If you have suffered the untimely death of a loved one, you may be struggling under the weight of emotional and financial pressures created by your loss. It can be difficult to think about your legal options for recovery while grieving, which is why The Martello Law Firm is here to help.
Wrongful death lawsuits are legal tools for family members to recover compensation for a loved one’s death that was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another person or entity. Spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and even cousins may be eligible to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. Compensation for a wrongful death claim will include factors such as funeral costs, medical expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship or emotional support, among others. You most likely only have two years from the death to file your lawsuit, so you should look to act quickly.
The diligent Westchester wrongful death attorneys at The Martello Law Firm recognize the difficulty of dealing with a loss, particularly when it was caused by someone else. We can help you in your search for justice and financial comfort to ease the burden of grief on you and your family. To hear more about your case and our services, call us at (646) 396-0236.
Beneficiaries in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Westchester, New York
New York State law dictates who can file and recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative (or “executor”) of the deceased’s estate must be the one to actually file the lawsuit. A beneficiary family member can also serve as the executor, and their placement in that role will not bar them from recovery. You can name as many eligible beneficiaries as possible in a wrongful death lawsuit without decreasing any individual beneficiary’s recovery.
Typically, immediate family members, such as spouses and children, will be able to recover the majority of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Parents of the deceased can also recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. Siblings and close cousins may be eligible to recover in instances where there is no living spouse, child, or parent available or willing to be named in the suit.
Speak to one of our knowledgeable Westchester wrongful death lawyers if you have questions about your standing to recover in a lawsuit for your loved one’s wrongful death.
Proving Wrongful Death in a Lawsuit in Westchester, NY
It can be helpful to think about the requirements for proving a wrongful death lawsuit as those for proving a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, if a person was injured in a car accident and wanted to sue the other driver, the injury victim would have to prove that the other driver’s negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful behavior behind the wheel caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
For wrongful death lawsuits, you still must prove that the defendant was at fault for causing the death. The only difference is in the damages, which are distributed to the beneficiaries and calculated based on their harms, as opposed to the harms to the deceased themselves.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Westchester
The goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is to provide the surviving beneficiaries with compensation in line with the emotional and financial loss that they have suffered. We recognize that a monetary award will likely not be enough to replace what you have lost as a result of your loved one’s untimely death. Still, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can provide the closure that you may need and can ease the financial burden on your family through the grieving process.
Wrongful death lawsuit damages will typically include the direct expenses to the family as a result of the accident and death, such as medical expenses required for the treatment of the deceased and funeral or memorial costs. You may also recover values in line with the loss of income that the victim was expected to earn over their remaining time at work as well as the value of the childcare services that the victim provided for the family.
Wrongful death damages will also compensate beneficiaries for the personal loss they sustain because of their loved one’s death. Factors in this calculation will include the loss of companionship, mentorship, parental guidance, benefits, and emotional support, amongst others.
Criteria for determining all of the above considerations will include the deceased’s age, earning potential, and life expectancy. Courts will also take into account the age and vulnerability of the beneficiaries, particularly in the case of any children affected by the death.
Because the calculation of damages is so complicated, it is too difficult to predict the value of any given wrongful death lawsuit without detailed information about the deceased, the accident itself, and the potential beneficiaries. Speak to one of our resourceful Westchester wrongful death lawyers today to get an evaluation of what your case may mean for you and your family.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Westchester
If you are interested in pursuing compensation from the party responsible for your loved one’s untimely death, you must act quickly to file your case. The New York statute of limitations, which is the legal time limit for filing your wrongful death claim, lasts for up to two years from the date of the death in question. If you miss your filing deadline, your lawsuit will likely be thrown out by a New York court, so it is important to take the statute of limitations seriously for your case.
There are certain instances where the statute of limitations may be extended, such as where the wrongful act that caused the death was fraudulently concealed by the responsible party. This may be more common in instances of medical malpractice. In these cases, the statute of limitations will only begin to run once the link between the wrongful act and the death is discovered.
However, you should never rely on these exceptions. The sooner you file your claim, the earlier you will recover compensation for the loss you have suffered. Our Westchester wrongful death attorneys can evaluate your case and get to work immediately to help you avoid missing the deadline on your lawsuit.
We Can Help You Recover for Your Loss in Westchester, NY
At The Martello Law Firm, we work hard to provide our clients with the recovery they deserve when someone else was to blame for the death of their loved one. To hear from one of our experienced Westchester wrongful death attorneys, call us today at (646) 396-0236.