Every day, innocent people are seriously injured and killed in preventable accidents caused by other people’s negligence. If you’ve lost a family member in a fatal New York accident, you may be able to recover compensation. Nothing can bring your loved one back, but recovering compensation can help you obtain justice for your loved one’s wrongful death and ease your family’s financial burdens.
New York’s Wrongful Death Laws
Have you lost a loved one in a fatal accident? If so, the experienced legal team at CDH Law PLLC is here to help you in your hour of need. Our compassionate, experienced personal injury attorneys have helped many families fight for justice after their loved one’s death. We will carefully review your case and help you understand all of your legal options. Contact the skilled attorneys at CDH Law PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Do I Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim in which the person who was injured passes away from his or her injuries. When a victim loses his or her life in a preventable accident caused by another person or company’s intentional or negligent behavior, the surviving family members have a right to pursue compensation. You will not have to prove that the defendant’s behavior was intentional to succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Most wrongful death cases involve negligent or reckless behavior. Negligence happens when a person or company fails to use reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent others from becoming injured or dying. To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you will need to prove the following elements:
- The victim died from injuries caused by another party’s negligent or reckless behavior
- If the victim had lived, he or she could have pursued a personal injury lawsuit in court
- The survival of one or more people who have suffered financial losses due to the death
- The decedent’s estate has suffered damages due to the victim’s death
If you aren’t sure whether you have a valid wrongful death lawsuit, we recommend reaching out to CDH Law PLLC as soon as possible. Our skilled New York wrongful death litigators know how to win these types of cases. We’re ready to fight for you and your family and offer free initial consultations to discuss whether you have a legal claim or not.
Accidents That Can Lead to Wrongful Death
Many different types of accidents can lead to a person’s death. Car accidents, bicycle accidents, and other auto accidents are among the leading causes of fatalities. When a property owner fails to use reasonable care to keep his or her property safe, dangerous accidents can occur. Other cases arise from dangerous working conditions, especially on New York construction sites. The skilled attorneys at CDH Law PLLC represent clients who’ve been injured in all of the following types of preventable accidents:
- Auto vehicle accidents
- Train accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Boating accident
- Bus accidents
- Jet ski accidents
- Recreational vehicle accidents (ATVs, snowmobiles, jet skis)
- Pedestrian injuries
- Workers’ compensation
- Defective products
- Dog bites
- Medical negligence and malpractice
- Trip and fall
- Slip and fall
- Disability insurance
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Workplace accidents, including construction accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Swimming pool accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York?
In many states, the surviving family members of the deceased individual can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused the accident that resulted in their death. New York does things differently. In New York, the deceased individual’s personal representative has the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The decedent’s last will and testament will typically identify a personal representative.
If there is no personal representative in the will, or the decedent doesn’t have a will, the court will appoint a personal representative. If the personal representative is successful, they must hold the compensation in a trust distributed to the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries when the estate is settled.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Bringing a wrongful death lawsuit soon after your loved one’s death can be overwhelming. However, there is a time limit for filing wrongful death lawsuits. Under New York law, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. The personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate must file the lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years of their death.
When the personal representative misses this deadline, the decedent’s estate may lose the right to seek compensation. New York does not toll the statute of limitations if the personal representative is a minor when their loved one passes away. Instead, the minor’s guardian must file the lawsuit within two years of the decedent’s death. The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the more time an attorney will have to gather evidence and ensure that you do not miss the statute of limitations.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your loved one has been killed in an accident, you may be wondering how much your case is worth. The amount of compensation families who filed wrongful death lawsuits can obtain is based on the facts of the case. At CDH Law PLLC, we can help you evaluate your case and work with financial experts to estimate your claim’s total value skillfully. In wrongful death cases, the following types of damages are available:
- Lost income
- Loss of future earnings
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Lost inheritance
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
There is also a law that has passed through the Legislature in New York and is awaiting the Governor’s signature, that if signed as it is currently written, would allow for the personal loss we all feel when we lose a loved one.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
Over the years, CDH Law PLLC has helped many New York families successfully file wrongful-death lawsuits after a tragic accident caused the death of their loved ones. If your loved one has been killed in an accident, you may have a right to pursue compensation. Contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at CDH Law PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.