If someone else’s negligence caused your loved one to lose their life, it is only natural to want to hold them accountable. New York state laws allow families who have lost a loved one to file wrongful death claims and recover compensation from the at-fault party. The law allows a personal representative of the deceased party’s estate—often a surviving spouse—to file a claim against the party who acted carelessly or recklessly and cost their loved one their life.
Wrongful death cases rely on complex laws and require a knowledgeable and skilled attorney to ensure you can collect the maximum amount possible. It requires experience and expertise to manage this type of case. If you believe you may have a viable wrongful death claim, contact the legal team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., today. Call our office at 631-600-0000 to schedule a complimentary consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Sayville, Long Island.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death in Sayville, Long Island?
If the victim of almost any type of personal injury accident dies from their injuries, their surviving family members likely have a viable wrongful death case. Some of the most common ways we see our clients lose a family member include:
- Car accidents;
- Motorcycle crashes;
- Truck accidents;
- Construction accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Product defect injuries; and
- Other accidents that occur due to another person’s negligence.
When we pursue a wrongful death claim, we will prove fault and liability in much the same way we do in a personal injury claim. We must show:
- The at-fault party owed a certain obligation to keep your loved one safe;
- They failed to uphold their obligation and your loved one suffered injuries; and
- Your loved one died as a result of their injuries.
How Can I Hold the At-Fault Party Liable for My Loved One’s Death in an Insurance Claim or Civil Suit?
The state laws that outline the wrongful death process are The New York Estates, Powers and Trust Laws, known as EPTL. These laws not only give a personal representative the right to bring action, but govern the nuanced and multifaceted recovery process. Navigating this process is not something you want to try on your own. Our attorneys can help you understand what to expect from a wrongful death claim.
We will go to work building a strong case in your favor, proving liability and documenting your damages. These damages may include your monetary losses as well as other non-economic losses. In some cases, we may call in financial analysts and other expert witnesses to help us understand the value of some of your losses.
Only then can we approach the insurance company with a claim and begin working to negotiate a fair settlement based on the facts of your case. Usually, we reach a satisfactory outcome at this point in the process. We can almost always negotiate a settlement that meets your needs and avoid taking the case to court.
Occasionally, however, these negotiations fail. If this occurs in your claim, we can file a wrongful death lawsuit and ask a judge to decide the case. Going to court is stressful and time consuming and you will likely need to face the at-fault party in person. However, a civil suit is sometimes the only way to recover the full value of your claim. Our attorneys have experience arguing wrongful death cases in court. We can help you through the process and give you a better chance of winning a favorable outcome.
What Types of Damages Can I Collect From a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the vast majority of wrongful death claims, the beneficiaries are a surviving spouse and children, or the spouse or the children alone. These are the family members most directly affected when a working adult dies suddenly. They also suffer the most economic damages. The wrongful death damages we may be able to recover include loss of services to the spouse and loss of parental guidance to the children.
New York’s wrongful death laws are very restrictive, even compared to other states with a similar system. This means it is imperative that we prepare your case in a meticulous manner, taking into account the value of your economic losses, the pecuniary loss statute, and how each of these factors will affect your payout.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
The statute of limitations is somewhat shorter in wrongful death cases than in some other types of civil suits, including personal injury claims. Under state law, you have only two years from the date of your loved one’s death to identify the liable party and file a civil suit against them to recover damages.
This statute technically only applies to cases filed in New York civil courts. However, the time limit still plays a key role in wrongful death insurance claims. Once the statute of limitations expires, the insurance company knows you have no other recourse if they refuse a fair settlement. This usually translates into a greatly reduced payout, if they offer a settlement agreement at all.
How Can I Reach a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Sayville, Long Island?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our wrongful death attorneys understand how emotional it can be to pursue this type of claim. You likely have a deep desire to hold the at-fault parties responsible for the damage they did to your family and for the suffering of your deceased loved one. We want to recover the maximum payout possible for you based on the facts of your case. We know money will not bring your loved one back, but it is the best way to ensure your financial losses related to their death do not make things more difficult for the remaining members of your family.
Call our Long Island office today at 631-600-0000 to talk about your loved one’s death and your legal options for compensation. Our wrongful death lawyers are standing by to help you.