A wrongful death settlement can address the financial and emotional losses that surviving family members suffer when a fatal accident takes the life of a loved one. Claims are based on the negligent actions of another party. To learn more about your rights and the types of damages that may be recoverable, contact a Long Island wrongful death attorney.
What is wrongful death?
When carelessness or recklessness causes someone to die, the party responsible can be held liable. While these types of cases can happen as a result of a dangerous drug, defective product or medical malpractice, many tend to result from traffic accidents.
Statistics from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles indicate that in 2010 there were a total of 1,192 fatalities attributed to traffic accidents. Most of the victims involved drivers (646).
The other fatalities included:
- 311 pedestrians;
- 198 passengers;
- 36 bicyclists; and
- one marked as “other.”
When a fatal accident was preventable and it can be proven that negligence was the cause, a wrongful death settlement may be available. Speak with an attorney about the types of compensation you could be entitled to seek.
Types of Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Settlement
Prior to a loved one’s death, he or she might have required medical care and treatment.
Those expenses may be recovered, examples of this include:
- ambulance fees;
- surgery; and
Families often bear a greater financial burden at the death of a family member who was the financial breadwinner. But any contribution to the family may be considered in a settlement.
For instance, the loss of earnings, including potential future income could be included in a wrongful death settlement. If there was a 401(k) plan or medical benefits, this is another type of financial loss that may be recovered.
The cost of a funeral and burial services can also be addressed in a settlement. Of course, it is generally expected that these costs be reasonable. The claim doesn’t only take into consideration the financial losses but the emotional damage as well.
When negligence causes the premature death of a loved one, it can lead to compensation for various types of losses such as loss of:
- parental guidance; and
Your attorney can go over specifically which may apply to your case based on the particular circumstances.
Who can file a claim to recover a wrongful death settlement?
In most cases, it will be a surviving spouse, children or parents who can file a claim. If there is a will that stipulates who is entitled to receive the deceased’s assets, it will be distributed according to that.
Sometimes, other family members will be entitled to a settlement. Stepchildren/parents, grandparents and guardians are examples. It is usually a good idea to discuss your case with an attorney to learn not only if you have a viable claim, but the types of compensation that could be sought and who could be eligible to receive it.
Talk to a Long Island Wrongful Death Attorney
A fatal accident can change a family’s life in an instant. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, compensation can at least address the financial burden and help surviving family members begin to take steps toward healing.
There is a time limit in which you can file this type of claim (in New York it is two years from the date of death), so don’t delay in consulting with a wrongful death attorney in Long Island at Gacovino, Lake & Associates. By acting fast we can start to build a case to help reach a wrongful death settlement.