Losing a loved one under any circumstances is painful, overwhelming, and disorienting. But what happens when you lose your loved one as the result of someone else’s’ bad actions? Each year in Nanuet, NY, people die as the result of the negligence, incompetence, inattention, and even malicious actions of other people. Each and every death is a devastation to the loved ones of the deceased, and to the communities they left behind which will never be the same again. However, in many cases, when the death was caused by the actions—whether accidental or intentional—of another person, something can be done about it.
These deaths are referred to as “wrongful deaths”—and in wrongful death cases, the survivors of the deceased person and their estate may be entitled to file something called a “wrongful death lawsuit.” A wrongful death lawsuit (or “wrongful death claim”) seeks to claim damages from the person, people, or organization(s) whose actions led to the death of the decedent.
What Is Wrongful Death?
In Nanuet, NY, wrongful death is essentially defined as a death caused by the sort of accident or act that could have led to a personal injury lawsuit had the deceased person survived. This covers a very wide range of potential causes of death, so long as it can be linked to a “wrongful act, neglect, or default”. Examples may include medical malpractice, negligence-based accidents (i.e., car accidents, bus accidents, trucking accidents), and workplace accidents (with certain strictures), among others.
Intentional acts, such as crimes, can also be the subject of wrongful death suits, in which a civil court may find a respondent liable for damages even if a criminal court did not find them guilty of a crime.
Who Pursues A Wrongful Death Suit?
In most personal injury lawsuits, the injured party—the party who personally endured the damaging event—brings the lawsuit against the allegedly liable party. However, in a wrongful death suit, that person is dead, so another party—someone close to the deceased person—brings the lawsuit on their behalf.
New York Law states that the executor or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate should be the one to file any wrongful death lawsuit.
What Sort Of Damages Can Be Won In A Wrongful Death Suit?
There are a wide range of damages (or “claimed losses”) that a plaintiff may be able to claim in a Nanuet, NY wrongful death suit—any of which, if they are awarded, will go to the deceased person’s estate and/or their survivors to compensate them for those losses.
These damages may be clear economic damages, such as:
- Any healthcare expenses incurred in the deceased person’s final days (if the result of the injury in question)
- The cost of a funeral/memorial and burial
- Financial support and wages that the dead person would have contributed to their family or loved ones, as projected over the course of their future earning career
- The projected cost of the survivors’ lost inheritance
They may also be more subjectively defined non-economic damages, such as:
- The value of parental nurturing and care the deceased person would have contributed to their children over their lives
- The value of support and services a deceased person would have provided to the family in unpaid/domestic labor and saved costs
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased person prior to their death, during their final illness (if caused by the accident or event in question)
In New York (unlike in a few other states) surviving loved ones cannot claim damages for their own pain and suffering or loss of companionship. However, there are other ways to get the settlement that grieving family members and loved ones deserve.
If you or a loved one are looking to pursue a wrongful death claim, you will need an knowledgeable, adept Nanuet, NY personal injury attorney with wrongful death experience. Attorney Reuven Epstein is here to help. Don’t wait! Reach out for a free consultation on your case today.