New York law allows the family members of the deceased to receive a recovery for pecuniary loss when someone’s negligence causes the death of another. Wrongful death lawsuits arise from automobile accidents, medical malpractice, construction accidents, and many others. The family needs to initiate this type of claim within a specific period of time, before which a representative of the Estate of the deceased must be appointed.
What is Wrongful Death
Wrongful death lawsuits are cases brought against somebody who has caused the death of another. This may have been caused through recklessness, negligence or an intentional act. The survivors of the victim bring a wrongful death claim against the party who is responsible for the death of the individual. These claims are often brought by family members or a representative of the estate.
Examples of wrongful death may include:
- killing another because of drunk driving
- bringing about the death of an individual through reckless or negligent driving
- murder or homicide
- medical malpractice causing the death of another
- a defective product or drug that brings about the death of an individual
- exposing an individual to toxic materials that cause the death the person
These are just examples of actions that can bring about a claim for wrongful death. There are many other causes, in each case needs to be viewed on an individual basis.
Establishing a Claim
In order to establish a lawsuit for wrongful death, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is responsible for the death of the individual. This responsibility can be through the negligence, recklessness or intentional act of the defendant. In the case of negligence and recklessness, we must demonstrate that the individual failed to follow standards of care, or with recklessness, that the person knew or should have known that his or her action would bring about serious harm or death.
Did the defendant owe a duty of care and violate that duty? Did that violation bring about an injury leading to death? We must address these questions.
Who Typically Brings a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death?
Most often, a representative of the estate of the deceased brings the claim for wrongful death. This is often the surviving spouse or a family member of the individual.
In many cases, it is either the spouse of the deceased or the parents (in the case of a minor) who brings the claim for wrongful death. In other cases, it is someone with a close relationship to the individual.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When calculating damages in a case such as this, a number of claims may be made. We seek payment for the individual’s pain and suffering prior to death. We look to recover medical expenses, along with burial and funeral expenses. Additionally, we make claims for the future income, inheritance, and support. In other words, funds the deceased would have provided but for the premature death. Other basis of claims include loss of care, nurturing and companionship, as well as the loss of consortium.
Do You Believe You Have a Claim for Wrongful Death? Contact Our Brooklyn Law Firm Today
At the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. we assist families who lost a loved one. We treat our clients with dignity and respect. We assist them, as necessary, in getting an Administrator or Executor appointed in the Surrogate’s Court, in order to proceed with the wrongful death action.
If you need to speak with one of our experienced Brooklyn personal injury lawyers about a death of a loved one, due to someone else’s negligence or intentional tort, please call us today for a free consultation at (800) 560-0214.