Accidents and injuries occur every day, but some accidents are so severe that the people involved tragically do not survive. Even though the accident victim is gone, legal claims surrounding their passing live on, and families may take up the reigns and seek justice in a court of law.
Dealing with losing a loved one is often painful, and the process is even harder when their passing occurs under wrongful conditions or circumstances. Car crashes, work injuries, and unsafe property conditions are common actors in many wrongful death lawsuits. If you believe your loved one passed away because of another’s wrongful actions, you have 2 years from the date of their passing to file a lawsuit. However, you might not be able to file the case yourself. A personal representative designated to handle the deceased individual’s estate must submit your claims to the court. Even so, you and your family may be beneficiaries of the case, and damages may be distributed among you.
Call (914) 685-6950 and arrange for a free claim review with our wrongful death lawyers to begin your case and get justice for your family.
Frequently Occurring Examples of Wrongful Deaths in Clarkstown, NY
Wrongful death claims may arise under a wide range of accidents and circumstances. Often, these cases are connected with unintentional yet negligent behavior. In other cases, the defendant’s actions were intentional, and they might also be facing criminal charges.
Vehicle accidents are among the most commonly filed civil claims. They are also a frequently cited reason for wrongful death. You have likely heard in the news about fatal car crashes. The drivers who cause these collisions may be held civilly liable for the wrongful death of the other driver.
Another often cited reason for wrongful deaths is construction accidents. Construction workers’ jobs are inherently risky, which is why employers must impose strict safety protocols. If safety gear, tools, and procedures are inadequate, deadly accidents might happen. The same goes for people who are not employed on construction sites. A person might be passing by when falling debris from a construction zone hits them.
Premises liability cases involve accidents on someone else’s property caused by unsafe conditions on that property. For example, suppose your family member was using the elevator in a hotel when the elevator malfunctioned and fell, fatally injuring your loved one. In that case, you can sue the hotel for wrongful death based on premises liability. The hotel has a duty to make sure the elevator and other amenities are safe for guests.
When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Clarkstown, NY
Although it is understandable to need some time to process your loved one’s passing, you should not wait too long before speaking to an attorney about taking legal action. In New York, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is only 2 years. If the deadline comes and goes with no case being filed, you might lose your right to sue.
Your deadline to file the case begins to run on the date your loved one passed away. This is crucial to understand as many wrongful death victims’ date of death is not the same as the date they were injured. For example, your loved one might have been injured in an accident but did not pass away for several days or weeks.
If the deadline is fast approaching or already passed, our wrongful death lawyers can help you try to have the statute of limitations tolled. For example, in particularly tragic cases, children lose their parents to wrongful death. However, minor children usually cannot take legal action on their own. If the child is the only eligible beneficiary, the statute of limitations might be tolled until they are 18.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Clarkstown, NY
While surviving family members are often at the center of wrongful death lawsuits, they may not actually file the lawsuit for the loss of their loved one. Instead, New York law requires a personal administrator or representative of your loved one’s estate to file the lawsuit.
The personal representative might be appointed in your loved one’s will and is often a family member or close friend, but not always. The personal representative might be the deceased person’s attorney, business partner, or anyone they decide to designate in their will. If there is no personal representative, the court might appoint one to the case. While family members do not normally file these lawsuits, they are recognized as beneficiaries.
Damages Available in Clarkstown, NY Wrongful Death Claims
Damages in wrongful death lawsuits are often significant and complicated. It is difficult to place a value on the loss of a loved one, but financial compensation is often the only method courts have to remedy civil claims.
Damages may include any sum the jury deems appropriate for the financial losses related to your loved one’s death. Among these financial losses are medical bills incurred by the deceased person and burial and funeral costs. You can also claim economic losses related to the loss of financial support. This is crucial in cases where the deceased person is the spouse or parent of the plaintiff.
Non-economic damages are less concrete and more subjective than economic damages. For example, a spouse might claim the loss of consortium and companionship. A child might claim the loss of parental guidance. Non-economic damages are very subjective and difficult to pin down, and you should speak with an attorney to determine what kind of non-economic damages you can claim.
In New York, beneficiaries typically may include spouses, children, and parents of the deceased person. Spouses and children are often given priority, and parents may recover if there is no spouse or children. Other family members, like siblings, cousins, or other relatives, might be beneficiaries if no other eligible parties exist.
Contact Our Clarkstown, NY Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help Immediately
Call (914) 685-6950 and arrange for a private, free claim evaluation with our wrongful death lawyers to begin your case and get justice for your family.