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Suffolk County Wrongful Death

A wrongful death claim arises when someone dies due the negligent act of another person or due to the intentional act of another person. For example, if a driver speeds through a red light, collides with another vehicle, and as a result the driver of the other vehicle is killed, then the family of the deceased victim would have wrongful death claim against the driver who sped through the red light. A wrongful death claim can be based on not just a car accident, but on any other type of accident that results in a fatal injury such as a construction accident, slip and fall accident, subway accident, or train accident. In addition, if a loved one passes away due to a defective product or medical malpractice the family could pursue damages through a wrongful death claim. If a loved one passed away in an accident due to the intentional act or negligence of another person or entity, it is critical that you contact an experienced Suffolk County 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 specific people can sue for wrongful death. In other words, just because you are a relative of the deceased victim does not automatically give you the right to file a wrongful death claim. Only a decedent's legal representative may file a claim for wrongful death. A legal representative is usually the person the decedent named as executor in his or her will. If the decedent does not have a will, 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

An experienced wrongful death attorney in New York will explain, if your family member was killed as a result of an accident that was caused by another person's negligence, then that person's personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover a variety of damages.

  • Medical expenses: The medical expenses related to the injury that ultimately led to the victim's death. For example, if the victim suffered a brain injury and underwent treatment for several days before passing away, the bills related to that treatment is compensable.
  • Loss of support: This refers to loss of financial support that the deceased would have provided to the family during his or her lifetime. For example, medical insurance and retirement benefits.
  • Loss of consortium and loss of companionship: This refers to the emotional support that the deceased would have provided the family during his or her lifetime.
  • Funeral: Expenses related to the funeral and burial of the deceased.

If the victim was killed in a workplace accident the rules may be different. Workers' compensation would likely apply. This means that the victim's survivors would be eligible for workers' compensation death benefits. Death benefits include burial expenses as well as a weekly benefit that is equal to a portion of the decedent's wages. However, if the accident occurred at work and the responsible person was not the employer but a third party such as an equipment manufacturer, 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.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Wrongful death cases are emotional and complex. It is not always easy to establish who is legally responsible for a victim's death. In some cases multiple people are determined to be responsible. Furthermore there may be multifaceted 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 an experienced wrongful death attorney serving Suffolk County 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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