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Staten Island Wrongful Death

While losing a loved one is always painful, when a loved one dies in an accident such as a car accident because another person was negligent, the loss is even more difficult to take. 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 caused 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. However, the people who actually receive the benefits or compensation from a wrongful death claim include the surviving spouse, children and parents. To learn more about how to file a wrongful death claim, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Staten Island.

Recoverable damages

Wrongful death lawsuits can stem from a variety of different types of accidents including medical malpractice, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, construction accidents, falls, and defective products. Depending on whose negligence caused the accident that resulted in the wrongful death, the family of the deceased may recover a variety of damages.

  • Medical expenses: Medical expenses related to the injury from the accident that ultimately led to the victim's death.
  • Lost income: Lost wages, lost benefits from the victim's job, and inheritance.
  • Funeral costs: Funeral and burial or cremation costs.
  • Conscious pain and suffering: In order for the estate to recover damages for pain and suffering, the victim must have been actually aware of what was going and experienced pain. For example, if a victim suffers a traumatic brain injury and is conscious during part of the treatment. The victim will probably have experienced pain, and may also have understood the seriousness of the injury, the planned course of treatment and the prognosis.

The amount recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit depends on a number of factors such as the age of the victim, the earnings of the victim, the victim's potential future earnings, the victim's lift expectancy, and the extent to which the victim provided financial and emotional support to the claimants.

If the victim passed away in a workplace accident or from a work-related injury, instead of pursuing damages through a wrongful death claim, benefits are available through workers' compensation death benefits. Workers' compensation death benefits include burial expenses as well as a weekly benefit that is equal to a percentage of the victim's average weekly wages and is subject to a cap.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Wrongful death cases can be complicated. In order to ensure that the family receives just compensation, it is important that you are represented by an experienced attorney. The wrongful death attorneys serving clients in Staten Island at Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing family members who have lost loved ones in tragic accidents caused by the negligent acts of others. 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.

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