Losing a loved one can be devastating for anyone involved in an accident in Long Island. Getting through these hard times is challenging enough, but going through a wrongful death claim can also take a significant toll on the surviving family members' mental health.
Thankfully, family members or friends don't have to go through wrongful death cases alone. A skilled wrongful death attorney can help victims seek compensation for a person's death due to someone else's negligence, which can be used to cover several factors, such as lost wages for surviving family members, funeral expenses, and more.
What Does a Wrongful Death Claim Mean?
A wrongful death claim happens when an action or accident caused by a negligent party caused someone else's death. Wrongful death cases are common in car crashes, which are known to cause excessive damages to other people or property.
It's vital to note that family members could still seek criminal prosecution depending on the case, but that's a separate action that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with wrongful death claims. Logically, since a wrongful death lawsuit involves the death of another person, the standard of proof is lower since it's a civil case.
What Counts for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Long Island?
While car crashes are common for personal injury claims and wrongful death ones, there are still other cases where a legal wrongful death action can take place. Here's a list of factors that apply for a wrongful death case in Long Island:
Motor vehicle accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Long Island?
Not many people are aware, but wrongful death cases may vary slightly depending on the state and city. In New York, the only individual allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal representative hired or chosen to handle the deceased victim's estate once they die.
Overall, a personal representative may be chosen either by getting named in the person's will or by being appointed in court. Considering that a death occurred in a wrongful death case is unexpected, some people may not have a will drafted yet. In those cases, a court of New York law will choose the representative to handle the person's estate.
Regardless of the case, a wrongful death case can get filed on behalf of particular family members, including the victim's parents, children, or spouse; in other words, the victim's immediate family.
Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim in Long Island, NY
It's vital to note that people must seek compensation as soon as possible following a wrongful death case. While losing a loved one can easily cause mental anguish on friends and family, they can lose their right to claim compensation if they're not fast enough.
In New York, wrongful death victims have two years from the day the person died to make a wrongful death claim. Some particular cases could warrant more or less time, but in those cases, it's better to talk to wrongful death attorneys to assess everything.
New York's Comparative Negligence Cases
New York has certain comparative negligence laws that every family member must be aware of. Overall, this means that the fault of the accident is assigned depending on what each party involved in the accident contributed to it.
Even if someone dies due to an accident, they could have contributed to the event. In those cases, the surviving family member could get a reduction in compensation according to the amount of blame the victim had. If the victim was 60% responsible for the accident, for example, the family members could get a 60% reduction in compensation recovery.
It's vital to note that some insurance companies may still try to shift as much blame as possible to the victim, even if they died. This is to ensure the company doesn't have to pay that much money in compensation for the family. In those cases, talking to an experienced law firm is the family's best bet to recover damages successfully.
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What Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do for You?
While victims could represent themselves in court, it's not recommended. Typically, insurance companies have experienced legal advisors on their behalf, and they're going to make as much effort as possible so that they don't have to pay that much money in the end.
Hiring a law firm in Long Island can make all the difference, especially if the person is working with an experienced and reputable lawyer. The primary reason why hiring a lawyer is the most recommended thing to do is that it allows the victims to recover emotionally or physically from the accident while the attorney takes the case.
Logically, focusing on both recovery and legal matters is extremely overwhelming, but lawyers can help ease that burden. There are many things a Long Island lawyer can do for their clients. Here's a list of the most common practices for these experts:
Representing Clients in Court
When it comes to financial compensation, victims can claim both economic and non-economic damages. Overall, economic damages are those that include tangible factors, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and more.
On the other hand, non-economic losses include pain and suffering, loss of companionship or support, emotional anguish, anxiety, or depression. Some particular cases may allow the person to also pursue compensation for punitive damages, but those people need to schedule a free consultation first to know what their options are.
Generally speaking, lawyers at The Law Office of Carl Maltese are going to fight hard to get their clients compensation for any damages caused. If the lawyer can't negotiate an out-of-court settlement (which would be the fastest option to receive compensation), they can take the case to trial and let a jury decide whether the victim deserves compensation or not.
Investigating the Case
A wrongful death case can be fairly challenging to go around; mostly because of misunderstandings between all the parties involved. Moreover, some people may try to cover up some of the facts to benefit themselves, which puts a lot of pressure on the case.
