Wrongful Death: What to do when a Loved One Dies due to Negligence

Mar 18, 2019

In New York State, the law has specific criteria for determining when a wrongful death has occurred. The law states that a death must have occurred as the result of negligence or intentional misconduct of another individual. Additionally, the death must have been caused in such a way that, had the victim lived, he would have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Finally, the law specifies that the decedent must be survived by individuals who have suffered a financial burden as a result of the loss, and that there are monetary damages that those individuals can recover.

While a Brooklyn personal injury attorney can help you determine precisely which family members qualify, a personal representative must be chosen to file the wrongful death claim. The personal representative is often chosen by the deceased individual through the creation of a will. In the event that there is no will in place, the family should consult Brooklyn personal injury lawyers to determine how a wrongful death claim can proceed.

Regardless of who the personal representative is, the settlement or award in the wrongful death claim will be divided up among the beneficiaries of the decedent. For that reason, it’s important to know that there are many different types of damages that can be sought in this type of claim.

Common wrongful death damages include: 

  • Costs of funeral and burial
  • Medical care costs accumulated prior to death
  • Loss of wages and income
  • Value of support provided by the decedent
  • Value of paternal support and guidance
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the individual prior to death
  • 9% rate of interest applied to damages, which is dated back to the date of death

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or willful act of another, your first action should be to consult a Brooklyn wrongful death attorney. An experienced attorney, such as the professionals at Levitsky Law Firm, can help you determine if you have the grounds to file a wrongful death claim. Additionally, an attorney can help you begin the process of recovering compensation for the financial burden caused by your loss. While a wrongful death claim won’t resolve the emotional turmoil this loss has caused, it can help you and your family recover from the financial losses.