Easing The Financial Loss Caused By A Loved One’s Death
Although most people do not think about it, everyone faces the risk of falling victim to negligence on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, someone else’s negligence can, at virtually any time, result in the death of even the most aware and careful person. When this happens, the person’s family is often left with emotional suffering as well as sudden financial losses.
When someone dies due to the negligence of another party, the estate of the victim has a cause of action against the negligent party. Family members and other estate beneficiaries may be entitled to obtain compensation. Fortunately, under New York law, such financial losses can be recovered by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The purpose of this type of lawsuit is to compensate the decedent’s immediate family members and dependents for economic losses resulting from the decedent’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits may be filed only in instances where the decedent was killed by the negligence of a person (or company), which is often the case in motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice and slip-and-falls.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits In New York
Money alone can never replace what you have lost. But in our society, a wrongful death lawsuit is the means for obtaining justice for the deceased and closure for loved ones. It can also save lives in the future and spare others what you have had to endure.
The Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm has extensive experience in wrongful death cases. We provide results-oriented representation in fatal accident cases involving car accidents, construction accidents, dangerously designed products, airplane accidents, medical malpractice and other acts of negligence.
In such cases, our first step is to identify a representative of the estate and obtain authorization for a lawsuit. From that point on, we do all of the work and family members have the time they need to grieve and recover. Because we are selective in the cases we handle, we are able to focus on the needs of families who have lost loved ones. We recognize that a death case — and the sadness that comes with it — is unlike other personal injury accidents, and we will always handle all aspects of this type of case with the greatest resources and the highest level of professionalism.
Eligibility To File And Recover
Since wrongful death lawsuits did not exist under the common law, they are governed by statute. Under New York law, the decedent’s family members themselves do not file the lawsuit. Instead, the law requires the lawsuit to be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate on behalf of his or her beneficiaries-family members that are eligible to recover damages.
If damages are awarded in the wrongful death lawsuit, they are distributed to the beneficiaries. In general, New York law limits recovery to the decedent’s spouse and minor children. However, other family members may be eligible to recover, provided that they can prove their financial dependence on the deceased.
What May Be Recovered?
Unlike some other states, New York does not permit beneficiaries to recover for the noneconomic losses that they suffer, such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish or the loss of the decedent’s companionship. Instead, the law only allows beneficiaries to recover their monetary losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The value of the deceased’s services and support
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of decedent’s income
In addition to the above losses, punitive damages-damages that are not based on a loss suffered, but exist to punish the negligent party-may be recovered if the conduct of the party responsible for the decedent’s death was reckless, willful or intentional.
In a free consultation, an attorney can review your case and discuss how we can help you. Our law firm represents people throughout the New York City area, Long Island and the Hudson Valley.
Contact An Experience New York Wrongful Death Attorney
If a loved one has been fatally injured due to another’s careless or negligent behavior, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney. If a family member has died in an accident we can help, call the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm at 212-268-3222. Our skilled injury attorneys can advise you on your right to recover under New York law and will work to ensure that your wrongful death claim has the greatest possible chances of success. To schedule a consultation about a wrongful death case in New York, call the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm at 212-268-3222 or contact us online.