Bronx Wrongful Death
When a person passes away because another person was negligent, that person's personal representative has the right to file a "wrongful death" claim against the negligent party. Wrongful death actions can result from a variety of accidents such as medical malpractice, a defective product, auto accident, car accident or motorcycle accident. Serious injuries that result in wrongful death can include a head injury, a spinal injury, or a neck injury. The untimely passing of a loved one brings with it not only emotional hardship, but medical expenses, burial costs and loss of income to the surviving family. If a loved one was killed in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person, then it is imperative that you immediately contact an experienced Bronx wrongful death lawyer who will offer you guidance and support, and who help you receive compensation for your losses.Plaintiff in a wrongful death claim
While in some places a spouse, child or parent has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, that is not the case in New York. In New York only the deceased person's legal representative is allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit. The legal representative may be a spouse, child or parent. It may also be another relative or a non-relative. The legal representative is typically the person the decedent named as executor in his or her will. If there is no will the, the court will determine who will serve as the personal representative.
Regardless of who is named as the personal representative, that person is charged with filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent's beneficiaries and legal heirs and not on behalf of him or herself.Recoverable damages
The damages that are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to damages a plaintiff could recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Those damages include:
- Medical expenses related to the injury that ultimately lead to the victim's death
- Loss of financial support including loss of benefits
- Loss of companionship
In addition, the plaintiff could sue for funeral and burial expenses.Statute of limitations
It is important to file a wrongful death claim as quickly as possible as New York's statute of limitations is generally only two years after the death. While two years may seem like a long time, there is often a great deal of time-consuming fact-finding and other preliminary work that must be completed before a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. If a lawsuit is not filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the right to sue may be forever lost.Proving wrongful death
The most common cause of action in a wrongful death action is negligence. As a result of such negligence a variety of accidents may take place including a car accident, motorcycle accident, construction accident, airplane crash, or train accident. In order to prove negligence this, you will need to show four things:
- The defendant had a duty to your loved one;
- That duty was breached;
- The death of your loved one was a result of the breach;
- Family members have suffered economic loss as a result of the death.
Wrongful death cases can be complicated. It is not always easy to determine who is legally responsible for a victim's death. In some cases more than one person is ultimately responsible. Furthermore there may be complex procedural rules and timelines that must be followed. To make sure that your case is properly handled it is critical that you are represented by attorneys with experience handling wrongful death cases. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims involving wrongful death cases related to construction accidents, car accidents, product liability, and medical malpractice. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.