Staten Island Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is always painful. It is even more devastating for the surviving family members when the loved one dies suddenly in a tragic accident such as a car accident, motorcycle accident, bike accident, construction accident or slip and fall accident. The family not only must deal with the tragic loss of the loved one, but must also face the painful process of winding up the loved one's estate and the financial consequences of the loss. In determining whether or not a loss was a wrongful death, the two critical factors to consider are whether the death was caused by the actions or in action of another person, and whether that person was negligent. When the negligence of another person cause the death, the victim's family members are entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation for the loss. If a family member passed away in an accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, it is critical that you contact an experienced Staten Island Wrongful Death Lawyer who will explain to you the process for holding the responsible party financially accountable.

Who may sue for wrongful death

Under New York law, only a decedent's legal representative may file a claim for wrongful death. A legal representative is typically the person the decedent named as executor in his or her will. Otherwise, the legal representative would be the person named by the court to serve as such. The executor would file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the real parties in interest. The real parties in interest would be the decedent's beneficiaries or heirs. Typically, the real parties in interest would include the decedent's surviving spouse and children, but may also include the decedent's parents, siblings and other relatives.

Recoverable damages

Depending on whose negligence caused the accident that resulted in the wrongful death, the family of the deceased may recover a variety of damages. If family members file a wrongful death lawsuit they may recover medical expenses related to the injury that ultimately led to the victim's death. Funeral and burial expenses are compensable. The family may be compensated for the loss of financial support that the victim would have contributed to the family during his or her lifetime. In some cases the plaintiffs may recover damages for benefits lost such as medical insurance and pension benefits. Recovery for loss of companionship refers being compensated for the comfort and care that the deceased would have provided.

However, if the victim died in a workplace accident then under New York workers' compensation law the decedent's survivors are entitled to workers' compensation death benefits and cannot sue the employer in court to recover additional compensation. Death benefits include burial expenses as well as a weekly benefit that is equal to a percentage of the decedent's wages and is subject to a cap. On the other hand, even if the accident occurred at work, if the negligent party was not the employer but a third party the victim's family may be able to sue the third party in a personal injury lawsuit for compensation in addition to workers' compensation benefits.

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.

Staten Island Wrongful Death Lawyer

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 Stephen Bilkis and 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 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those injured in accidents in the following locations:

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