What is a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term used to specify the taking of an individual’s life through another’s irresponsible, willful or intentional action. When a person dies through the wrongful conduct of others, the decedent’s beneficiaries and lawful beneficiaries can take legal action through a wrongful death lawsuit. Filing a suit is a civil court action used as a way to acquire financial settlement based on the total losses of survivors. Reach out to a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Yonkers, New York by contacting Greenspan & Greenspan P.C.
Wrongful death claims are filed on behalf of survivors for all types of accidents or occurrences where a person has died due to negligence. Lots of claims involve accidents due to the following:
- Medical errors
- Product liability
- Unsafe prescription drugs
- Deadly vehicle accidents
- Nursing home neglect
- Commercial truck accidents
- Faulty tires
- Drunk driving
- and many more
Who Can Sue?
The decedent’s survivors suffering damages or their legal representative may submit a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Any “genuine party of interest,” as specified by law, can demand remuneration. Most survivors in a wrongful death civil action often consist of immediate family members, such as the spouse, children, or mothers and fathers of any unmarried child. Each of these have the legal right to get financial payment from an accountable party through a wrongful death action.
In some incidents, distant relatives consisting of grandparents, brothers and sisters have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit or claim. As an example, grandparents raising children may have the chance to bring legal action against all negligent parties.
Additionally, mothers and fathers of a deceased newborn can file a wrongful death claim to recuperate psychological and financial losses.
To sue or file a claim for wrongful death, survivors or their legal agents need to prove that specific actions or omissions of actions of the offender likely triggered deadly injuries or death of the decedent. Complainants must demonstrate how the careless or willful conduct of the accused developed into a particular series of events that led to the wrongful death.
Who Can Be Sued?
A wrongful death civil action can be submitted against individuals, doctors, medical personnel, hospitals, government agencies, and businesses, to name a few. Here are some examples:
- Motorists discovered to be negligent in an automobile accident
- Industrial truckers at fault for a fatal crash
- Physicians in a medical malpractice case
- Dining establishments, liquor stores, and bars providing or offering alcohol to a currently impaired driver
- Federal government agencies failing to effectively maintain highways or provide cautionary signage regarding road threats
- Vehicle producers, suppliers and installers concerning dangerous automobile parts, tires and brakes
Survivors of the decedent frequently suffer substantial financial losses as well as emotional losses. Because of this, they may look for monetary compensation. Payments may include compensation for the following:
- Current and future lost earnings from the decedent
- Compensatory damages for loss of consortium
- Lost potential of inheritance
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Home damage
- Outstanding medical expenses related to the event
- Grief, anxiety, pain and suffering
Wrongful death is a legal term used to define the taking of an individual’s life through another’s irresponsible, willful or intentional action. When a specific person passes away through the wrongful conduct of others, the decedent’s successors and lawful recipients can take legal action through a wrongful death claim. Submitting a suit against all accountable parties is a civil court action used as a way to get financial settlement based on the overall losses of survivors. Though nothing can replace the loved one, obtaining financial compensation can help families find peace and stability as they attempt to move forward.
Call a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Yonkers, New York by contacting Greenspan & Greenspan P.C., today.
Providing a Wrongful Death Case
When a loved one passes away, it can be emotionally devastating. Even if it is the end of a long illness, it is still a shock when someone you love dies. It can be even more frustrating if the death was avoidable. For this reason, if a loved one passes away, you should reach out to a wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY, such as a lawyer from Greenspan & Greenspan, PC. What are the elements that have to be proven if you want your wrongful death case to succeed?
The first element of a wrongful death case that has to be proven is negligence. In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff has to prove that the wrongful death in question was caused by recklessness, carelessness, or negligent actions on the part of the defendant. Plaintiff should work with a lawyer who has experience reviewing these documents and can prove this important element of the case. Without proving negligence, the case might be dismissed.
Breach of Duty
Next, the plaintiff has to prove that there was a breach of duty somewhere. If the defendant did not have a duty to the individual who passed away, then the case could fall apart. For example, if you are filing a wrongful death claim against a doctor or a hospital, you will need to prove that that specific doctor or hospital had a duty to take care of your loved one. This could be something as simple as proving that you had an appointment with the facility that day. A wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY can help you with this.
Causation of Damages
Finally, you also have to prove that this negligence and breach of duty directly caused the damages you experience. There are numerous examples of damages you may have incurred. For example, you might have had to pay for unexpected medical bills before your loved one passed away. Or, you may have to pay for a funeral. These are examples of damages that your lawyer will have to prove to the court.
Do’s and Don’ts of a Wrongful Death Case
Do: Air Your Grievances in Court
Greenspan & Greenspan, PC understands that you’re likely struggling with negative emotions surrounding your loved one’s passing. While it may be difficult, it’s best if you save your grievances for the courtroom rather than arguing with the alleged party. You’ll spare yourself some frustration and avoid potentially hurting your case.