In these cases, a law firm can take the time to investigate all factors surrounding the case until it reaches the true version of what happened. There are several things a lawyer can do to investigate the case, such as gathering police reports, witness statements, surveillance camera footage, and more.
On the other hand, cases involving medical malpractice, for example, could be trickier to handle, but a lawyer in Long Island may still be able to make pertinent investigations. Here, the attorney can review medical records and discuss them with specialists to determine if the death was due to an inaccurate diagnosis, improper prescriptions, or other factors.
Explaining Legal Rights to Clients
It's common for accident victims in Long Island to feel confused. Not everyone is prepared to have an accident, let alone a sudden death. Considering that wrongful death laws can vary depending on the state, it's vital for the victims to understand these laws at every point of the case.
Lawyers are trained to let their clients know about every factor surrounding their cases, such as possible outcomes for the case, the statute of limitations, conditions for filing a lawsuit, and others.
Thankfully, The Law Office of Carl Maltese offers a free consultation to anyone who may be looking to start a legal process, including grieving families.
Wrongful Death Claims in Long Island, NY
Wrongful death claims can be a bit complicated in New York state law, but wrongful death lawyers can do everything in their power to make things as smooth as possible. The professionals at The Law Office of Carl Maltese are trained to cover wrongful death lawsuits in the most efficient way possible. These legal experts know how devastating a wrongful death claim can be, which is why they will work with their clients throughout every step of the case.
Still, there's a lot of ground to cover regarding wrongful death cases, and this page is going to outline everything people need to know about how these claims work, as well as how hiring a personal representative can be the best course of action to take.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case in Long Island?
An unexpected death can be overwhelming for a victim's family. Not only the family has to deal with the emotional toll of losing a loved one, but the members also have to deal with all the expenses that come with said death.
Thankfully, wrongful death lawyers from a reputable law firm can help people in Long Island recover damages for these cases. Overall, this is what these lawyers can help with regarding compensation:
Funeral and burial expenses
Loss of benefits
Loss of inheritance
As mentioned before, every case is different, and not every case may warrant the same amount of compensation. To have a better idea of how wrongful deaths work, people may seek a free legal consultation with a reputable law firm.
How Do Individuals Determine Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case?
There are many formulas and factors a wrongful death lawyer can consider at the time of building a case. In essence, the more items the wrongful death attorney is able to prove to the court, the higher the compensation amount will be.
These are some of the most common factors wrongful death lawyers consider at the time of building a case for their clients:
Cause of Death
Once the lawyer proves a death happened, they must also prove it happened due to the accident or due to someone else's negligence.
A wrongful death lawyer may prove that the victim is survived by one or more people. In these cases, the attorney must also prove these people deserve compensation for the death.
Overall, a lawyer must prove to the court that the liable party and their insurance company would still owe money to the victim if they had survived the accident.
As long as the wrongful death lawyer is able to prove these factors, victims may be able to recover damages. Still, people must consider that the other party's insurance company may still fight the claimants so that it doesn't have to pay as much money as required.
In those cases, hiring a lawyer is the best option the victim's family can do.
Strict liability is more common in defective product cases. Here, proving someone else acted negligently is much harder since a defective product can have one or many more people at fault. If someone died due to a defective product, for example, the lawyer doesn't have to prove the product's main manufacturer was negligent.
The only thing the attorney must prove is that the product malfunctioned due to a defective condition, causing the person's death. Here, both the lawyer and the court are going to work to find who was specifically liable for the accident.
Scheduling a Free Consultation
As mentioned several times throughout this page, a loved one's death can be devastating for anyone. While the emotional distress families can experience during these times is a lot, they must still work as fast as possible to request help from a lawyer; this is to ensure they seek compensation for the suffering endured.
Whether it was a car accident or a workplace accident, the at-fault party must respond for their actions. The experts at The Law Office of Carl Maltese have the goal of building a strong attorney-client relationship so that they work together to achieve a favorable outcome for the case.
Anyone who has gone through wrongful death cases can seek a free case review from the legal experts at this law office. Once the lawyer has all the details of the case, they can start the process to get evidence, make investigations, and represent the client in court.