A death in the family can easily leave surviving family members in financial disaster. In a state such as New York, multiple members of a family are required to work a full-time job in order to pay the rent and cover living expenses, as well as raise children. A death's financial impact can dramatically alter the life of a family.
Because of this, if someone passes away as a result of another person's negligence or reckless behavior, their family has the option to sue the responsible party for wrongful death. These claims are typically intended to pay for funeral and burial expenses, lost household incomes, and the loss of companionship. A wrongful death claim is not the only type of claim that can be made following a death, though.
There is another option called survival action, which is a lawsuit that the deceased person would have been able to file if they had survived. What's the difference? We will go over this in the following article.
However, in either case, you should consult with an NY personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law has lots of experience in handling wrongful death claims and is ready to assist you.
Limitations of Wrongful Death Claims
If a person is killed in an accident, their estate may file a wrongful death claim under the Estate Powers and Trust Law (EPTL) in order to get compensation. A claim can be filed by a wrongful death attorney on behalf of the deceased person's family, for whom will receive any compensation. While wrongful death lawsuits are subject to many of the same procedures as personal injury claims, the forms of compensation that may be recovered are limited.
While medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering are all covered under personal injury claims, only the following are covered under wrongful death claims:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages or lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental supervision
Following the wrongful death of a loved one, a family should always take this option into consideration because compensation in wrongful death lawsuits can be quite substantial. Nevertheless, survival actions have the potential to significantly alter the amount of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages Available in Survival Actions
Survival actions, as opposed to wrongful death claims, are typically brought on behalf of the deceased after a fatal accident. In these instances, the deceased most likely received medical attention and survived the injury for a brief length of time. In a survival action, the family of the deceased may include both the medical costs incurred prior to their loved one's death and their loved one's agony and suffering under New York law.
As a result, a wrongful death claim with a survival action may include:
- Medical costs prior to the deceased's death
- Lost wages or future earnings
- Loss of companionship/consortium
- Loss of parental guidance
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
A survival action can significantly boost the value of a claim and make sure that the family of the deceased is not left with unpaid medical costs after his or her passing. However, a survival action does necessarily mean that the deceased had received medical attention. Instead, if the victim endured pain and suffering prior to passing, a survival action may increase the claim's value. A medical professional may be consulted to help determine the value of damages.
Wrongful Death Claim or Survival Action?
A grieving family can submit a single claim that includes both a wrongful death claim and a survival action, enabling them to pursue the highest compensation possible after a devastating accident.
However, figuring out how much money to demand can be challenging because most families do not know the value that a loved one brought to the home. In order to determine the amount of pain and suffering damages, you might need to speak with a financial expert, examine tax returns and pay stubs, and collaborate with medical experts. This is a lot to add to your already-heavy plate while you are grieving, which is why retaining an attorney is important.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law Can Help You Today
Brandon J. Broderick's New York wrongful death lawyers can offer you support during this trying time in your life. Losing a loved one isn't an easy event to overcome. However, it's important to explore your legal options in a timely manner.
We can make this process as painless as we can because our skilled and compassionate legal team has assisted many families following the wrongful death of a loved one.
Schedule a free consultation now, so we can go over your case and discuss the best approach to take.