When a person is injured due to another’s negligence or intentional harmful acts, the injured person can seek compensation in a personal injury suit against the negligent party. In certain particularly tragic cases, these injuries may result in death.
In these situations, a representative of the deceased’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent person on behalf of the deceased’s surviving family members.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
According to the CDC, unintentional injuries are the fourth-highest cause of death. A wrongful death lawsuit can apply to almost any kind of personal injury situation that has resulted in death, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home negligence
- Exposure to asbestos
- Drowning in the pool of a negligent homeowner
- A deadly construction accident
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Surviving family members who are eligible to be awarded damages may include spouses, minor children, and the parents of a minor child who has passed away. The surviving party may be compensated for his or her losses in a wrongful death suit, including:
- The deceased’s pain and suffering
- Medical costs incurred prior to death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost future financial support
- Value of lost benefits, such as a pension or health insurance
Loss of a Child
Although it is never easy or pleasant for courts to assign a monetary value to a human life, that is precisely what they must do in wrongful death cases. When the deceased is an adult, the court will consider the his or her financial earnings and potential earnings, as well as the value of any services the deceased might have provided, when determining the compensation to be awarded.
In the event that a child dies, the determination of damages is less clear. To a parent, there may be nothing with greater value than the child’s life. However, in New York, the court does not take into consideration the emotional hardship of losing a child, and it is difficult to estimate a child’s future earning potential. In order to recover significant damages beyond burial expenses and pre-death pain and suffering, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Statute of Limitations for New York Wrongful Death Claims
When you are grieving, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. It is important to remember, however, that in New York, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. This means that there is a two-year time limit to file a claim, so it is crucial to consult with a lawyer promptly.
Get Help from a Long Island Wrongful Death Attorney
The wrongful death attorneys at Winkler Kurtz, LLP understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, recovering wrongful death damages will help protect you from financial hardship and bring you relief and closure. Let us put our compassion and experience to work for you. Contact us online or call us today at 631-928-8000 for a complimentary consultation.