Advocating For Families In The Bronx & Across New York
Losing a beloved family member unexpectedly is an unimaginably challenging experience. When someone's life is tragically cut short due to the careless or unlawful actions of another individual, it leaves the surviving loved ones grappling with overwhelming emotional and financial burdens. At Davidoff Law, we are committed to assisting you in navigating these difficult times.
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We understand that nothing can ever truly heal the pain you're going through; no amount of compensation can fully make up for the loss of a cherished one. Nevertheless, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible not only offers a sense of justice but can also provide much-needed financial relief during this trying period. Read on to explore the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, or get in touch with our Bronx wrongful death attorneys for a complimentary consultation at our office.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
Under the law, a death is considered "wrongful" when it results from negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions of another person or entity.
To constitute wrongful death, several key elements must typically be present:
- Duty of Care: The responsible party must owe a legal duty of care to the deceased individual. This duty of care varies depending on the circumstances and can be established by law, contract, or common practice. For example, a driver on the road owes a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians to operate their vehicle safely.
- Breach of Duty: It must be demonstrated that the responsible party breached their duty of care through their actions or inactions. This breach can involve negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. For example, a driver who runs a red light and causes a fatal accident has breached their duty of care.
- Causation: The breach of duty must be shown to be the direct or proximate cause of the individual's death. This means that it must be established that the wrongful actions or negligence of the responsible party directly led to the death.
- Damages: The death must result in quantifiable damages that can be compensated. These damages typically include financial losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to death. The specific damages that can be sought may vary by jurisdiction.
Who Can Initiate A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In The Bronx?
In New York, there are specific guidelines governing who can bring forth a wrongful death claim. The claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased's estate on behalf of certain surviving family members. These eligible family members include:
- The decedent's spouse
- The decedent's child or children
- The decedent's parent(s)
- Any dependent, beneficiary, or heir of the decedent
While these family members are entitled to seek damages, they are not authorized to file the claim themselves. Only the personal representative of the estate can initiate the claim. In cases where no personal representative was designated in the decedent's estate plan (e.g., in the absence of a will), the court will appoint one.
What Types Of Damages Can Surviving Family Members Recover?
To establish a wrongful death claim in New York, you must demonstrate that you have suffered specific damages as a result of the death. These damages may include:
- Medical expenses incurred for the deceased person's final treatment.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of financial support, including lost wages, income, and benefits that the deceased person would have provided to their family.
- Loss of the value of services and support the deceased person would have provided to their family.
- Loss of parental care and guidance for surviving children.
- Loss of expected inheritance.
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person before their death.
It's important to note that New York does not permit surviving family members to recover for their own mental and emotional distress stemming from the loss of their loved one.
Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations In The Bronx
It's essential to be aware of the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New York. Generally, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the person's death. Failing to file a claim within this time frame can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.
Compassionate And Experienced Legal Representation
At Davidoff Law, we extend our heartfelt condolences for the loss you have endured. Our Bronx wrongful death attorneys are here to provide you with the guidance you need throughout the legal process and to help you secure the maximum compensation you and your family are entitled to. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We offer contingency fees, which means you won't owe us anything unless and until we successfully recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.