What Wrongful Death Damages Are Available?

What Wrongful Death Damages Are Available?
Calendar icon June 15, 2023

New York law dictates what types of wrongful death damages are available when a person has been killed as a result of another party’s negligence. Generally speaking, economic damages are available for costs that the family will now be responsible for, and non-economic damages may be available for losses suffered by the deceased.

When beginning this process, it can be helpful to have a more detailed idea of what damages you and your family may be compensated for so that you have an idea of what to expect in terms of a settlement.

What Wrongful Death Damages Are Available?

In New York, wrongful death lawsuits are brought by a personal representative on behalf of the deceased’s estate, who is typically the executor of the estate. It can be incredibly beneficial to have an expert litigator walk you through this complex process and negotiate on your behalf.

At Cellino Law, we have handled wrongful death claims for families struggling with their loved one’s final medical expenses, funeral costs, and other damages. We encourage you to schedule a free case evaluation by calling our team at (888) 888-8888 or submitting an online form.

Final Medical Bills

After an accident results in life-threatening injuries or a pattern of negligence results in a serious illness, medical providers may attempt a litany of treatments to save their life. This can result in massive medical debt for the deceased’s surviving family members. Common final medical expenses include:

In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family member who took on the deceased’s final medical expenses may be able to recover compensation for these costs.

Funeral, Burial, or Cremation Expenses

The average funeral in New York costs between $8,000 and $12,000. Victims of wrongful death accidents deserve the respect of a proper send-off, but for many families, trying to collect such a large lump sum of money is a struggle. Seeking compensation for funeral expenses can help families afford expenses like the services of an officiant, a casket, a headstone, a burial plot, and pamphlets for the service.

Loss of Services and Support

After a family member dies, there is often a financial hole left in addition to an emotional one. Damages for loss of services or loss of support acknowledge this. Loss of support could include the money that the deceased was contributing to the household for rent and groceries, the financial support they were offering their college-age child to pay for an apartment, or the money they were paying on their parent’s electric bill.

Services are more informal contributions that still have economic value. For example, if the deceased mowed his elderly parents’ lawn every week and now they have to pay for yard service, that would constitute a loss of services.

Lost Inheritance for Survivors

Damages for lost inheritance are intended to compensate surviving family members for the money they would have inherited had their family member not died. For example, consider a 45-year-old father who works as an engineer and dies in a head-on car accident.

Assuming that he was going to work for another 20 years or so before retiring, that’s 20 years’ worth of savings that his wife and children are missing out on. Seeking compensation for loss of inheritance can help mitigate this financial blow for the deceased’s family.

Parental Guidance for Surviving Children

In situations where the deceased party had a surviving child or children, they may be able to recover compensation for the loss of guidance and nurturing that they otherwise would have received from their deceased parent. For example, a child who lost their mother at age 12 would no longer be able to benefit from her advice on navigating friendships in high school, learning how to drive, or guidance in picking a college.

Pain and Suffering of the Deceased

New York law stipulates that plaintiffs can seek compensation for the conscious pain and suffering endured by their deceased loved one in a wrongful death lawsuit. Quantifying this type of intangible cost is subjective under the best of circumstances, but it is obviously complicated by the fact that the deceased is no longer able to give an account of their suffering.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer who has specific experience litigating wrongful death claims is essential for situations like this, as they will have the expertise needed to document this type of damage.

What Wrongful Death Damages Are Not Available in New York

Unlike many other states, New York does not recognize the emotional losses suffered by the deceased’s family as a form of wrongful death damages. This would include things such as loss of companionship, mental anguish, or pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, a bill that would have changed this, the Grieving Families Act, was recently vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. In effect, this means that parents who lost a small child in a pedestrian accident would have virtually no recourse in a civil court because the child did not financially contribute to the household.  

Choose Cellino Law to Represent You in Your New York Wrongful Death Claim

After losing a loved one, taking legal action may not seem like a priority while you are trying to manage a home, provide and care for your children, and coordinate a funeral. Let the seasoned wrongful death attorneys of Cellino Law represent your interests to secure your financial future.

Our team will coordinate with you throughout the process and ensure you know everything you need to know about wrongful death claims.

New Yorkers know that Cellino Law can be depended on to secure the compensation you need. Our case results speak for themselves in terms of what our knowledgeable team is capable of, but we encourage you to look at the testimonials of former clients to see what kind of treatment you can expect from our team. The personal injury attorneys of Cellino Law look forward to obtaining a fair settlement for your family in a wrongful death claim.

Contact Cellino Law if You Have Lost a Loved One in a Wrongful Death Accident

For the majority of wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations in New York is two years from the date of death. That means you have a limited amount of time to ensure that you are eligible to receive the compensation your family is owed and hold the negligent party accountable. The personal injury attorneys of Cellino Law will work diligently to maximize your compensation.

We have significant trial experience that has proven an asset in situations where a defendant is unwilling to offer our client a fair settlement for their damages. You don’t need to try and navigate the claims process on your own when you have a great resource available to you at no upfront cost.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your financial losses. The wrongful death attorneys of Cellino Law are proud to represent the families of wrongful death victims to help them on the road to healing. You can schedule a free case evaluation by calling our team at (888) 888-8888 or submitting an online form.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

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