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Judge loses son in Sunday morning traffic accident in Pittsburgh

Cody Barrasse, son of Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse and Dr. Linda D'Andrea Barrasse, was pronounced dead early Sunday morning at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian following a traffic accident in Oakland. Sources did not provide any details about the accident, but noted that the injuries Barrasse sustained were serious enough to result in his death.

Sources underline the great loss the family is suffering because of the death. It isn't clear whether the family will be filing any civil charges against the responsible party. Nor is it clear whether any criminal charges will follow the accident.

Wrongful death suits, while they certainly don't bring back a loved one from the death, are an important way for the victim's family to obtain some form of compensation and come to some sort of resolution. The damages involved in such cases are, of course, not personal to the victim, but to the surviving family and/or the victim's estate. Family members may recover damages related to emotional suffering, as well as financial harm they face as a result of the victim's death. The key in these cases is that some kind of monetary damages have resulted from the victim's death.

Only certain person can filed a wrongful death suit, and those who are allowed to file such a suit do so on behalf of others. For instance, a surviving spouse, child, parent or guardian, or the deceased person's personal representative may file a suit on behalf of the surviving spouse, the parents or the victim's children.

It is important that wrongful death suits be filed promptly to avoid the expiration of the statute of limitations. In addition, it is critical to properly establish the bases for the suit and damages requested. Those who feel they may be entitled to damages because of a wrongful death should work with an experienced attorney to ensure they achieve the best possible outcome in their case.

Source: The Times Tribune, "Son of Lackawanna County judge struck, killed in Pittsburgh, Michael Iorfino, April 8, 2013.

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