When someone dies through the negligent act of another, a wrongful death claim can result. The death of a loved one is a horrible event. Our firm specializes in dealing with families that have experienced such tragedy.
Wrongful death actions in New York are governed by The New York Estates, Powers and Trust Laws(EPTL). EPTL, Section 5-4.1 entitled “Action by personal representative for wrongful act, neglect or default causing death of decedent,” gives the right to the legal representative of the estate to bring an action for wrongful death.
During a wrongful death claim families hold an at-fault party accountable for the death of a loved one in a fatal accident. The type of accident generally does not matter as long as it can be proven that the responsible party’s negligent or wrongful actions caused the death. Through a wrongful death claim, the survivors may pursue compensation for the economic and non-economic damages caused by the death, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and funeral costs.
In order to be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, you must be a statutory beneficiary of the deceased person. This means that immediate family members, including a spouse, children, or parents are eligible for compensation. An attorney will act on behalf of the family to present evidence and testimony to prove the responsible party is at-fault and that the death was a direct result of the accident.
While legal action cannot erase such a overwhelming loss, it is possible to obtain significant financial compensation to assist with life after the death of a loved one. The immediate family members can claim the following damages:
• Medical costs related to hospital care prior to death
• Burial or cremation expenses
• Funeral costs
• Lost expected wages
• Lost benefits from deceased’s work
• Loss of consortium
• Loss of inheritance
• Punitive damages for crimes committed by the at-fault party that caused the death
With a financial settlement, the family can focus on healing and not abut paying about paying for expenses related to the death.