Filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal car accident in Pittsburgh.

death surrounded by question marks

Pennsylvania – July 6, 2022

The purpose of a wrongful death legal action in Pittsburgh is to enable dependents of the fatally injured victim compensatory damage recovery for the loss they suffer based on the deprivation of earnings of the decedent they would have access to if fatal injury did not occur because of the accident.

Wrongful death.

Losing a loved one is devastating and surviving loved ones must hold negligent drivers accountable for that loss. It will be necessary to contact skilled legal counsel who will build a case under Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301, defining wrongful death as one that is “caused by the wrongful act, or negligence of another.”  Beneficiaries must be mindful of Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death legal action and contact an experienced accident attorney soon after a catastrophic accident for legal direction.  Attorneys can file insurance claims for timely access to funds to cover the expense of funeral and burial arrangements and communicate with insurance companies regarding how settlement amounts will be determined.  Wrongful death actions are filed in civil court, but those that have a criminal component may be impacted by the criminal findings related to the same accident.


Determining liability after a motor vehicle accident is difficult and reports from witnesses, police and medical personnel will become especially important documents to build a strong case for negligence against a driver who caused a wrongful death to a loved one.  An experienced personal injury attorney can be of assistance in helping family members file a wrongful death claim and criminal actions of the other driver will be considered when settlements are estimated such as the impact of DUI, reckless driving, or distracted driving.

Probable damage compensation.

Insurance compensation for any loss sustained because of a vehicle accident may be possible in the State of Pennsylvania.  Call an accident attorney who can help support negligence by assigning “fault” in a legal proceeding that addresses property damage, physical injuries, and wrongful death.  Damages that may be recovered include:

  • Medical bills
  • Current and future compensation losses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of care, companionship
  • Estate administration expenses
  • Funeral expenses if a wrongful death occurs

If accident victims are hospitalized or receive medical care for a period before their untimely death caused by the accident, those expenses will be calculated separate from the estate recovery compensation. The damaged received in a wrongful death action are not part of a decedent’s estate and are not subject to inheritance or estate tax, federal estate tax, or creditor claims.

No fault.

Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault system, a driver may turn to his or her own insurance company for compensation for injuries up to the personal injury protection, or “PIP”  limit, regardless of fault. Drivers also have the right to circumvent Pennsylvania’s no-fault law and proceed directly against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances, including wrongful death claims. An experienced attorney at Scanlon & Wojton, LLC, can be of assistance with wrongful death insurance settlements.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Second Floor
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275


  1. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/
  2. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=42&div=0&chpt=83&sctn=1&subsctn=0