One of the most painful experiences in life is losing a loved one in an incident that could have been avoided. Justice ensures that survivors of these victims get financial compensation for the death that shouldn’t have occurred.
The laws regarding wrongful death in New York are quite different from what is followed in many other states. It is a bit more complex with regards to who can file and who cannot. Personal injury lawyers in the Bronx can guide you at every step and advocate for your rights.
Can Any Family Member File a Wrongful Death Claim?
It isn’t a must for a family member to file a wrongful death claim in New York State. The law mandates the executor or the personal representative of the deceased to take the course to court. But note that the executor or personal representative can be a family member of the victim.
So, if you are having conflict on who should file the case, Bronx wrongful death attorneys can help you solve the issue lawfully. The case can be challenged if the wrong person files, and such mistakes can prolong the lawsuit, and cost more money.
Even though family members aren’t required to file a lawsuit, they can benefit from a successful case. Some of the people that can receive damages include:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Siblings of the deceased in some cases
- Cousins of the deceased in some cases
What Proof is Needed for a Wrongful Death Case to be Won?
Just like all other cases, evidence is necessary for you to win a case. Judges and juries make decisions based on proof brought by the petitioner. So, putting together the right pieces of evidence is instrumental in you getting the compensation that the deceased’s family deserves. An attorney can help you gather proof showing that:
- The victim of the incident died
- The beneficiaries or the estate suffered damages
- At least one devisee, dependent, beneficiary, or heir is alive
- Had the victim survived, he/she would have a legal claim against the negligent defendant
- The death resulted from intentional acts like crimes, medical malpractice, or negligence-based acts such as car accidents
What Damages Can One Recover for Wrongful Death in New York?
You can receive the damages for losing your loved one with the help of a Bronx wrongful death attorney. The kinds of damages you will get depend on the specifics of the incident leading to the victim’s death.
But the common losses that people get damages for, include:
- Interest on the compensation, calculated from the date the victim dies
- Conscious pain and suffering suffered by the victim due to their final illness or injuries
- Survivors’ lost inheritance
- The value of parental guidance, care, and nurturing missed by the surviving children
- The value of services and support the deceased would have given his family
- The financial support the deceased’s family would have received
- Reasonable healthcare expenses accumulated from the deceased’s final illness or injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
Remember, you cannot recover compensation for your own pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or mental anguish in New York State. Consult with wrongful death lawyers in the Bronx if you want to know the specific damages applicable for your wrongful death case.
How is the Compensation for Wrongful Death Distributed?
After the battle has been fought aggressively and won in court, just compensation will be awarded. However, knowing how it should be distributed can eliminate unnecessary conflicts among family members of the victim.
- Spouse and No Children. The whole amount is given to the spouse with no children.
- A Spouse and Children. If the victim receives $450,000 and has four children, the spouse gets$50,000, and the children get $50,000 each.
- Children and No Spouse. The sons and daughters ought to be split the compensation equally amongst themselves.
- One or Both Parents, No Spouse, No Children. The whole amount is given to the surviving parent or parents.
- The Parents’ Children and No Spouse, Parent, or Children. The compensation is divided equally among the parents’ children.
When there are children of different generations, priority will be given to those that are closest to the victim. And if one of them is already deceased, the person’s children will get their share distributed equally.
When is the Last Day to Present the Claim in Court?
Similar to personal injury cases where the victim survives, wrongful death cases also have a statute of limitations. Two years since the day the victim dies, the executor might not be able to file the lawsuit in New York State court.
However, here are a few exceptions to this time limit:
- Medical Malpractice. Wrongful deaths related to medical malpractice in New York State have two and a half years to file. Counting begins on the date that the victim breaths their last.
- Other Pending Criminal Case. Apart from the wrongful death claim, the negligent party might have another pending case related to the events leading to the incident. In such cases, you need to file before a year lapses from the day the other criminal case ends.
It would be unfair to let the deadline pass before you bring a lawsuit to court. Besides, a case would have a better defense, if your attorney and their team get adequate time to prepare. So, the earlier you speak to a specialized legal expert, the higher the chances of getting full compensation.
Elite and Aggressive Legal Professionals in the Bronx
Losing someone is devastating enough, and navigating the court system alone is the last thing you need. New York State has specific requirements for filing, and mistakes can cost you both time and money. The help of a Bronx personal injury attorney can lessen your burden and accelerate how fast you get justice.
At The Law Offices Of Thomas Lavin, we never settle for less compensation than our clients deserve. And the earlier you explore legal options, the more alternatives you might have. Talk to us to discuss the wrongful death case in the Bronx.