To prove a wrongful death case, you must show the court that the defendant was negligent and that negligence led to your loved one’s passing. These are the elements you would need to prove:
- Duty of care: The person owed your loved one a duty of care. For example, in a medical malpractice case, if the doctor did not diagnose your relative correctly, and he or she died, you may have grounds for a wrongful death action.
- Breach of duty of care: The person violated their duty of care to your loved one.
- Causation: That breach directly caused your loved one’s injuries and subsequent death.
Typically, the surviving family members file a civil lawsuit pursuing damages from the responsible party or parties in their relative’s wrongful death.
If you believe your loved one died because of someone else’s negligent actions in Sayville, you may have the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be entitled to financial recovery for your losses. Each state’s wrongful death laws are different. Here’s how New York’s laws might affect your case.
People Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York
The person who can file a wrongful death claim in New York cannot be just any family member. The family member who brings the case to the court must be the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The deceased person’s heirs or beneficiaries may seek damages and losses as part of the wrongful death claim, but the personal representative will hold any proceeds awarded in trust for the surviving family members.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York
Losing a loved one is devastating. But losing a loved one due to the reckless or careless actions of another is truly traumatic. You and your family may have constant reminders of the experience due to a growing stack of medical bills, loss of that relative’s household income, and their absence from the family’s support system. No amount of money can bring your loved one back. But holding the liable party responsible and recovering some of the finances you have lost can be beneficial to you and your family members.
Some of the damages you could recover if you can prove wrongful death in a New York civil court include:
- Medical expenses directly related to the decedent’s final injury or illness
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost income and benefits between the time of their injury or illness and their death
- The loss of their parental care, guidance, and support of the surviving children
- The amount of pain and suffering your loved one endured due to the injury or illness caused by the negligent party
Keep in mind—New York does not allow surviving family members to be compensated for their own pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of companionship as a result of your loved one’s untimely death.
It is very difficult to place a value on the loss of a parent who took care of and nurtured the children. This is where a personal injury lawyer can play an important role in helping you calculate an amount that is fair due to the wrongful death.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in New York
Every state sets a time limit as to how long you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. In New York, you have to file within two years of your loved one’s passing under Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPT) §5-4.1. If you miss the two-year window, your case could be dismissed, and your chances for any compensation could disappear.
A wrongful death attorney in Sayville, NY, can ensure all pertinent paperwork is filed before any deadline arises. This is a difficult time for you and your family, and keeping on top of deadlines and paperwork is most likely not your main priority at this time.
Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. for Help with Your Wrongful Death Case
No one should experience the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. If you believe you have the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit and are not sure where to turn for legal help, call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000 for a free case evaluation. Our team is standing by to help guide you through the process and determine if you are eligible to recover a financial award on your loved one’s behalf.