Losing a loved one is always hard – emotions like pain, grief, and shock may be overwhelming. When you lose a loved one because of the negligence of someone else, you may also feel anger and resentment. While you work through the tragic loss of a loved one, you will also be faced with the pressure of paying for funeral expenses.
If you’re in the position of having to make funeral arrangements after a wrongful death, you do have the right to recover compensation by filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. A wrongful death claim holds the at-fault party financially responsible, so you don’t have to shoulder the financial burden of burying your loved one.
Wrongful death claims can be made for a variety of circumstances that led to the death of your loved one including auto accidents, especially those caused by an intoxicated driver, dangerous roads or defective vehicles, workplace accidents, abuse or neglect, medical malpractice, and when someone is intentionally killed.
Average Cost of a Funeral
If you’ve never been through funeral planning, you may be surprised to learn how much the average funeral costs. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of a funeral with burial was $7,848 and the cost for a funeral with cremation was $6,971 in 2021.
Costs vary from funeral home to funeral home, and in some cases, costs can exceed $10,000 or $15,000. For a family facing an unexpected, tragic loss of a loved one, this cost can cause extra trauma and grief on top of what is already an emotional situation.
If your loved one lost their life because someone was careless and negligent, a wrongful death attorney can help you recover funds and ease the emotional burden during a stressful time. A wrongful death attorney can help you file a claim to get the money your loved one deserves for a proper funeral and remembrance.
Funeral Costs Covered After a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is usually filed by the survivor, or representative of the survivor, who was most affected either financially or emotionally by the wrongful death. This can be an immediate family member or the executor of the deceased’s estate.
A wrongful death case is a civil case, meaning the liable party is financially responsible. Funeral costs covered in a wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania may include:
- Preparing the body
- Costs related to viewings and visitation
- Funeral ceremony
- Funeral programs
- Burial location
- Transportation costs to and from the funeral home
- Urn or casket
- Obituary and death notices
- Officiant fees
Wrongful death claims can be complicated and often take some time to come to a close. In most cases it makes sense for the survivor to work with a wrongful death attorney that understands how the legal system works. Your attorney can take on the legal system for you and protect you from further trauma caused by calls and communication with the negligent party’s insurance company.
It’s important to contact a wrongful death attorney as quickly as possible after the death of your loved one. Most initial insurance settlement offers are low – don’t accept the offer before talking to an attorney. Insurance companies are quick to offer a low settlement to minimize their out-of-pocket expenses.
Other Recoverable Expenses After a Wrongful Death
In the case of a wrongful death, you may also be entitled to additional compensation beyond funeral expenses. After all, the funeral and burial costs are not the only loss you will experience after the death of your loved one. The deceased may have had medical expenses prior to their death and could also have been the primary financial earner for the family. As the survivor, you can file a claim for other recoverable expenses including:
- Medical bills and emergency care fees incurred prior to the death of your loved one
- Pain and suffering caused by the lack of companionship of the deceased
- Loss of wages and benefits of the deceased had they continued working and contributing financially to immediate family members or dependents
- Estate administration expenses related to the death
Compensation for pain and suffering is meant to provide financial support to surviving family members. These damages are only available if the deceased leaves behind a spouse, children, or parents. Other damages such as medical and hospital bills, administrative costs, and funeral expenses are available to the estate of the deceased even if there are no surviving relatives.
If you’ve lost a loved one because someone was careless or negligent – whether from a car accident, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse and neglect, animal attack, or any other reason – don’t settle with the insurance company before consulting a wrongful death personal injury lawyer. Having an expert on your side can help you recover compensation after your tragic loss.
Your Local Wrongful Death Law Firm in York, Pa.
At Dale E. Anstine Personal Injury Law Firm, our compassionate team of wrongful death and personal injury attorneys is ready to help you through what is arguably the most difficult time of your life. After a death in the family, you may feel lost, angry, upset, devasted, and overwhelmed. Why take on a wrongful death case alone when we are here to help?
Funeral costs can get expensive, and even if you can afford the costs, the negligent party in the death of your loved one should be held financially responsible. We can help you fight for compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Know you are not alone. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our compassionate team of attorneys is ready to fight for you, your family, and the legacy of your loved one. We are available 24/7 and can even come to you for your consultation. We’ve been fighting for the rights of those suffering from the loss of a loved one in Central Pennsylvania for decades – let us ease the burden during this time of your life.