Advocates For Justice In Brooklyn & Throughout New York
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is an unparalleled hardship that no one should endure. When a person's life is unjustly taken due to the recklessness or illegal actions of another, surviving family members find themselves grappling with overwhelming emotional and financial burdens. At Davidoff Law, our mission is to support you in overcoming these challenges.
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We understand that no amount of compensation can ever truly mend the pain of your loss. Nevertheless, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible not only offers a sense of justice but also provides vital financial relief during this trying period. Read on to gain insight into the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, or reach out to our Brooklyn wrongful death attorneys for a complimentary consultation at our office.
Understanding Wrongful Death In Brooklyn, NY
Wrongful death in New York, as in many other states, refers to a situation where a person's death is caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another party. In essence, when a death could have been prevented and should have been, it is legally considered wrongful.
When someone's death is the result of another party's wrongful conduct, certain individuals, typically close family members, may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their losses. Here are the key elements that generally constitute wrongful death in New York:
Death of a Person: The first and most fundamental requirement is the death of a person. This can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including accidents, medical malpractice, criminal actions, or any other wrongful act.
Negligence or Wrongful Conduct: To establish a wrongful death claim, it must be shown that the death was the result of the negligent or intentional actions of another party. Negligence typically involves failing to exercise reasonable care, while intentional acts are deliberate actions meant to cause harm.
Causation: There must be a direct link between the negligent or intentional conduct of the defendant and the death of the victim. In other words, it must be proven that the defendant's actions were a substantial factor in causing the death.
Legal Action: A wrongful death claim is typically pursued through a civil lawsuit. The burden of proof falls on the plaintiff (the party bringing the lawsuit) to establish the elements of wrongful death.
Who Can Pursue A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In New York?
The state of New York has established criteria regarding who may initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death claim must be initiated by the personal representative of the deceased's estate on behalf of specific 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.
These family members are entitled to seek compensation for damages. However, they cannot file the claim themselves. Only the personal representative of the estate can file the claim. If no personal representative was designated in the decedent's estate plan (e.g., in the absence of a will), the court will appoint one.
Recoverable Damages For Surviving Family Members
In a wrongful death claim, surviving loved ones pursue compensation for the losses they have endured due to the deceased's passing.
In New York, eligible family members can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses incurred for the deceased's final treatment.
- Funeral expenses.
- Lost wages, income, and benefits.
- The value of family services and support provided by the deceased.
- The value of parental care lost (for surviving children).
- Loss of expected inheritance.
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to their death.
Unfortunately, New York does not permit surviving family members and loved ones to seek compensation for their own mental and emotional distress following their loved one's passing.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Wrongful Death In NY?
New York has a statute of limitations for filing wrongful death claims, generally two years from the date of the person's death. It's crucial to initiate legal proceedings within this timeframe, or you may lose the right to pursue a claim.
Providing Compassionate, Time-Tested Legal Representation
At Davidoff Law, we extend our heartfelt condolences for the loss you have endured. Our Brooklyn wrongful death attorneys are committed to guiding you through the legal process and vigorously pursuing the maximum compensation you and your family deserve. We are readily available to address any questions you may have. We offer contingency fees, meaning you will owe us nothing unless and until we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.