While filing a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one in New York may not be your top priority, it is sometimes necessary particularly if the death was due to someone else’s negligence. A wrongful death lawsuit is important as it can bring closure to your grief and help you receive compensation for the death of your loved one.
At Cellino Law, we have a team of experienced and skilled Melville wrongful death lawyers who can help you seek maximum compensation for your loss. So, if you lose your loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact us as soon as possible and speak to one of our wrongful death lawyers.
Wrongful death case deadlines are stricter than those of other cases. We fully understand this and that is why we usually help our clients get the process underway as soon as possible. Our Melville injury law firm represents those who have lost a loved one in all types of fatal accidents.
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What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a death caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior. The most common causes of wrongful death include medical malpractice, truck accidents, construction accidents, nursing home neglect or abuse, and car accidents. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the victim’s death. Wrongful death claims are meant to cover damages suffered by the deceased and their beneficiaries and heirs. In most cases, this includes:
- The surviving spouse
- The decedent’ offspring
- The parents of a child considered a minor
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent or reckless action, contact Cellino Law in Melville New York at (800) 555-5555 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can call us anytime, day or night as our lines are open 24/7. Since we fully understand that you are going through a tough time, our attorneys will come to you. It is important to note that we will not charge you legal fees unless we help you win your case.
We fully understand how emotionally distressing and complicated wrongful death cases can be. That is why our lawyers take their time to listen to our clients and do their best to explain the legal details of the lawsuit. If you are looking for a good wrongful death lawyer in Melville, consider our firm. We are here to help you.
What Kinds of Cases do Wrongful Death Lawyers Handle?
Wrongful death claims are based on different circumstances. However, at Cellino law, we handle the following cases more often:
- Airplane accidents
- Auto accidents
- Bus accidents
- Premises liability
- Medical malpractice
- Train accidents
- Defective products
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Truck accidents
- Animal attacks
How Do You Prove A Wrongful Death Claim?
In most cases, you have to prove the death of your loved one was caused by the liable party’s negligence or recklessness. You will also have to prove the negligence or recklessness of the liable party was a direct or contributing cause to your loved one’s death.
Negligence is a failure to take reasonable care that someone else would have exercised if he or she was under the same circumstances. On the other hand, recklessness is when a person disregards any risk of harming other people. When you choose Cellino law to handle your wrongful death case, we will build a case against the liable party or parties by proving that the following things happened:
The Defendant Owed a “Duty” to The Plaintiff
Individuals and entities accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This is known as duty and it means that everyone has the legal obligation to avoid actions or acts that can harm other people or the legal obligation to ensure that you do everything in a way that keeps other people safe.
The Defendant Breached Their Legal Duty
To prove wrongful death, you have to show that the defendant’s actions were reckless, negligent, or careless or the defendant failed to act reasonably like a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances. For example, a person who operates a vehicle owes the general duty of care by making sure they operate their vehicle the same way a reasonable and prudent person would, obeying traffic laws.
Therefore, if a driver causes the death of another person through reckless or negligent driving, such as driving above the speed limit, following too closely and not paying attention to the road, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant breached their duty.
If the conduct of the defendant or lack of the same is to blame for the death of your loved one, the defendant will be held liable for the death of your loved one if it is found out that the death was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. For example, if a person dies because an anesthesiologist administered lethal doses of anesthesia, the deceased’s loved ones can file a wrongful death case against the anesthesiologist. This is because the defendant (anesthesiologist) did something that caused damages.
Some of the things that the decedent’s family members can be compensated for after the wrongful death of their loved one include:
- Loss of the decedent’s expected earnings
- Medical and hospital expenses for services before the death of the deceased
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral costs
How Can Lawyers Help With Wrongful Death Claims?
When handling wrongful death claims, we usually work with economic experts to perform a professional financial analysis of your wrongful death case. Losses here can include lost wages and potential earnings. An analysis of the cost of counseling and lost care is also performed. The financial analysis of a case is among the most important parts of a wrongful death claim and if done properly, can help the family members receive the compensation they deserve.
The personal injury lawyers at Cellino Law have the skills, experience, and knowledge to handle any wrongful death case. Therefore, if you are looking for a reputable lawyer to handle your wrongful death case, contact us. We handle wrongful death cases all over the state of New York. So, whenever you need a wrongful death lawyer in New York, look no further than Cellino Law.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Melville?
Laws in Melville, NY, require that the personal representative (executor or administrator) of the decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate is appointed by the County Surrogate’s Court. If the deceased left a will, the executor he or she named in his or her will be the one to file the claim. If there is none, then the Surrogate’s Court judge will appoint an Administrator.
