this process alone, which is why it is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. have the understanding and compassion to help you through these trying times and alleviate some stress. We can fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We know that no amount can replace the life you lost, but it can help with unforeseen costs and future living expenses. 

Wrongful Death Settlement In Pennsylvania And New Jersey News

According to a recent article, a settlement was recently reached in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, for a wrongful death lawsuit filed after a police officer shot a man near a Pennsylvania amusement park. 

The man, Santos, was a resident of New Jersey and had been walking through traffic and acting in an erratic way. The police officer at the scene shot Santos 5 times. In a private, wrongful death suit, the Estate of Joseph Santos was awarded $950,00.00 in a settlement offer. However, the police officer was acquitted of all criminal charges during a trial for the murder. 

The compensation awarded through the settlement will go to the three children of Santos—two adult sons and one 11-year-old daughter. A representative for the estate brought the charges against the police officer and township. 

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?  

In Pennsylvania, the personal representative of the deceased family member’s estate must bring a wrongful death claim. This can be a person stated in the Will or a spouse or other family member if there is no Will. 

If there is no surviving spouse, the personal representative is typically one of the beneficiaries, such as a parent or adult child, but the other beneficiaries must relinquish their interest in serving as a personal representative. If no living relatives are found, the Court will appoint a personal representative.

New Jersey law allows for a broader list for those that may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The individuals that may file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey include: 

  • Decedent’s spouse 
  • Children of the decedent 
  • A grandchild of the decedent 
  • Decedent’s parents 
  • Any surviving nieces, nephews, or siblings 
  • A family member or loved one who can show that they were “actually dependent” on the decedent

The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is two years from the time of the death. 

Contact The Personal Injury Attorneys At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C.

If you have lost a loved one and you believe it was due to the negligence of someone else, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate. 

Contact our personal injury attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. to discuss your case. You can contact us by local phone at 215-732-2260 or through our toll-free number at (866) 697-8572. We have 6 locations and service areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. For a free consultation, call us today or fill out our online form.