Losing a family member to an accident, a negligent act, or even a crime can be a tremendously stressful and confusing event for a family to endure. On top of arranging for your loved one’s funeral and associated costs, you may also need to make accommodations to pay outstanding medical bills.
When death is the fault of another party, the family of the deceased has the right to demand compensation for these costs. In addition, the family may demand payment for any lost earning potential and emotional trauma caused by the incident.
In the event of such a tragic occurrence, a Bronx wrongful death lawyer is available to help families hold any parties responsible for their loved one’s death liable for their actions. A compassionate personal injury attorney could guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible.
Any death that that can be traced to the actions of another as opposed to natural causes may be considered wrongful. However, it is the job of the plaintiff and their attorney to prove that the death was preventable and the other party was responsible for it occurring.
When a person dies in an accident, it is assumed that the defendant did not mean to cause the death, even if they were acting in a dangerous or irresponsible way such as by speeding in a car or recklessly discharging a firearm.
Because of this, a wrongful death lawsuit may, in many cases, resemble any other personal injury lawsuit alleging negligence. The plaintiff simply makes a note in the complaint that the accident resulted in a death and adjusts demands for compensation accordingly.
A death that results from an intentional act will usually be associated with a criminal case. Allegations of homicide or manslaughter are always handled by the criminal courts.
It is important to remember that the criminal courts exist for the sole purpose of punishing illegal criminal behavior. To recover compensation for the death that resulted from another’s intentional actions, the family must pursue a separate civil wrongful death claim. This would be similar to a claim resulting from an accidental death.
The plaintiff in a New York wrongful death claim is the decedent’s personal representative. This is a person nominated in a will who is obligated to carry out the wishes of the decedent and pursue any legal action that may benefit the estate.
The claim itself may demand damages not just for the costs associated with the death, but also for lost future earnings and the emotional impact of the loss. Commonly claimed damages include:
• Medical bills
• Funeral costs
• Lost future wages
• Loss of emotional support provided by the deceased
• The pain and suffering of the decedent
Plaintiffs should also be aware that there is no limit on how much money a jury may award in New York, but there is a statute of limitations that control when a case can be brought forward. According to New York Estates, Powers and Trust Law 5-4.1, all wrongful death claims must be brought to court within two years of the date of death. Therefore, it is important to reach out to a Bronx wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing this deadline.
An untimely death is never an easy burden to bear. However, a family needs to think about how to pay for funeral costs as well as how to arrange for their financial future. A wrongful death lawsuit against all responsible parties may be able to help.
A Bronx wrongful death lawyer could represent the estate of the deceased and work to obtain compensation from the people responsible for the death. This compensation can include not just the immediate costs associated with the death, but also compensation to provide for a family’s future. If you recently lost a loved one in a preventable accident, consult with an attorney to start the process of financial remediation for your loss.