The Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act exists to determine who will be considered a beneficiary in a Pennsylvania wrongful death case. Beneficiaries generally include the parents, children, or spouse of the deceased. Parents must demonstrate dependency on the victim in order to be entitled to damages. While complete dependency on the deceased need not be established, if either or both parents relied on an adult child (or vise versa) for economic contributions to their welfare, they may receive compensation. Minor children are presumed to be dependent, and spouses may recover damages for dependency, the loss of love and affection, and the services of a deceased partner.
If a person is injured in Pennsylvania and dies before filing a lawsuit for the fatal injuries, the Survival Act preserves any claim submitted immediately prior to death. If the deceased had written a will, the victim’s estate is usually divided between the children and the spouse. If no will exists, the children are generally awarded an additional share. If you have any questions regarding your status as a beneficiary, contact us today.