A loved one’s unexpected death is a horrible and traumatic event in a person’s life, and this loss can be even more profound when it is caused by the negligence of another person. You are permitted to seek recovery of damages when a loved one passes away due to the negligent acts of others by filing a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of a compassionate personal injury attorney.
This type of litigation is complex and requires a unique understanding of New York law to support your best interests. A Smithtown wrongful death lawyer has the knowledge and skills necessary to help you navigate this difficult phase of your life.
Elements of a Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases can come out of almost any kind of accident or other negligent act, including motor vehicle accidents and medical malpractice. New York law requires a showing of five elements in establishing a wrongful death claim, including:
The loss of life
The death was the result of wrongful conduct from another person
The wrongful conduct would have been pursued in a cause of action by the deceased person if they had lived
Survival by at least one person who has suffered a monetary loss due to the death
The claim is made by an appointed personal representative for the estate
State law has specific requirements in place for these types of lawsuits. A wrongful death attorney in Smithtown understands the intricacies of proving negligence and the elements that a court needs to see.
Who Can Initiate a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A personal representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate – simply being a close family member is not enough. Additionally, New York law requires a wrongful death action be filed within two years of the time of the deceased’s death. If successful in the lawsuit, the awarded damages are treated as if the personal representative is holding them in trust for the family members to whom the awarded damages belong.
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case
The award of damages in a Smithtown wrongful death case is confined to fair and just compensation for the pecuniary injuries stemming from a decedent’s death. The types of damages that are considered fair and just compensation will differ based on the facts of each case. However, the most common damages awarded for wrongful death cases include:
Loss of support to family members
Medical and other health care expenses incidental to the deceased person’s death
Loss of voluntary assistance and inheritance
Lost wages that the deceased would have earned, including promotions, raises, and bonuses
Pain and suffering of the deceased as a result of the injury or illness leading to death
Surviving family members cannot recover damages for their own pain and suffering. They are, however, able to receive the life insurance under the deceased’s name, but also have the right to pursue further damages. A Smithtown negligent death attorney has the expertise needed to assert the claims for damages that the estate is entitled to.
Other Smithtown Practice Areas
Contact a Smithtown Wrongful Death Attorney to File a Lawsuit
A loved one’s death is a tragic event that can completely turn any family member’s life upside down. You are suddenly forced to face life without their support and income, and bills for medical and funeral expenses still need to be paid off.
Having a Long Island wrongful death lawyer by your side throughout the process might help alleviate some of your stress during this difficult time. Call today for a review of your case and potential options going forward.