Losing your loved one unexpectedly will leave you grappling with immense grief. Worse still, learning that their death was due to someone else’s reckless conduct or recklessness can be incredibly devastating.
To ensure that the negligent party is held liable for their actions, you should talk to reputable Greece wrongful death lawyers at Cellino Law. You can contact our personal injury lawyers at (800) 555-5555 or online using the form provided. We offer free, no-obligation initial consultations.
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How Is Wrongful Death Defined in New York?
Under New York law, wrongful death is regarded as an act of carelessness or negligence that results in another person’s death. Plaintiffs in wrongful death suits are required to establish four elements of proof for the claim to be valid, which include:
- The death was the result of another party’s negligent or wrongful actions
- One or more people have suffered financial losses due to the person’s death
- The deceased could have pursued a personal injury claim had they survived the accident
- The deceased person’s estate is eligible to recover losses
The only exception to the elements above is when a fetus passes away before their birth. Even when their death is due to a negligent act, the at-fault party cannot be held liable for the death.
Who Is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
Under New York law, the only person that’s qualified to file a wrongful death claim is a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. The said personal representative is named in the deceased’s will or elsewhere in the estate plan. If the estate plan or will doesn’t outline a personal representative or the deceased didn’t leave behind a will or estate plan, the court can appoint a personal representative to file a wrongful death claim.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable?
The types of damages recoverable in New York wrongful death claims generally depends on the facts of the case. However, the most common damages in wrongful death claims in the state include:
- Income lost by the deceased between the time of their final illness or injury and their death
- Medical expenses incurred due to the deceased’s illness or injury that led to their death
- Loss of inheritance by surviving children
- Loss of parental nurturing, guidance, and care provided to the children
- Loss of support and services the deceased provided for their relatives and household
- Funeral and burial costs
- Interest on the damages, at a rate of 9 percent, from the date of death
Surviving loved ones, however, cannot recover damages for their own pain and suffering, even when the deceased is a child. Damages for the loss of certain services, such as chores around the house are available. Still, these damages are reduced by the cost of caring for a child while they were still a minor.
Can Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages may also be available in some wrongful death claims, but those are extremely rare cases. Punitive damages, unlike the damages above, are intended to punish the defendant as opposed to compensating heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased.
How Is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case?
To prove negligence in a wrongful death case, the following 4 elements have to be proven:
The plaintiff must prove to the court that the defendant had a legal obligation or duty of care to the deceased. Establishing a legal duty can be shown if there was a relationship between the deceased and the defendant, no matter how tangential it might be.
The plaintiff is also required to demonstrate how the defendant violated or breached this duty of care. That could be through a specific action or inaction and compared to what a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation.
The plaintiff is also required to prove that the defendant’s breach of their duty of care directly caused the defendant’s death. The defendant’s actions must have resulted in the death and not any other cause.
The death resulted in damages (i.e., something for which the surviving loved ones can be compensated). Examples of such damages include medical bills, funeral and burial costs, etc. Wrongful death cases allow you to recover damages for both economic and non-economic damages.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
To start a wrongful death claim in Greece, New York, you need to first determine which persons are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is in most cases the one responsible for starting a wrongful death claim. For the defendant to be found guilty of wrongful death, the plaintiff is required to prove the 4 elements discussed above.
To bring a successful wrongful death claim, you have the burden of proving each of these elements. To make a strong claim, you require the services of a knowledgeable lawyer such as those at Cellino Law to help you gather the necessary evidence for your case.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim?
Wrongful death claims center around the deceased’s family and allow the personal representative of their estate to file a suit for damages and receive damages. Estate claims, which are also known as survival claims center around the suffering of the deceased as opposed to the financial losses suffered by the beneficiaries of the deceased. Estate claims allow the estate to be awarded damages the deceased could have recovered if they had recovered.
File Your Claim With Our Greece Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one due to the negligent actions of another party can be devastating, which is why it is important to ensure that the negligent party is held liable for their actions. A wrongful death claim is the best way to do just that.
If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligent actions, you may be eligible to make a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death lawyers at Cellino law can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.
For more information or to schedule your free, no-obligation, initial consultation today, call us at (800) 555-5555 or fill out the form provided. We are looking forward to helping you get justice for the loved one you lost.