However you lost your spouse, your child, or your parent, you will be forced to grapple with immense grief. Worse yet, you may learn that their death was the result of someone else’s carelessness or reckless conduct. How can you hold the negligent party responsible? We recommend talking with a New York wrongful death attorney about whether you can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. If you have a valid claim, pursuing it may provide a small amount of justice and provide you with the compensation necessary to reimburse your financial losses and acknowledge your grief and emotional distress.
To learn more about New York’s wrongful death law, the NY personal injury lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can help. Contact us or call 212-490-5700. We offer free, initial consultations and don’t charge up-front fees.
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Unexpected and preventable deaths occur in a wide range of circumstances. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our Manhattan wrongful death lawyers have represented families following:
New York law regarding wrongful death actions is found in the New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Code. Under EPT §5-4.1, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate can file a wrongful death claim.
The law states explicitly that a personal representative of a decedent may maintain a legal action to recover damages for a wrongful death, neglect, or default, which caused the decedent’s death against a person who would have been liable to the decedent if the death had not ensued.
If you are worried about whether or not your loved one’s death is the result of neglect, default, or some other form of wrongful death, we recommend contacting a New York wrongful death lawyer for a full analysis of your circumstances.
If a valid wrongful death claim exists, we will discuss who has the right to file with you. In New York, the personal representative has this responsibility to file the action.
Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate can pursue compensation for a wide range of economic damages suffered by the estate and surviving family members. EPT §5-4.3 says the court can award fair and just compensation for the economic injuries resulting from the decedent’s death.
In New York wrongful death cases, compensation includes:
Each state’s wrongful death law is unique and allows for different types of damages. In New York, you cannot pursue compensation for your own suffering, mental anguish, and grief or the loss of companionship you experience.
Because the compensation your family may receive depends on the specific facts of your case, it is important to talk with a New York wrongful death attorney about your family’s damages and the potential value of your claim.
EPT §5-4.3(b) describes when your family can pursue punitive damages. The compensation described above is for compensatory damages. It is meant to reimburse you for specific losses and expenses you have experienced because of your relative’s death.
Punitive damages are different. They are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their actions, and they are only allowed in certain circumstances.
Punitive damages may be granted when there is evidence that the at-fault party’s behavior was intentional or malicious. Ordinary negligence is not enough for a jury or judge to award punitive damages.
Though the personal representative of your loved one’s estate is responsible for pursuing wrongful death compensation, the potential recovery is not entirely for your loved one’s estate. Under EPT §5-4.4, any compensation recovered, whether through a wrongful death settlement or court ruling, is for the benefit of the decedent’s distributees, which is a legal term for your loved one’s next of kin.
You should talk with a wrongful death attorney about who may recover a portion of the wrongful death compensation.
The potential value of a wrongful death claim depends on various factors. To discuss the amount of compensation the personal representative can pursue for your loved one’s death, you should contact us at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. Providing reasonable estimations without in-depth knowledge of the case is impossible.
As for how much compensation each surviving relative receives, the law states that the personal representative will distribute the compensation in proportion to the economic impact on each person. In other words, the surviving relatives who have financially suffered the most from the death will receive the greatest portion of the compensation.
If you are to receive wrongful death compensation based on a court ruling, the court may decide each person’s proportion of economic injury.
What to Expect in NY Wrongful Death Cases:
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If your husband or wife, parent, or a child was killed in an accident caused by someone else, we recommend you call a New York wrongful death attorney as soon as you are able. Pursuing wrongful death compensation is not simple, and not something you should go into without accurate information and advice from an experienced attorney.
To begin with, we will thoroughly investigate the accident that results in your relative’s death. We will gather as much evidence as possible, including but not limited to:
Through our analysis of the evidence, we will be able to tell you whether your family has a valid wrongful death claim and who the liable party is—or parties if more than one individual or business is partially responsible for the fatal incident.
If your family has a wrongful death claim, we can represent you during wrongful death litigation as well as in communications with the insurer.
Many wrongful death claims settle before or during trial. We provide you with the negotiation skill you need to ensure a fair settlement is reached before agreeing to it. However, if a settlement is not possible or the other party refuses to participate in good faith negotiations, we are not afraid to fight for your right to compensation before a judge and jury.
New York gives you two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This two-year period begins on the date of your loved one’s death, which may or may not be the same day they suffered fatal injuries. However, there is an exception if the party responsible for your loved one’s death is a government agency. There is also usually a requirement that before filing a lawsuit, a Notice of Claim be filed within 90 days of the accident.
If you believe New York City, New York State, or a federal agency is to blame, talk with a lawyer right away. The deadline to pursue your claim may be much shorter than two years.
If the personal representative of your relative’s estate fails to file suit in time, then the action may be barred. The court will likely dismiss your case, and you will not have an effective means of recovering compensation.
Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is highly experienced in litigating wrongful death claims and, when possible, negotiating insurance settlements for our clients.
A sample of some of our case results include:
Compensation arising from a wrongful death claim will vary depending on the specific facts of the case. To learn more about the potential value of your claim and how much compensation you may receive as a surviving spouse, parent, or child, contact us right away.
In a standard personal injury claim, we can use testimony and first-hand experience from the person who was injured. However, in a wrongful death claim, your loved one has been silenced. We will have to gather evidence from alternative sources to prove who is liable and how much compensation you deserve.
Wrongful death cases often require the use of unique types of evidence. We may use a coroner’s report, police records, and testimony from expert witnesses who can reconstruct the accident.
Wrongful death claims are often worth more than other personal injury cases. That’s because we place a value on the loss of the person’s life and how much they would have contributed to their family in the future. We often seek insurance policy maximums, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
In the midst of your grief, you have to deal with many practical undertakings, including planning a funeral, handling medical bills, and determining how you will move forward without your spouse, parent, or child. The New York wrongful death attorneys with Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. are here to lift this burden. If your family has a wrongful death claim, we will guide you through every step, from investigating the incident, hiring expert witnesses, and conducting settlement negotiations.
Through it all, our priority will be you and obtaining the maximum possible for your family. Contact us at 212-490-5700 or online to discuss your options during a free consultation. There are no up-front fees, and you owe nothing until we win compensation.
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I cannot recommend Jon Damashek highly enough. I attribute the favorable outcome to my case to his consummate and tireless dedication and tenacity. Just as important, he was truly there with me every step of the way. He was very…
I had the opportunity to work with Jon Damashek and had an amazing experience. I have known Jon for many years and always felt very comfortable relying on his expertise and knowledge of the law and more importantly his ability…
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