The money you can get from any civil lawsuit depends heavily on the specific details of your situation and the evidence presented to prove your case. When it comes to wrongful death cases, New York State, which has some of the strictest laws in the nation, greatly limits the types of damages you can collect. Under current wrongful death laws, compensation for economic losses, and pain and suffering can only be collected prior to the death of your loved one.
Most wrongful death cases never make it to court. With a Long Island wrongful death lawyer on your side, you can get a fair settlement for your losses. If Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. handles your case, we will pursue settling out of court, although we can litigate your case if necessary.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a New York State Wrongful Death Claim?
- Medical care and related expenses stemming from your loved one’s injury and subsequent death.
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Your loved one’s lost wages, covering the period between their injury and their death.
- The value of the services previously provided by your deceased family
- The value of the support lost when your family member passed away.
If there are surviving children, they may be eligible to recover compensation for:
- The value of the parental care and guidance lost
- Lost inheritance
In certain circumstances, we can even request compensation to cover your loved one’s pain and suffering before they passed away. This usually occurs when the person suffered serious injuries but survived for several days or weeks after the accident, only to pass away. This only applies if your loved one was conscious. You cannot recover pain and suffering for a family member who remained unconscious. New York does not allow recovering damages for your own mental anguish, or suffering in a wrongful death case.
We can help you understand the potential value of your wrongful death case. Evidence of actual losses suffered by your family would help frame a fair settlement in your case. Only then can we enter settlement negotiations and ensure we recover enough compensation to cover your losses.
How Is Compensation from a Wrongful Death Suit Distributed?
New York state laws dictate that personal representatives of the deceased file all wrongful death suits, and the immediate family members receive all resulting damages. How the immediate family members split this compensation relies on the rules outlined in N.Y. Estate Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.4.
In general, this law distributes the payout in proportion to the financial loss of the family members. The surviving spouse and minor children who depended on the income of the deceased to make ends meet — and probably paid for their loved one’s funeral and burial, as well — would receive a larger share than older children who have their own job and home.
If there is:
- A spouse but no children, the entire payout goes to the surviving spouse.
- A spouse and children, $50,000 and half of the payout goes to the spouse and the rest is divided equally by the children.
- Children but no spouse, the children divide the full payout equally.
- No spouse and no children, but one or both parents, the surviving parents share the payout.
- Only siblings surviving, then the payout is split equally between them.
This is a very simplistic example of how this works, and several things may change the way your family distributes the payout from your case. If your deceased spouse had both minor children with you and adult children from a previous relationship, for example, all the children would not split the payout equally. The minor children would likely receive a larger portion of the total compensation. We can explain how to distribute the payout based on the specific details of your situation.
How Can I Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer on Long Island?
Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our Bayport, Long Island, wrongful death attorneys are standing by waiting to take your call. We can go to work for you immediately, identifying the parties liable for your loss, and holding them financially responsible for your family’s losses. If you have questions about your loved one’s death or believe you may have a viable wrongful death claim, we offer free case reviews and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to talk to a Bayport wrongful death lawyer about your case.