The last thing that a New York family is thinking about after losing a loved one is filing a lawsuit. However, if the death was the result of someone’s negligent actions, a lawsuit may precisely be the right thing to do. The best way to find closure sometimes is to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions by filing a wrongful death claim. Necessary compensation becomes available in the process.
At Cellino Law, we have experienced Yonkers wrongful death lawyers who can help you after losing a loved one. Our lawyers are highly experienced and know exactly how frightful the entire process can be. It is critical that you act fast since the deadlines for filing wrongful death claims tend to be shorter than those of other types of claims. Our Yonkers injury attorneys completely understand this and will do everything to expedite the process for clients.
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When Is It Considered a Wrongful Death?
If a person acts in a reckless or negligent way and ends up causing a death, it may be determined to be wrongful. Wrongful deaths occur frequently due to truck or car accidents, slip and fall accidents, malpractice in a medical setting, neglect or abuse at a nursing home, or an accident during construction.
The deceased person’s estate representative has the right to file a wrongful death claim against the party or parties responsible for the death. In general, a wrongful death claim is aimed at recovering damages for the heir or heirs of the deceased. The people for whom this process is aimed at protecting include:
- The significant other or spouse of the deceased
- The offspring of the deceased
- The parents of a minor child
How to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim
To win a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to first establish that the death of your loved one happened in an untimely manner due to the responsible party’s recklessness or negligence. The reckless behavior or neglect must be proven to have caused the death either directly or in a way that contributed to the fatality.
Reckless behavior is defined as a disregard of the risk of harm to others on a conscious basis. On the other hand, negligent behavior requires that the individual did not address a situation or act in a manner that an individual behaving reasonably would have acted in the same situation.
Two things have to be proven to build a case. Cellino Law will prove the following after they are hired to be your representative.
The Responsible Party Owes a Duty
People have a duty to act responsibly. A person owns the consequences of his/her actions. To keep others safe, the responsible party is required to legally avoid engaging in acts or actions that may lead to harm to other people.
The Defendant Breached the Legal Duty
Evidence has to be presented showing that the defendant did not act in a reasonable and prudent way or that their actions were reckless, careless, or negligent to prove that the wrongful death of an individual happened.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Yonkers?
In New York State, the only person authorized to file a wrongful death claim is the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The representative may be the administrator or executor of the estate.
The County Surrogate’s Court is responsible for appointing that representative. If a will is available, the named executor takes on that responsibility. However, in case an executor isn’t noted, the Surrogate’s Court judge will name an administrator.
In New York, family members allowed to file a wrongful death case include:
- Biological or adopted children
- Blood relatives that were dependent on the deceased
How Much Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a loved one loses their life, no amount of money can ever take away the grief. That’s why the financial earnings and economic impact of death are only things taken into consideration by New York State. The damages awarded in wrongful death lawsuits in New York fall into two primary categories.
The first one is directly linked to the amount of pain and suffering endured by the victim prior to his/her death. A forensic pathologist testifies to this after undertaking an extensive analysis. Hearing about the details of their loved one’s pain and suffering might be difficult for survivors, but it is important since it allows the family to be properly compensated.
The second type of damages is related to the victim’s earning potential as well as their expected contribution to the individual or family surviving after the wrongful death. The loss of finances is evaluated by looking at financial records to determine exactly how much money was lost due to the death of the person. Different types of damages can be filed for after death, they include:
- The price charged for the victim’s funeral, burial, and/or cremation
- Lost or unearned wages the deceased will no longer provide
- Childcare, healthcare policies, or other services provided by the deceased to the family
- The cost of medical care for the deceased required following the accident
- Reduced value of assets or inheritance provided by the deceased
- Lost guidance provided to surviving children due to the death of their parents
Two key factors are taken into consideration when calculating economic damages. Both are of great importance when it comes to lost wages. The factors are the age of the victim at the time of death and the length remaining of their life expectancy. If a young child loses a parent unexpectedly, they also lose the support of many years of wages that would have seen him/her into adulthood.
In New York State, however, the emotional pain and suffering of the surviving family members are usually not taken into account when assessing the damages. This part of the law is lacking in compassion and is very unfortunate. As practicing lawyers in the area of wrongful death, it is something we are actively fighting to change and make New York law take emotional damages into consideration. Until then, filing lawsuits is the best way to get the most help possible.
Contact a Yonkers Wrongful Death Lawyer With Cellino Law
Always remember that there are certain time limitations attached to wrongful death claims. Once a representative of the deceased person’s estate decides to pursue legal actions, it is important to act fast to ensure that the time limitations don’t expire. The limitations are even shorter if public authorities are involved in the case. The statute of limitations cannot be extended by the court, which is why survivors need to act fast. Review your wrongful death claim with our Yonkers injury firm today, call (800) 555-5555.