The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking. If it was preventable, the loss might be that much more devastating. When another party is responsible for the loss of a family member as a result of carelessness, you likely have a wrongful death claim on your hands to seek justice.

You may feel anger and frustration at the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one. During this time, it will be hard to worry about money and how to go on without the support of a departed loved one, especially if they were the breadwinner in the family.

Even if you have never before contemplated legal action against another person and don't believe any amount of money will compensate for the death of a loved one, monetary compensation may facilitate healing and relieve financial difficulties while you grieve and mourn.

For surviving family members, this question may arise: who can file and benefit from a wrongful death case in New York? This is a normal question to ask, and luckily, there are wrongful death attorneys in New York – like Brandon J. Broderick – that can help you and your family through the process of filing a wrongful death claim, as well as offer guidance about any other related matters, such as beneficiaries, for example.

Wrongful Death Claims Explained

When someone dies because of another person or entity's negligence, whether it be violent or simply reckless, a wrongful death case may be pursued. Similar to a personal injury claim, wrongful death claims allow a person to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages brought on by an accident or illness that leads to death.

Numerous incidents and circumstances could result in a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. The following are some of the incidents that can lead to a wrongful death the most often, but there are many more.

  • car accidents
  • medical negligence
  • workplace accidents
  • violent or criminal actions
  • faulty goods (product liability)
  • abuse in nursing homes
  • slip and falls

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

Surviving family members have the right to pursue wrongful death lawsuits in several states. Consequently, the surviving spouse and their children, if there are any, will generally bring forth a lawsuit to go after compensation from the at-fault party.

In New York, litigation in wrongful death cases are a bit different. The executor of the deceased's estate has the ability to sue for a wrongful death. This personal representative is often designated in the deceased's Last Will and Testament. In the absence of a Will, however, a family member may petition the court for appointment as the personal representative.

What Damages Can You Seek in A New York Wrongful Death Case?

There are a number of specific losses you can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages could include:

  • Medical bills, from the time of the injury until the death
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Pain and suffering the deceased suffered from the time off the injury until death
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of inheritance

If the defendant acts with gross negligence or malice, the jury may additionally impose punitive damages to "punish" their actions.

The estate files a personal injury claim, but any compensation is paid to the deceased's heirs and beneficiaries. The money is held in an escrow account until the estate settlement is finalized.

What Happens If My Family Member Was Partly At Fault For The Accident?

The short answer is you can still file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York if your loved one was at-fault, even partly, due to New York's contributory fault law. What usually happens is the amount of compensation the at-fault party must pay is reduced, because defense attorneys will place responsibility on the deceased.

If a jury determines that your loved one contributed to the cause of death, the damages awarded to their estate is lowered by the percent of culpability attributed to your loved one. For instance, if the jury determines that the deceased was 20% to blame for a fatal vehicle accident, for example, the money awarded for damages would be decreased by 20%.

Do Not Miss The Deadline To File The Wrongful Death Claim

The New York statute of limitations establishes filing deadlines for civil lawsuits seeking damages. In New York, a wrongful death case must be filed within two years after a person's death. If you fail to submit your case by the deadline, you forfeit your right to seek compensation in a wrongful death claim.

There are exceptions, so it is important to talk to an experienced attorney about your case before giving up if the deadline has passed.

Retain A Wrongful Death Attorney In New York

If you are contemplating a wrongful death lawsuit for your loved one, it's in your best interest to speak with an attorney about your case. We, at the law office of Brandon J. Broderick, strive to treat each client with the utmost kindness and approach their case with care. You can trust our successful track record to get the justice you and your loved ones deserve. Consult with us today to get the legal help you need.

We have locations throughout New York, as well as New Jersey and the tri-state.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Tue, 08/16/2022 - 16:39

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