NYC Wrongful Death Attorneys
Seeking Justice for New York City & All of New York
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is an excruciating experience. When someone is wrongfully taken from us due to another person's negligence or unlawful actions, it leaves surviving family members struggling with overwhelming emotional and financial burdens. At Davidoff Law, our mission is to support you in overcoming these challenges.
We understand that no amount of compensation can ever truly replace your loved one. However, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party can offer a sense of justice and provide much-needed financial relief during this trying period. Please read on to gain insight into the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, or feel free to contact our compassionate NYC wrongful death attorneys for a complimentary consultation at our New York office.
What Constitutes a “Wrongful Death” in New York City?
In New York City, as in the rest of New York State, a “wrongful death” is a legal term that refers to a death resulting from negligence, misconduct, or wrongful actions of another party. Specifically, it means that someone's death could have been avoided or prevented if not for the actions or negligence of another individual or entity.
Some common circumstances that may constitute a wrongful death in New York City may include:
- Negligent Accidents: Accidents caused by the negligence of another person or entity, such as car accidents, slip and fall incidents, or construction accidents, can lead to wrongful deaths if the negligence directly results in a fatality.
- Medical Malpractice: When a healthcare professional's negligent actions or medical errors lead to a patient's death, it may be considered a wrongful death. This could include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, or inadequate medical care.
- Product Liability: If a defective product causes someone's death, such as a faulty car part or a dangerous consumer product, the manufacturer or distributor may be held liable for wrongful death.
- Intentional Harm: In cases where someone intentionally causes harm that leads to another person's death, such as assault or homicide, it can result in a wrongful death claim in addition to criminal charges.
- Criminal Acts: When a criminal act leads to someone's death, the responsible party may be held liable for wrongful death in civil court, even if they are also facing criminal charges.
- Workplace Accidents: Fatal workplace accidents caused by unsafe conditions, employer negligence, or lack of proper safety measures can be considered wrongful deaths. These cases may involve workers' compensation claims as well as wrongful death claims.
- Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse: If a nursing home resident dies due to neglect, abuse, or inadequate care, it can be classified as a wrongful death. Loved ones may pursue legal action against the nursing home or its staff.
How to Prove Wrongful Death in NY
Proving a wrongful death case in New York can be a complex and challenging process. To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you typically need to establish certain key elements and provide evidence to support your case.
- Establish Duty of Care: You must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This means showing that the defendant had a legal obligation to act reasonably and responsibly to prevent harm to others, including the deceased.
- Breach of Duty: You need to establish that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently, recklessly, or wrongfully. This could involve proving that the defendant's actions or omissions directly led to the death of your loved one.
- Causation: You must establish a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty and the death of the individual. This means showing that, had it not been for the defendant's actions or negligence, the death would not have occurred.
- Damages: You need to demonstrate the damages or losses suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the wrongful death. This can include economic damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost financial support, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
Who Can Initiate a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in NYC?
New York State has specific criteria for determining who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The claim must be initiated by the personal representative of the deceased's estate, acting on behalf of particular surviving family members.
These eligible family members encompass:
- The decedent's spouse
- The decedent's child/children
- The decedent's parent(s)
- Any dependent, beneficiary, or heir of the decedent
While these family members can recover damages, they are not allowed to bring the claim themselves. Only the personal representative of the estate can commence the claim. In situations 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 Seek?
In a wrongful death claim, surviving loved ones seek compensation for the hardships they've endured due to the loss of the deceased.
In New York, eligible family members can pursue compensation for the following:
- 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 before their passing
Unfortunately, New York law does not permit surviving family members and loved ones to seek compensation for their own mental and emotional distress following their loved one's death.
NYC Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the individual's death. This means that you have a two-year window from the date of the death to initiate legal action against the responsible party or parties.
In cases where the cause of death is not immediately apparent, the statute of limitations may begin to run from the date when the cause of death could reasonably have been discovered. This rule is typically applied in situations involving medical malpractice where the exact cause of death may not be known immediately.
Providing Compassionate, Proven Legal Representation
At Davidoff Law, we extend our deepest sympathies for the loss you have endured. Our NYC wrongful death attorneys are here to navigate you through the legal process and strive to secure the maximum compensation you and your family rightfully deserve. We are more than willing to address any questions you may have. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you won't owe us anything unless and until we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
$10 Million Wrongful Death from Motor Vehicle Accident
$5 Million Trip-and-Fall Accident
$2.3 Million Student Riding Motor Scooter
$2 Million Pedestrian Accident Involving a School Bus
$1.7 Million Trucking Accident Resulting in Multi-Level Disc Fusion
$1.6 Million MVA - Rear End Collision
$1.5 Million Motor Vehicle Accident
$1.4 Million Slip & Fall Accident
$1.4 Million Motor Vehicle Accident from a Rear-End Collision
$1.4 Million Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Lower Back Injury
$1.3 Million Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting from Rear-End Collision
$1.3 Million Pedestrian Accident While Crossing the Street
$1.2 Million Motor Vehicle Accident - Rear-End Collision
$1.1 Million Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting from Rear-End Collision
$1 Million Motor Vehicle Accident Involving a Parked Car
$1 Million Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Neck & Back Injury
$975 Thousand Motor Vehicle Accident Involving a Cab Driver
$960 Thousand Truck Accident Back Injuries
$950 Thousand Trucking Accident Resulting in Neck Surgery
$925 Thousand Truck Accident – Rear-End Collision
“Mr. Davidoff was knowledgeable, humble and understanding. I would recommend his services to anyone who needs proper guidance at such difficult times.” - Michael
“Special thanks to Karishma who is extremely helpful and patient in answering my questions each time I call. Would definitely recommend with no hesitation!” - Ashley