Don’t: Wait to File Your Case
There are a lot of limitations in place that can make it very difficult to handle a wrongful death case the longer you wait to file it. Consult your wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY, as soon as you can to get the process started. Once you’ve contacted a lawyer, they’ll take care of the more difficult aspects of the case.
Do: File if You Truly Feel the Death Was Preventable
Every wrongful death case is different, but Greenspan & Greenspan, PC encourages you to file the case if you feel your loved one’s death could have been prevented. There are countless causes of preventable deaths, both accidental and intentional; even if you’re not sure how sound the case would be in court, it’s worth your while to try.
Don’t: Share Information on Social Media
You never know how information could circulate on social media, so it’s wise to avoid sharing any details about the case online. If you need to, take a break from social media and the Internet altogether. Not only can this help keep you from unintentionally sharing information that shouldn’t be disclosed, it may be able to spare you some of the heartache of remembering all the details. If you need emotional support, consider reaching out to a loved one in person to share your grief.
Do: Keep Records of Everything
You’ll likely be dealing with countless files and paperwork during the case, and it’s wise to keep records of everything. From medical documents and photographs of the incident to files from your wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY, you should make copies of every document you’re given. You may need to revisit the information or show proof of something later in the case.
Don’t: Forget to Take Care of Yourself
While handling a wrongful death, remember to take some time for yourself where you can. Connect with friends and loved ones, give yourself breaks from dealing with the case and remember that it’s okay to deal with your emotions however you need to.
Survivor’s Action vs. Wrongful Death Claim
When the death of a family member is caused by negligence on the part of someone who had a duty of care toward the deceased, it is always wise to contact a wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is not the only way to get compensation for a loved one’s death. In some situations, a victim’s injuries are not immediately fatal. S/he may begin filing an injury lawsuit against the liable party but dies before the case can go forward. When this is the case, the victim’s estate can pursue a “survivor’s action.” It is called this because the victim’s right to bring action against the defendant survives his or her death.
A survivor’s action does not prohibit families from filing a wrongful death lawsuit; it is possible to pursue both actions at the same time; indeed, it may be advantageous to do so.
How is a Survivor’s Action Different?
A wrongful death action is filed by surviving family members or a wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY on their behalf. The plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit can collect damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support and loss of consortium and parenting. While all of this can be a substantial amount, they represent the limits on what the victim’s surviving family members can get.
A survival action is filed on behalf of the victim by the representative or executor of the victim’s estate. Because of this, it is possible to obtain compensation for the deceased person’s medical expenses as well as non-economic damages such as their pain and suffering and mental anguish. This is not true in a wrongful death lawsuit. This is why filing a survivor’s action at the same time as a wrongful death lawsuit can add a great deal of monetary value to the claim.
Who Files a Survivor’s Action?
The responsibility for filing rests with the representative of the estate. This can be any member of the family who is of legal age. If the deceased did not have a will, and/or the family cannot come to an agreement over representation, the state can appoint one.
Determining how much compensation to ask for is a complex task, and requires tax records, pay stubs and other records. A wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY can help plaintiffs in making this determination as well as filing all necessary forms.
Trust a Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you want your wrongful death case to be successful, all of these elements need to be proven. You deserve to focus on the memory of your loved one. This is why you should work with a wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY, such as a lawyer from Greenspan & Greenspan, PC, who can help you.
Common Myths About Wrongful Death Cases
If your loved one was killed because of another person’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation. However, you might have heard various misconceptions about these cases that are making you hesitant. Here are some common myths a wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers, NY doesn’t want you to believe:
- Wrongful death lawsuits are all about money. It’s true that people file wrongful death lawsuits to obtain compensation for their deceased loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of future income and other damages. These costs can easily cost thousands of dollars and that’s too much of a financial burden to bear. However, these lawsuits aren’t solely about money. They also hold negligent people accountable for their actions.
- The insurance company will give you a fair settlement. Many people think that insurance companies will sympathize with them if their family member died due to someone else’s negligence. However, you must remember that insurance companies care about their bottom line first. Even if there is substantial evidence that the death resulted from negligence, they may still try to get out of paying you what you deserve.
- There’s no time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is not true at all. In the state of New York, you have two years after the person’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. After the deadline has passed, you will no longer be eligible to pursue compensation. That is why it is critical to discuss your case with a lawyer promptly.
- It isn’t necessary to hire a lawyer. If you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is absolutely necessary to work with a skilled wrongful death lawyer in Yonkers. A wrongful death lawsuit can involve many complexities and be stressful to deal with. A lawyer can handle all the legwork so that you can properly grieve. This type of lawyer will also most likely work on a contingency basis, so you will not owe money upfront.
- You can’t file a wrongful death lawsuit if the death was an accident. Just because someone didn’t intentionally kill your loved one, does not mean that you can’t pursue a legal claim. Intent isn’t a factor considered in wrongful death cases. Therefore, if your family member died in a car accident or slip and fall accident, you can still pursue compensation.