Damages For Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania

Under the Wrongful Death Act, the damages recoverable by the plaintiff as follows:

  1. all hospital, medical, funeral, burial and estate administration expenses incurred;

  2. an amount that will fairly and adequately compensate the family of the decedent for contributions they would have received between the time of the death of the decedent until the end of his or her life expectancy. This includes all monies that the decedent would have spent for or given to his or her family for such items as shelter, food, clothing, medical care, education, entertainment, gifts and recreation.

  3. compensation to the family for the pecuniary value of the services, society and comfort that he or she would have given to the family had he or she lived, including such elements as work around the home; provision of physical comforts and services; provision of society and comfort.
Under the Survival Act, the damages recoverable by the plaintiff are as follows:

  1. the total net amounts that the decedent would have earned between the date of death and the end of his or her life expectancy. Net earnings are determined as follows: calculate the total amount of the decedent's gross earnings; including the fringe benefits, between the date of death and the end of his or her life expectancy, from this amount, deduct the amount of monetary contributions the decedent would have made to his family during this period (awarded under the Wrongful Death Act) and the amount of money that the decedent would have spent on his or her personal maintenance during this period. The probable cost of personal maintenance includes only the necessary and economical living expenses, such as food, shelter and clothing, that the decedent would have been required to spend in order to maintain life during this period:


  2. mental and physical pain, suffering and inconvenience that the decedent endured from the moment of his or her injury to the moment of death as a result of the wrongful conduct.
See Pa.S.S.J.I. (Civ.) Section 6.10.