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Wrongful Death Lawyers


Like all states, New York has its owns laws governing lawsuits associated with wrongful death. These laws will define exactly what is considered a wrongful death, who is eligible to bring this type of lawsuit. They also cover considerations for damages as well as time limits for bringing this type of legal action and more.

Wrongful Death
In the state of New York, a wrongful death is understood to be a situation where a person dies because of another individual’s negligent actions. In this situation, an authorized personal representative of the deceased’s estate has the legal authority to file a lawsuit against the negligent individual or organization responsible for causing the death. A wrongful death case can result from a personal injury case. This includes work accidents, medical malpractice, public transportation accidents, automobile accidents and any other type of tort recognized by the state of New York. There are five elements that must be proven to establish a wrongful death. This is covered in New York Estates, Code 4, Powers and Trusts. It must be established there was a death and it resulted from a person or organization’s negligence. A cause for legal action must be established showing how the deceased would have conducted their life should the death have not have occurred. The decedent must be survived by one or more individuals who experienced a loss from their death. The damages an estate is legally eligible to recover must also be established.

Pecuniary Loss
The New York Estates Codes has what is known as a pecuniary loss statute. It defines how a legal professional representing the decedent must prove loss. This could involve the deceased’s loved ones losing the support provided by the deceased’s earnings. Should the case involve the death of a parent who left behind a surviving spouse and dependent children, a claim can be made for current and future economic loss. Should the death involve a child, the compensation could involve the loss of services to the parents. The pecuniary loss statue does have a number of restrictions associated with it. A legal professional will know how to meticulously prepare a successful case showing pecuniary loss. They will know how to present all valid economic loss, so the best possible results are achieved. Some cases are more complex than others. It’s possible a financial analyst or economist may be used to determine a reasonable settlement amount.

Damages
It is possible the damages involved with a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated as well as substantial. It will be necessary to determine exactly what damages involved with a case are recoverable. A legal professional will know how to make certain all recoverable damages are requested during a trial or settlement negotiations. There are certain types of damages that are a challenge to calculate. This could be something such as loss of companionship. If necessary, a legal professional will know how to get a jury to understand the relationship between the deceased and their loved ones. Damages can also be very speculative. This could happen when trying to determine loss of future income.

Compensation
There are four general types of compensation those affected by a wrongful death may be able to obtain. It’s possible to get compensation for direct damages. This could involve funeral costs, medical bills and other fixed expenses associated with a wrongful death. It is also possible to get compensation for pain and suffering. This could involve physical pain, but also compensation for psychological pain. It could have been caused by the fear of imminent death and more. It’s also possible to have compensation as part of punitive damages. This is a situation where the defendant’s behavior is determined to have been extremely outrageous. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their outrageous behavior. It is also considered a way to prevent others from behaving in such a similar outrageous manner. Compensation can also be awarded for the value of support and services the decedent provided various members of their family. The loss of inheritance by any surviving children can also be compensated. An award can also be given to the surviving children for the loss of value of parental guidance, nurturing as well as care and more.

Legal Standing
In order to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death, an individual must have legal standing. It is required by the state of New York for an individual to have a legally recognized relationship with the decedent and have suffered a loss from the wrongful death. This could be the spouse of the decedent, child as well as a parent. It is also possible for a personal representative of the decedent’s estate to have legal standing. In New York, a decedent’s cousins and siblings can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. There is an exception if the cousins or siblings have been named as the personal representative or guardian of the deceased.

Time Limits
Each state has a time limit covering how long after an incident occurs that a lawsuit can be filed. This rule is known as a statute of limitations. In the state of New York, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years after the date of a decedent’s death on their death certificate. Should a lawsuit not be filed within the two-year time limit, legal compensation can not be pursued. The New York statute of limitations covering wrongful death does not stop, or toll should the decedent’s personal representative be a child or not legally capable of filing such a claim. In such situations, a child’s guardian or guardian of an incapable person will be required by law to file the wrongful death lawsuit.

Fair And Just
It is important that plaintiffs involved in a wrongful death lawsuit show their relationship with the decedent caused a reasonable expectation of support. Once this is established, the exact amount of damages is something for a jury to determine. It is not essential for a plaintiff to show they were receiving support from the decedent at the time of the death. The goal is to determine what is fair and just compensation for the loss resulting from a decedent’s death. A New York jury will be asked to consider a number of different factors. This includes the age, health and life expectancy of the decedent at the time of their death. A jury will be asked to consider the decedent’s work habits and current standing at their place of employment. This information will help determine the decedent’s future possible earnings. Their potential for advancement within their career will also be a factor in determining what is fair and just compensation. The age and life expectancy of a decedent’s distributees will also be taken into consideration.

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