Losing a loved one in an accident is a tragedy but also a financial challenge for family members, especially if the death occurred as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another person. The families of those who died because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct can file wrongful death claims in New York and hold this person accountable.
If you are facing such a tragic loss, the best way to get justice on your side is to hire a New York wrongful death attorney to help you.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits let the direct family of a person killed in an accident be compensated for the financial damage they have suffered because of the loss of their loved one. For a person, company or other entity to be held accountable for someone’s wrongful death, they must have acted negligently or intended to fatally harm the injured individual.
To be eligible to get wrongful death, family members need to prove their loved one’s death occurred by the negligence or misconduct of the accused part. The family should also prove that they are facing financial problems because of the decedent’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits are brought in the name of the decedent’s estate, not the names of family members. This is why a personal representative of the estate should also be present.
Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Courts may award compensation to the immediate family members for loss of financial support and services, loss of future inheritance, and funeral expenses. The courts may also let the estate of the deceased collect damages for their medical expenses, pain, and suffering before death. This claim can then be distributed to beneficiaries through the estate.
Can I File a New York Wrongful Death Claim?
The responsibility for filing wrongful death claims in New York falls to the “personal representative” of the deceased person’s estate. New York will not allow a family member to file for a wrongful death claim to court unless they are also the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
The wrongful death claim may demand damages for losses suffered by the deceased person’s beneficiaries, heirs, or devisees in addition to damages for any losses the deceased person’s estate suffered. If the court grants the damages, the court will treat the personal representative as if they hold the damages award in trust for the surviving family members who hold the proceeds.
New York Wrongful Death Claims Damages
Damages that are awarded in wrongful death claims in New York depend on the facts that are demonstrated in court. The following are damages that you can get in New York wrongful death cases for losses such as:
- funeral and burial expenses
- reasonable medical, nursing, and other health care costs linked to the deceased person’s final injury or illness
- lost wages and benefits that occurred between the deceased person’s final injury or illness and their death
- the value of support and services the deceased gave to family members
- the value of guidance, parental nurturing, and care to surviving children
- lost inheritance experienced by surviving children
- conscious pain and suffering experienced by the deceased due to the final injury or illness
- 9% interest on the damages award, calculated from the date of death.
New York does not allow surviving family members to collect their own damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or mental anguish even if the deceased person is a child. Parents are able to get damages for the lost value of services, such as household chores performed by the child, but the amount is decreased by the reasonable cost of caring for the child until they reached legal age.
Deadline For Wrongful Death Claims in New York
The deadline for filing wrongful death claims in New York is two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. This statute of limitations stops filing for wrongful death claims in New York courts after two years have passed between the date of death and the date of filing.
New York does not stop the statute of limitations from running if the personal representative of the deceased person is a child or is legally incapable of filing the claim. In such circumstances, the wrongful death claim will be filed by the guardian of the child or incapable person.
If all this sounds complex, make sure you contact a wrongful death attorney. Call our team at Cellino Law.