A Manhattan, NY wrongful death lawyer understands how sad it can be for families when they lose a loved one. When their death was the result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, that grief can be even more devastating. Under New York law, the family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the accident. Although no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of a family member, many times a wrongful death lawsuit is the family’s only opportunity for justice over their loved one’s death, even if that justice is only financial justice. The following is a brief overview of a wrongful death lawsuit, for more detailed information about your situation, call Blitz Law Group, LLC.
Under the law, survivors have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit when the following factors exist:
The victim’s death was caused by negligence, recklessness, or a wrongful act. Negligence is when a person or party has a duty of care, breaches the duty of care, and the victim dies as a result of that breach.
For example, a person is driving a car, but while they are driving, they are texting on their phone and fail to see a person crossing the street. They hit the pedestrian and the impact is so hard, the pedestrian dies. The driver had a duty of care to operate in a safe manner, he breached that duty of care when he was texting on his phone, and since the victim died as a result, the family could pursue a wrongful death action against the driver.
If the pedestrian had survived their injuries, they would have had the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. The wrongful death claim is similar to personal injury claims, except they are filed by either the family of the victim or a representative of the victim’s estate.
There are a number of different types of crashes that a Manhattan wrongful death lawyer can file a lawsuit on behalf of the family. These include:
As mentioned above, the victim in a wrongful death lawsuit would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party if they had survived. In addition to a wrongful death lawsuit, the estate of the victim can file a survivorship cause of action. This action is separate from the wrongful death lawsuit. This action pursues damages for the pre-death pain and suffering the victim went through. This means there must have been some level of “cognitive awareness” by the victim between the time the accident occurred and the time they died.
If you have lost a loved one in a preventable accident or other incident caused by another party’s negligence, contact Blitz Law Group, LLC to meet with a dedicated Manhattan wrongful death lawyer and find out what legal recourse you may have.
A Manhattan, NY wrongful death lawyer from Blitz Law Group, LLP understands the loss of a loved one can be devastating no matter what the circumstances are, but when their death was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, that loss can be even more overwhelming. Not only are there emotional losses to deal with, but many families find themselves struggling financially, not only dealing with funeral and burial expenses, but the loss of the victim’s financial support, especially if the victim was the primary breadwinner for the family.
New York law allows families of fatal accident victims to pursue legal action against the liable party or parties for damages for all the losses the family is now dealing with because of the victim’s death.
The law defines wrongful death as one “caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default,” and one that the victim could have pursued a personal injury lawsuit against had they survived their injuries.
In most cases, it is the immediate family of the victim who can file the lawsuit, such as the victim’s spouse and/or children. If the victim was not married or had no children, then their next of kin are entitled to pursue the claim.
In some cases, it is the personal representative of the victim’s estate that may initiate the action, either the executor or administrator.
There is a statute of limitations for how long a family has to file. In most cases, that is two years, although there are some exceptions. Your Manhattan wrongful death lawyer can evaluate your case to determine what that time limit is.
There are two types of damages a family may pursue in a wrongful death lawsuit. Economic damages are those that have an actual dollar value attached to them. This can include damages such as:
There are also non-economic damages the family may be entitled to:
At Blitz Law Group, LLP, we understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of your loved one, but we also know that the emotional and financial impact can be tragic. In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit is the only justice a family will obtain because there are often no criminal charges for these types of cases. However, even if there are criminal charges pending, it is important to know that these are separate actions and you should not wait until the criminal case is resolved to pursue your civil case. Call our office today to meet with a compassionate Manhattan wrongful death lawyer and find out how we can help.