The loss of a loved one due to another person’s negligence can leave an incomprehensible hole in your life. It is important to hire a New York wrongful death lawyer who can help you receive the financial compensation you are entitled to. While no amount of money can replace the loss of your family member, a substantial settlement can at least provide some level of justice and place additional responsibility on the responsible party.
Wrongful deaths are often associated with a criminal case, which must be resolved before the civil action can take place. Unlike criminal cases, which focus on whether the defendant is guilty of a crime, wrongful death lawsuits focus on compensating you for the emotional and financial losses caused by your loved one’s untimely passing.
In most states, the eligible survivors who can bring a wrongful death claim are defined by law as “real parties in interest.” This means that any person who was harmed by the decedent’s death and is entitled to recover damages can file a lawsuit against the negligent party. In most cases, this includes spouses and children of the deceased. However, some states allow siblings and grandparents to act as representatives.
To prove wrongful death, your attorney will need to demonstrate that the person’s death was directly linked to the negligent actions of the defendant. For example, a driver who is texting while driving might hit and kill a pedestrian crossing the road. This would establish a clear connection between the person’s death and the driver’s negligent behavior.
Once your attorney has established the necessary elements, they will be able to calculate the total damages you are entitled to. This includes pecuniary injuries, which include funeral and medical expenses, lost income, and the value of any services the deceased person provided to their family. Non-pecuniary injuries include mental anguish and emotional suffering.
While no amount of monetary compensation can make up for the loss of a family member, it can help you pay for your funeral expenses, ease the financial burden that arises from their unexpected death, and provide more stability to your family’s future. A wrongful death claim also places additional accountability on the defendant and can serve as a warning to others to avoid negligent behaviors that could result in death.
It’s critical to consult a New York wrongful death attorney within two years of your loved one’s accident to protect your legal rights. This time period is known as the statute of limitations and may vary from state to state. For example, some states have what is called a discovery rule that bases the deadline for taking legal action on the date your loved ones discovered their injuries. This is why you need a NYC wrongful death lawyer who understands these laws and can explain them to you in detail.