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Shooting victims have rights under the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act; however, as the state government acknowledges, some “rights may only be available to victims of personal injury crimes.” If you are the victim of a shooting in Philadelphia, please contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Hartstein today for a free consultation. With over 22 years of experience, our attorneys can help you protect your rights.
Unfortunately, shooting incidents have become increasingly common, particularly in Philadelphia. By August 2015, 692 people were shot in this city. In fact, in 2013, nearly half of the shooting-related incidents in Pennsylvania occurred in Philadelphia County.
If you have been the victim of a shooting, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit under what is known as a cause of action, such as assault. Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations, or time limit, for assault-based civil suits. The clock begins to count down from the date of the incident. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you are generally barred from filing a civil lawsuit. To protect your rights, contact our attorneys today.
Tragically, many shooting victims die from their injuries. Since shooting-related deaths are caused by wrongful acts, neglect, negligence, or unlawful violence, many victims’ estates may be able to file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. Pennsylvania law states that wrongful death cases are “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.”
Wrongful death actions are typically based on actions similar to those one may bring in a personal injury claim. The personal representative of the victim’s estate brings the claim on behalf of the victim’s beneficiaries, such as family members. Wrongful death lawsuits may still be brought as civil suits, even if a criminal case is pending.
In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff may be awarded costs such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. However, pain and suffering damages are only available to spouses, children, and parents. Other damages compensate the victim’s estate.
As with all assault cases in Pennsylvania, the victim may be awarded punitive damages under certain circumstances. Courts are allowed to award punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct is outrageous due to an “evil motive” or “reckless indifference.” When awarding punitive damages, the court will consider the character of the act, the nature/extent of the harm, and the defendant’s wealth.
Given the complexities of filing a civil lawsuit, it is important to hire an attorney who’s experienced in handling shooting-related injuries or deaths. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Hartstein have more than 22 years of experience representing personal injury victims, and we may be able to take your case on a contingent fee basis. Since the statute of limitations clock begins ticking the date of the shooting, it is important to seek a Philadelphia shooting victims’ attorney as soon as possible. Contact our Philadelphia office today for a free consultation.
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship.
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