Regardless of his or her title, it is the person who is allowed to file a suit against the liable party or parties for the death of the decedent. The person who was appointed by the decedent to be the estate’s representative is authorized to file a wrongful death claim. It is important to note that wrongful death claims are usually filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate and his or her surviving family members.
Some of the family members that usually file wrongful death claims in New York include:
- Dependent blood relatives
- Biological or adopted children
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
Before we discuss the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in New York, it is important to note that a distinction between the cause of action for wrongful death and the cause of action for conscious suffering and pain should first be made.
Conscious suffering and pain action is subject to time limitations similar to those of a personal injury claim that the deceased would have brought forward if he or she was alive. In New York, a time limit for actions involving negligence that led to the death is 2 years from the date of the decedent’s death. Actions brought under wrongful death statutes should be filed within 2 years after the date of the decedent’s death.
The time limitations for medical malpractice cases are shorter and you have 2 and a half years from the date of the misconduct to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The time limitations are also shorter when a municipality or public authority is the defendant. In such cases, the plaintiff has to file the ninety (90)- day Notice of Claim before suing the defendant.
The time limitations for wrongful death cases should be calculated separately for each action. While a case can be timely under wrongful death statutes, it may be untimely with respect to the cause of action, for conscious suffering and pain, and vice versa. In such cases, the plaintiff can only recover claims for timely causes of action.
What is the Average Settlement For a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The most common damages awarded in the state of New York are usually economical. Most people recover two types of damages: compensation for pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before his or her untimely death and post-death damages.
Compensation for pain and suffering the victim experienced before their death is the most common type of damage that people recover. It is determined by expert analysis, generally through the testimony given by a professional forensic pathologist. I know that this may be unpleasant to think of but it is among the ways used to ensure that the family of the deceased receives the compensation they deserve for the loss of their loved one.
Post-death damages focus on the loss of finances as a result of the death of a loved one. It deals with how the decedent’s surviving family members will be affected financially by the death of their loved one. The decedent’s surviving family members can claim damages for the financial loss they will experience because of the death of their loved one. Some examples of post-death damages include:
- Medical expenses related to the accident
- Funeral, cremation or burial costs of the deceased
- Lost wages that the deceased used to earn and would still be earning had he or she continued living
- Services provided by the deceased like childcare or health insurance
- Loss of parental guidance and care
- Reduction in the assets or inheritance the deceased would have left behind for the family had he or she continued living
The two major factors considered when calculating economic damages, especially when calculating lost wages are the age of the victim at the time of their death and life expectancy. A child who loses one of his or her parents could have been entitled to many years of lost wages had he or she not lost their parent.
It is unfortunate that the laws surrounding wrongful death in New York do not consider the pain and emotional suffering of surviving members as damages that should be awarded to surviving family members. This shows that the laws surrounding wrongful death in New York lack compassion. We, wrongful death attorneys of New York have been fighting for a while now to change this area of the New York Law.
What if a Victim is Blamed for a Wrongful Death Accident?
Sadly, some people usually blame the person who died for the accident. However, this does not imply that the victims cannot be blamed for an accident. In some cases, a victim’s negligence can result in his or her death. The good news is that you can file a wrongful death claim and receive compensation even if the victim is to blame for an accident. However, keep in mind that in such cases, the amount of compensation you get will be affected by the fact that the victim is to blame for the accident.
New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that a person who is partially at fault can still recover damages from the other liable party. Everyone who shares the blame is held responsible to a certain degree. The fault is divided among parties by percentages and the plaintiff can only recover the percentage of damages he or she is not at fault for. For instance, if your loved one was 25% at fault, you will only receive 75% of the damages as the wrongful death damages will be reduced by 25%.
If the liable parties or insurance companies are blaming your loved one for the accident, contact Cellino Law as soon as possible so that we can help you out. We will try as much as possible to minimize the role of your loved one in the fatal accident. Note that the lesser the fault attributed to your loved one, the more cash you will get.
Contact Cellino Law to Review Your Wrongful Death Claim
It is very important to consider the set deadlines for commencing any actions, particularly if your wrongful death case involves a municipality or public authority. That is why it is a good idea to contact a legal professional as soon as possible for legal advice and guidance. Remember that while the trauma of losing a loved one may make it hard for you to think about contacting a Melville personal injury lawyer, courts do not extend the statute of limitations.
One of the sensitive topics that arise is whether or not autopsies need to be done. Even though we make no comments or judgments about a person’s personal or religious beliefs regarding autopsies, being able to prove the cause of the death of a victim at trial is usually the difference between having a feasible case or not. This applies especially in suits where medical malpractice is suspected.