Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by members of a person’s surviving family if the death was caused by someone else’s negligent actions. You’ll also need to demonstrate that surviving family members have experienced damages as a result of the loss.

What is needed to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In order to successfully file a wrongful death claim, it must include the following elements:

  • a family member died;
  • the death must have been caused by another person’s negligence;
  • surviving family members suffered damagesbecause of the death; and
  • a representative of the victim’s estate can file the lawsuit.

Who can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Regarding the second element, that the family member’s death must have been caused by another’s negligence, the lawsuit must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty of reasonable care and that he or she violated that duty by engaging in negligent actions, which ultimately led to the victim’s death.

It is the negligent party who may be held liable and sued in the lawsuit. For example, all drivers owe others on the road a duty to drive in a reasonable manner.

Drivers can violate their duty by:

  • speeding;
  • weaving in and out of traffic;
  • driving while intoxicated,or otherwise
  • being reckless behind the wheel.

But more than one party may be held liable in some wrongful death cases. In the case of a truck accident, an unqualified driver who engages in risky behavior and causes the accident can be held liable. However, a trucking company who hires the unqualified driver may be considered liable as well.

Liability will ultimately dictate which parties may be sued in the lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney in Long Island can be helpful if you’re unsure which party is liable or if you’re able to hold a particular party responsible for your loved one’s death.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A lawsuit can be filed by a representative of the deceased person’s estate and the representative can file a lawsuit on behalf of anyone who suffers financially from the victim’s death:

  • spouses;
  • domestic partners;
  • children;
  • siblings;and
  • grandparents.

Even if the person is not related by blood, but depended on the victim for financial support, he or she may be able to file a lawsuit.

Damages from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The death of a loved one can cause much financial damage for surviving family members. A wrongful death settlement can pay for medical bills related to the accident and fatal injuries, reasonable funeral expenses, and lost wages the family may now be without as a result of their loved one’s passing. It can also provide compensation for any pain and suffering the victim may have undergone before he or she died.

Unfortunately, family members cannot recover compensation for emotional damages in New York. This may be an option for family members in other states, but in New York family members may only collect financial damages and compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering prior to death.

Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney in Long Island

Make sure that you receive the compensation you need to make yourself whole financially after your loved one’s death. Consult with a personal injury attorney in Long Island at Gacovino, Lake & Associates. We can help with a wide range of personal injury cases or wrongful death lawsuits. Call us at 800-246-4878.

Related Posts