Westchester County Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim arises when someone dies as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another person. For example, if someone is killed in a car accident because another driver ran through a red light, then certain members of the family of the deceased may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver and recover compensation. Or, if during a medical procedure a healthcare worker makes an error that results in death, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit based on medical misdiagnosis or some other type of medical malpractice. Individuals, businesses, and governmental agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently or intentionally. If a family member passed away in an accident due to the intentional act or due to the negligence of another person or entity, it is critical that you contact an experienced Westchester County wrongful death lawyer who will explain to you the process for holding the responsible party financially accountable.Who may sue for wrongful death
For purposes of filing a wrongful death lawsuit, under New York law only a decedent's legal representative has the right to file a wrongful death action. 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. While oftentimes the person is the decedent’s spouse, it can be another relative or a non-relative.Pursuing a wrongful death claim
The legal representative of the decedent has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who responsible for the victim’s death. The damages available through a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to what would be available in a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim if he or she survived. The lawsuit can also demand payment for the support that victim gave to the family.
- Medical expenses. Medical expenses related to the injury that ultimately killed the victim. This may include the emergency room fees, hospitable bills, surgical fees, and nursing home fees.
- Pain and suffering. The conscious physical pain and mental suffering the victim experienced.
- Loss of consortium. The loss of the physical relationship between spouses.
- Loss of support. This includes the financial support that the victim had provided the family, including benefits.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Keep in mind that in some cases the victim does not pass away immediately after the accident. The victim may live for days, weeks, months and in some cases years after the accident before ultimately succumbing the injuries suffered in the accident.
If the victim as died in a work-related accident then the surviving spouse and children may be entitled to death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Death benefits include:
- Wage replacement. A weekly payment equal to a percentage of the victim’s wages. The available benefit is subject to a limit.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Whether you are pursuing a wrongful death benefits or workers’ compensation death benefits it is critical to file a claim as quickly as possible as there are time limits for filing claims for death benefits and wrongful death compensation.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
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 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) 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.