There are laws in place in New York State that allow surviving family members to collect compensation from the party who acted negligently and caused their loved one’s death. These laws allow a surviving spouse or another personal representative of the estate to file an insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit if they have evidence to show someone else’s careless or reckless behavior took their life of their family member. In this way, you can hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable.
A wrongful death lawyer in Oakdale, Long Island can help you determine whether you have a case against someone for causing your loved one’s death.Call the office of Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today at 631-600-0000 and speak with a member of our legal team today.
How Can I Hold the At-Fault Party Liable for My Loved One’s Death?
As soon as you enlist our help with your case, we will begin our investigation and start collecting the evidence necessary to prove liability. Proving fault in a wrongful death claim requires the same evidence as a personal injury claim. To hold the at-fault party liable, we need to demonstrate:
- The liable party had a certain obligation to protect the victim from harm
- They failed to uphold their obligation, causing the victim’s injuries
- The victim died because of their injuries
We will also collect documentation of your financial losses, as well as any noneconomic damages. This may require the assistance of expert witnesses, including financial analysts and other specialists.
Once we have a good idea of what a fair settlement looks like in your case, we can approach the at-fault party’s insurance company and ask for a payout that takes your full range of damages into consideration. Often, this launches the negotiation process which can last a few weeks to several months. We will negotiate on your behalf, and can almost always reach a fair settlement.
Sometimes, the insurance company refuses a fair payout based on your damages. If this occurs, we are not afraid to take your case to court and let a judge determine how much compensation you receive. We try to avoid this when possible because we know it is difficult to face the person who caused your loved one to lose their life. However, it is occasionally the only way to get the full compensation you deserve.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The types of damages available for a wrongful death claim differ somewhat based on the beneficiaries. Usually, this includes:
- The surviving spouse; or
- Surviving children; or
- The surviving spouse and the surviving children
New York State has complex wrongful death laws that restrict the types of damages available to each of these groups, limiting them to specific economic damages, the loss of services to the spouse, and the loss of parental guidance to the children. To ensure we recover the full amount of compensation available to you, we will need to pay careful attention to your economic losses, how the pecuniary loss statute applies, and some other factors. We offer you the best opportunity to recover the full value of your claim, including both your economic and noneconomic losses.
How Long Do I Have to File a New York State Wrongful Death Claim?
New York State laws only give you two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages from the party who caused your loved one’s death. This clock begins the day of your loved one’s death. This statute of limitations gives you less time to act than most personal injury claims and other types of civil torts.
While deadlines created by statutes of limitations only apply to litigation filed in a civil court, they play a key role in insurance claims stemming from wrongful death accidents, as well. Knowing we may file a lawsuit against them gives the liable party and their insurance company a powerful incentive to offer us a fair settlement during negotiations. If we allow this deadline to expire, it becomes very difficult to get the insurance company to cooperate and offer a fair settlement, if they will offer a payout at all. They know we have no legal recourse, and we must settle for what they offer if we cannot take them to court.
What Are the Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
You can file a wrongful death claim almost any time a personal injury accident takes the life of a loved one. This includes when someone else’s negligence leads to a:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Truck accident
- Construction site accident
- Medical malpractice injury
- Defective product injury
- Dog bite
- Slip and fall
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
If you are not sure you have a viable wrongful death claim, our attorneys can help you understand how these laws may apply to your loved one’s injuries and death. We offer free consultations and handle all wrongful death claims on a contingency basis. You do not pay until we collect compensation on your behalf.
How Can I Talk to a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Oakdale, Long Island?
The lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. are here to help when you lose your loved one through someone else’s negligence. We know this is a very emotional time and can offer support and guidance throughout the process. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a free case review.