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If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to a fatal accident that occurred due to negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against the guilty party. The resulting compensation is often used to ease the financial pain of those who are grieving a departed loved one.
Call Sobo & Sobo at 855-468-7626 or contact them online for a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney. With years of experience handling cases involving untimely deaths due to negligence, our attorneys know what it takes to ease the financial burden of losing a loved one and delivering justice to the party responsible.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is any death that occurs due to the actions or negligence of another person. It is not considered a crime, as wrongful deaths occur due to accidental circumstances or negligence, not out of any maliciousness or negative intent.
In order to legally qualify as a wrongful death, the accident has to be proven to be the result of another person’s action, inaction or direct negligence. Otherwise, the death is just an accident.
Examples of of Wrongful Death Accidents
Here are a few common examples of wrongful death accidents:
Car accidents caused by a driver’s negligence often result in severe injuries, and death for passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
A doctor or other medical professional’s negligent acts can lead to a patient’s death. This can include surgical errors, as well as misprescription and misdiagnosis that result in a patient’s death.
Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment and can be held liable for accidents on premises that result in death.
Sellers and manufacturers can be held liable for deaths caused by defective products.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe premises and can be held liable for accidents that result in death.
Deaths caused by employer negligence including faulty machinery, unsafe conditions, and improper safety training may be considered wrongful deaths.
Wrongful death can happen as a result of an accident caused by a negligent boat operator or owner.
The negligent handling of a firearm leads to many wrongful deaths each year in the US.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Eligibility
A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim against a person or group who could be held liable for someone’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits are usually based upon claims that the death of an individual occurred directly or largely as a result of negligence, defective machinery or vehicles, or medical malpractice.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex since many factors can contribute to the circumstances that led to an accidental death, including:
- Was negligence intentional or excusable
- How many individuals were ultimately responsible
- Did the victim bear some responsibility for the accident
Wrongful death lawsuits are most often brought against individuals, companies, or other entities by family members or loved ones of the deceased.
State Requirements for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
New York’s wrongful death laws and requirements for pressing a suit dictate how these cases may begin and proceed. Relatives of the deceased including spouses, children, parents, or personal representatives for their estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Furthermore, there are certain grounds required to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York:
- A person must have died
- The death must have been caused by either negligence or provably wrongful conduct
- The negligence or conduct could have been the subject of a personal injury or similar lawsuit, and could have led to recovered damages, if the victim had survived
- One or more survivors or related victims have suffered damages as a result of the death
The last requirement means that the surviving family members or loved ones must have a reason to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court.
Reasons may include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of income/livelihood (if the deceased was a provider)
- Loss of companionship
New York’s Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
New York has a statute of limitations of two years for all wrongful death lawsuits. This means that wrongful death cases must be filed within two years of the deceased’s date of death. They do not need to be completed within this timeframe, just started prior to the limit.
Wrongful death lawyers can help victims’ families begin this process and avoid crossing the statute of limitations while they grieve.
The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process
A wrongful death lawsuit proceeds when a surviving family member, spouse, or head of estate brings the lawsuit to court and files it against an individual or group to hold them liable for the death in question.
Over the course of a case, wrongful death attorneys will seek to prove negligence or wrongful conduct on the part of the accused. For instance, in a medical malpractice wrongful death case, prosecuting lawyers may seek to prove that the medical practitioner(s) in question failed to use the correct instruments. They may also seek to prove that the overseeing hospital failed to assign suitably skilled personnel to an operation or patient.
The court will determine the amount of guilt or liability that the accused party holds, if any. This determination will affect the total damages that the accuser(s) can expect.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements in New York
New York wrongful death lawsuit settlements cover the following expenses:
- Pain and suffering damages, intended to compensate victims for emotional and/or physical turmoil
- Loss of future income and financial support
- Funeral/burial costs and expenses
- Medical expenses, both for the deceased and any other injured parties in the same accident
- Loss of companionship, particularly for spouses
- Loss of inheritance
New York is one of the few states that does not cap the damages a party may receive for pain and suffering. This means that a victim’s family or estate cannot be automatically denied the full compensation they are eligible for.
Average Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts
The expected settlement for a New York wrongful death lawsuit heavily depends on the circumstances of the case and the level of negligence or liability the defendant is found responsible for.
Settlement amounts can range from thousands to millions of dollars depending on aspects including:
- Estimated pain and suffering for the victim
- Damage to the victim in medical costs, both past and future
- Estimated future income based on the victim’s age – for instance, if the victim was a working father and a sole provider, damages may be awarded to his family based on his projected earnings over several years
Average settlements are also determined by the strength of the cases presented by wrongful death lawyers.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in New York
If you need assistance filing a wrongful death claim, contact Sobo & Sobo. Their attorneys can help you win the compensation necessary to help recover from your loss. Don’t hesitate to contact them online or call 855-468-7626 for a free consultation. Their wrongful death lawyers are ready to listen, assist in any way they can, and walk with you every step of the way to court.
National Wrongful & Accidental Death Statistics
Wrongful and Accidental Deaths Statistics
Emergency Department Visits
For unintentional injuries
Unintentional Injury Deaths
Unintentional Fall Deaths
Motor Vehicle Traffic Deaths
Unintentional Poisoning Deaths
Caused by other acts of negligence not listed above
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