Filing a lawsuit is the last thing on the mind of a family in New York who has lost a loved one. However, it is the right thing to do when the death of their loved one has been caused by someone’s negligence. At times, filing a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the negligent party accountable is the right way to find closure. This process also allows the family to get the compensation they deserve.
Here at Cellino Law, our team of experienced and highly skilled Islip wrongful death lawyers can help you in this matter. We understand how difficult it is to process the death of a loved one. However, you need to act quickly as there are deadlines to be met when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, and deadlines in such cases are shorter as compared to other types of lawsuits. Our Islip personal injury attorneys will work hard to expedite this process.
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How Wrongful Death is Defined in New York
When an individual loses their life due to the reckless or negligent actions of another party, their death may be determined to be wrongful. For instance in Islip, NY, a death that happens due to a truck or car accident, medical malpractice, neglect, or abuse at a nursing home, or due to a construction accident may be determined to be wrongful.
The person representing the decedent’s estate has the legal right to bring on a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties who are responsible for the death. The aim of this lawsuit is to recover fair compensation for the heir or heirs of the decedent. This law is designed to protect:
- Parents of a minor child
- Decedent’s offspring
- Significant other or spouse of the decedent
How Wrongful Death Claims are Proven in New York
In order to win a wrongful death lawsuit, the most important thing is to establish that the victim lost their life due to the recklessness or negligence of the responsible party. It needs to be proven that the reckless or neglectful behavior on part of the responsible party caused the death directly or in a manner that contributed to the death of the deceased.
The definition of reckless behavior is conscious disregard on part of the negligent party when their actions cause harm to others. When it comes to negligent behavior, it is defined as the failure of the individual to act in a manner that any other person behaving in a reasonable matter would have in similar circumstances.
There are 2 things that need to be proven in order to build a successful case. Here at Cellino Law, our team of highly skilled attorneys will work to prove that:
The Responsible Party Owes a Duty
It is natural to assume that people act in a responsible manner. They are responsible for their actions. The responsible party must act in a manner to avoid causing harm to others through their actions in order to keep people safe.
The Defendant Breached Their Legal Duty
It needs to be proven that the responsible party failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner, or their actions were careless, reckless or negligent leading to the wrongful death of a person.
Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Islip?
The personal representative of the decedent’s estate is the only person who can file a wrongful death claim in the state of New York. The personal representative could be the administrator or executor of the estate. The County Surrogate’s Court appoints this representative. If the deceased has a will, the executor named in the will is given this responsibility. If no executor is noted, an administrator is named by the judge of the Surrogate’s Court.
In the State of New York, following family members have the legal right to file a wrongful death case:
- Adopted or biological children
- Dependent or blood relatives
What Compensation can be Recovered by a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
No amount of money can match the grief associated with the death of a loved one. This is why, in the State of New York, the calculation for compensation takes into account the economic impact as well as the financial earnings of the deceased. In such cases, the compensation primarily consists of 2 parts.
The first part of the compensation is calculated on the basis of pain and suffering the victim had to go through before death. An extensive analysis is completed by a forensic pathologist who then gives testimony. It’s not easy for the survivors to listen to the details of the pain and suffering their loved one experienced but it’s necessary to get fair compensation for the survivors.
The other part of the compensation is calculated on the basis of the victim’s earning potential as well as their future earning in case they hadn’t died. Financial records are analyzed to calculate the loss of earning capacity in order to arrive at the amount of money a family has lost. Different types of compensation can be recovered after wrongful death including:
- Medical expenses due to the accident
- Expenses for the funeral, burial and/or cremation
- Healthcare, childcare policies as well as other services decedent provided to the family
- Future wages that will no longer be available to the family
- Loss in value of assets or inheritance
- Loss of guidance to surviving children
The calculation for economic damages takes 2 primary factors into consideration. It becomes especially important when calculating the loss of wages. These factors are the age of the victim at the time of their death and their remaining life expectancy. When a young child loses a parent unexpectedly, many years of wages that would have supported them into adulthood are also lost.
The emotional pain and suffering of the surviving family members are not taken into account when calculating damages in the State of New York. It is unfortunate that the law lacks compassion in this regard. Our law offices are working hard to change this. However, until it is changed, we will fight for you to get the maximum compensation possible in such cases.
Call Cellino Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With an Islip Wrongful Death Lawyer
It’s important to note that wrongful death cases have time limitations. Therefore, it is important for the representative to act quickly when they choose to take legal action. The deadlines for filing a lawsuit are much shorter when public authorities are involved in the case. The statute of limitations won’t be extended by the courts and therefore, it is important for survivors to act quickly in such cases. If the lawsuit isn’t filed within the deadlines as defined by law, survivors might lose their right to file a lawsuit forever.