John Mattiacci – Owner

Wrongful death and survival action cases are among the most heart-wrenching types of cases that our firm handles. John Mattiacci has extensive experience handling these cases, in addition to death cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

We represent families who have lost a loved one in an accident and fight to bring those responsible to justice. We are compassionate toward our clients and stop at nothing to pursue those who are at fault.

We have obtained significant recoveries in many cases, but especially wrongful death and survival action cases. John helped represent the family of a man who was attacked and murdered in a bar. John also helped obtained a recovery for the family of a man who was killed in a car accident and whose body not found for more than thirty days.

If you have lost a family member or loved one in an accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact Mattiacci Law today. John and the firm will make every effort to counsel you and your family through the tragedy and aggressively pursue the ones responsible.

Speak to a Skilled Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

It takes knowledge, skill, and tenacity to handle wrongful death cases in Philadelphia. There is no substitute for experience. Our Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys have handled wrongful death cases in Philadelphia for nearly twenty years. When you need help you can rely upon the team at Mattiacci Law to fight for you.

Our wrongful death lawyers stand ready to answer your questions. We are here to help. Contact our firm now for a free consultation. The initial consultation is completely free. Call us now at 215-914-6919 or call toll free at 866-617-0050.

Free Confidential Consultation

Wrongful Death FAQs

What Is a Wrongful Death Case?

In Pennsylvania, such a case potentially involves any accident in which a person is killed because of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts of another person. Claims arise from many types of accidents. These can include fatal car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, electrocutions, and assault cases. Any accident or incident in which a person is killed due to the fault of another person may create a claim.

The claim is brought for the benefit of the deceased person’s beneficiaries. Under Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Statute, a case can be brought by a personal representative on behalf of the deceased person’s beneficiaries. Often times this means that a representative can bring a suit on behalf of the deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents. (42 Pa. C.S. 8301).

The wrongful death claim is a direct claim on behalf of the family members. This differs from a survival action.

What Damages Are Recoverable In A Wrongful Death Case?

Damages are meant to compensate the spouse, children, or parents of a deceased person for pecuniary loss they have sustained as a result of the family member’s death. These damages include the value of services the loved one would have contributed for the benefit of his or her dependents. Other special damages include reasonable hospital, nursing, medical, and funeral expenses incurred by reason of the injuries that caused the death.

Money obtained through a claim is generally not subject to inheritance tax. The money is distributed according to Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws. This means that the money is distributed between the beneficiaries as if the person that died did not have a will. These beneficiaries include the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person.

This is a significant difference between a wrongful death and survival action.

What Is A Survival Action?

A survival action is a claim made on behalf of a deceased person’s estate. Survival actions seek to compensate the person that died. The person’s direct claims “survive” the person’s death and are brought on behalf of that person by the administrator of his or her estate.

What Damages Are Recoverable In A Pennsylvania Survival Action?

Pennsylvania’s survival action statute allows recovery for the pain and suffering suffered by the deceased person before that person died. Damages can also include the loss of gross earning power from the date of injury until death, and the loss of earning power, less personal maintenance expenses, from the time of the death of the victim through his or her estimated working life span.

Unlike a wrongful death action, a survival action is a direct claim by the estate and belongs to the deceased person’s estate. Any money recovered through a survival action may be subject to inheritance taxes.

What is the difference between a civil wrongful death action and a criminal prosecution for manslaughter?

There are several critical differences:

  • There is no statute of limitations for manslaughter.
  • You can win damages in a lawsuit, but not in a criminal prosecution.
  • The burden of proof is much lower in a wrongful death lawsuit, making the case easier to win.
  • The two proceedings are independent– an acquittal in criminal court doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the civil lawsuit (O.J. Simpson in California).
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

In principle, you have two years after the date of the accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Since calculating the statute of limitations deadline can be deceptively complex under certain circumstances, however, consult with your lawyer on this matter.

Does my settlement or verdict count as income for federal tax purposes?

The general rule is that the IRS does impose income tax on personal injury settlements or verdicts. The IRS can, however, tax punitive damages (most plaintiffs do not receive punitive damages, however). The IRS can also tax the interest portion of an award, normally a negligible sum.

See What Our Clients Say

Dear Mr. Mattiacci, Thank you so much for doing an excellent job on my case. Thanks!


Sharon K.

Philadelphia, PA

John, We just wanted to take a moment and thank you for all the hard work and commitment you and your paralegals put into our legal case. You have been patient, understanding and supportive over these past few years which in return made this difficult situation more bearable. Thanks again for everything you did and it was a pleasure meeting you. Thank you!


Anthony and Lisa C.

Philadelphia, PA

I highly recommend John Mattiacci as an attorney. He has gone above and beyond what was required of him in my case. I could not have asked for a better attorney to help me through the trial process.


Jill S.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Wrongful Death Blogs

Read through our blog for legal articles and firm news

  • How to Find the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer in Philadelphia?

    December 12, 2022 | Read Time: 6 minutes

    Families deserve justice when a wrongful death takes their loved ones. Choosing the right lawyer can make the difference between receiving the best possible result and a protracted slog that disappoints families.

  • What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action?

    June 6, 2022 | Read Time: 8 minutes

    Losing a loved one is always tragic. When your family member dies as a result of another person’s negligence, however, it can be even more devastating. In addition to grief, you may experience a number of emotions — including anger at the person responsible for your loss.

  • Time Requirements for Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Pennsylvania

    March 3, 2022 | Read Time: 6 minutes

    When someone dies as the result of another person’s negligence or intentional, malicious act, it is legally termed as a “wrongful death.” If someone has caused the loss of life to your spouse, immediate family member, or someone else in your family, you have the right to file a wrongful death suit against that person....