New York Wrongful Death Lawyers
Was your loved one killed in an accident?
The laws of New York provide specific, defined remedies when someone causes the wrongful death of another. These laws are commonly called “Wrongful Death Statutes.” Damages can include the victim’s pain and suffering prior to death, emotional trauma to family members who were present and may have witnessed the accident, and compensatory economic damages for those dependent upon the victim’s financial support. Family members may receive funeral expenses and medical costs. Sometimes, punitive damages are also awarded.
At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our New York City personal injury attorneys have handled many wrongful death cases over the years. Our lawyers are skilled at navigating through the complex Surrogate Court and Probate law systems. Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. will ensure that a representative will be appointed within the time restrictions under the statute of limitations. If you have lost a loved one, you and your family may be legally entitled to wrongful death cash damages. In this difficult time, we can offer a free consultation with an attorney from our firm who has compassion and understanding for your loss. The law only allows so much time to file such a claim before it is time-barred. Don’t delay. Let our skilled legal team assist you. We are available 24/7.
Types of Accidents That May Lead to a Wrongful Death Claim
Any accident that takes someone’s life and was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another may give rise to a wrongful death claim. Our firm has a history of success in recovering compensation for our clients who have suffered serious personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one. As an example, we obtained a $7,625,000 settlement for the wife of an engineer and inventor who died from mesothelioma 30 years after being exposed to asbestos.
Wrongful death cases arise from many different types of accidents, including:
- Car accidents: Many thousands of people are killed in traffic crashes every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 1,199 people lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions on New York roadways in 2013. A fatal traffic accident caused by another driver’s negligence or disregard for safety may give rise to a wrongful death claim.
- Truck accidents: When a loaded 18-wheeler weighing 80,000 lbs. or more collides with a much smaller and lighter passenger vehicle, it can cause fatal injuries to the passenger vehicle occupants. Occupants of automobiles and other passenger vehicles typically sustain the most serious injuries in multi-vehicle accidents involving large trucks.
- Construction accidents: Construction workers in New York face hazards on the job every day and many sustain serious injuries from falls, falling objects, vehicle accidents, and being caught in machinery or struck by equipment. The S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that 20.2 percent of all workplace fatalities in 2013 occurred in the construction industry.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians are unprotected and vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries in collisions with moving motor vehicles. Many fatal pedestrian accidents in New York are caused by drivers who are speeding, distracted, or simply not paying attention for pedestrians.
- Premises liability accidents: When a property owner’s negligence results in hazardous property conditions that cause injury and death to others, the property owner may be held liable.
- Medical malpractice: As discussed in an article on Healthcare IT News, preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., taking the lives of 400,000 people a year.
- Defective products: When products such as defective car parts, dangerous drugs, and hazardous toys cause consumers to be fatally injured, product manufacturers that failed to provide adequate warning of the danger may be held accountable for the harm their products have caused.
- Nursing home abuse: Long-term care facilities have a duty to care for and safeguard their residents. When they fail to do so and a nursing home resident dies as a result of abuse or neglect, a wrongful death claim may be warranted.
Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. – Helping Clients File Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death claims hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. Liable parties or their insurance companies may be required to pay damages, and when the liable parties’ negligence becomes a matter of public record, reputations and public relations may suffer.
When the victim has died before a lawsuit is filed, the law permits the personal representative of the decedent’s estate appointed by the Surrogate’s Court, who is typically a family member called an executor or administrator, to file a lawsuit. If the victim passes away during litigation of a personal injury claim, the law permits the personal representative to proceed with the lawsuit as a wrongful death claim.
If you believe your loved one suffered a wrongful death in New York, an attorney at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can help determine your legal options for bringing a claim. We can assist to:
- Interpret the Statute of Limitations—In New York, the window of time for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of a loved one’s death, in most cases. Different filing deadlines may apply in accidents involving a governmental agency.
- Launch Independent Accident Investigation—Your attorney can conduct a separate investigation into the accident and the factors contributing to your loved one’s death, which may bring to light compelling evidence of negligence or wrongful conduct.
- Estimate Losses Caused by Loved One’s Death—You will need an accurate estimate of the your pecuniary losses in order to pursue the losses caused by emotional turmoil if you witnessed the accident. The losses may include loss of a loved one’s financial support, medical bills, and funeral and burial costs.
- Identify Witnesses and Expert Witnesses—Your attorney can track down witnesses who will have valuable evidence about an accident. Your attorney can also hire expert witnesses who can offer insight and perspective about factors contributing to a wrongful death and the liability of the responsible party. Gathering evidence as if the case will go to trial is the best way to negotiate a settlement from a position of strength.
- Negotiate Settlement with Insurance Companies or Proceed to Court— Your attorney will negotiate aggressively to deliver a full settlement that recognizes the loss your family has experienced and the financial disruption to your family. If the insurance companies refuse to do what is right, the attorneys at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek have the skill and experience to take your case to trial.
It is to your benefit to have a lawyer represent you, who can fight for what you and your family could be owed after the tragic loss of a loved one. The New York City wrongful death lawyer you choose to represent you can make all the difference in the success f your claim. Our seasoned personal injury attorneys at Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. have the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources to thoroughly investigate the fatal accident of your loved one and to build a powerful and compelling wrongful death claim.
With justice for your loved one and compensation for your losses at stake, you need a top rated New York City personal injury law firm with a record of success in recovering high value settlements in injury cases to handle your case. Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is such a firm. Our lawyers have recovered more than $250 million for our clients in the past 12 years. When we represent you and your family in a wrongful death matter, you can have confidence that everything possible will be done to help you to seek justice.