Buffalo Wrongful Death Lawyer

When you’ve lost a family member in a fatal accident in Buffalo, New York, don’t think you have to figure out the path forward on your own. Call O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers, and discover how our experienced Buffalo wrongful death lawyers can help you take action and demand justice from everyone who’s responsible for your devastating loss.

O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers is a passionate advocate for accident victims and grieving families in Buffalo and throughout Western New York. Since 2012, our award-winning legal team has successfully pressed insurance companies and at-fault parties to pay clients tens of millions of dollars in monetary awards.

Level the playing field and benefit from our 84+ years of experience and contact our law office in Buffalo, NY, at (716) 222 2222. Your first consultation is free.

How O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help if You’ve Lost a Family Member in a Fatal Accident in Buffalo, NY

How O'Brien & Ford, PC Can Help if You’ve Lost a Family Member in a Fatal Accident in Buffalo, NY

The death of a loved one is never easy. The fact that their death could have been avoided can make a tough situation even more difficult. And while money may not bring them back to you, it can make a huge difference in your life as you begin to move forward.

Take this time to grieve your loss and remember your loved one. Let our Buffalo personal injury lawyers fight to get your family the justice it deserves.

At O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re recognized as Western New York Legal Elite and Top 50 Upstate New York Super Lawyers for a reason. Our commitment to our client and determined to litigation are unmatched. We don’t just work to win cases for the people we represent. We do our best to make a difference in their lives for years to come.

When you ask for our help with your wrongful death claim, we will:

  • Conduct a timely investigation into the accident that caused your loved one’s death
  • Determine who is liable for your loss
  • Obtain evidence needed to build a compelling and successful legal claim for damages
  • Calculate what your wrongful death case is worth
  • Consult experts whenever appropriate during the claims process
  • Ensure your claim satisfies procedural requirements established by New York State law
  • Represent your family during settlement negotiations with the defense
  • Help you understand the potential benefits and/or drawbacks of accepting a settlement offer
  • Argue your wrongful death lawsuit before an Erie County jury if the defense refuses to take responsibility for your tragic loss

We know you’re hurting. Let us help you fight for justice. Our wrongful death attorneys in Buffalo work on a contingency fee basis. We only get paid if we obtain compensation for your wrongful death case.

Contact us today to set up a time for a free case evaluation. Members of our team are always available to answer your call.

How Do I Know if I Have a Wrongful Death Case?

When a person is injured in an accident in New York, they’ll typically have the right to seek compensation for any damages they’ve suffered. This right doesn’t disappear when a person dies from injuries they sustained in an accident. Instead, the right to pursue damages shifts to a different party.

Under New York state law, a victim’s estate can bring a legal claim if the victim’s death is caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another person.” If the victim would have been able to sue, so can their estate if they don’t survive.

How Are Damages in a New York Wrongful Death Case Divided?

If you’re a surviving family member, you may not have the right to bring a wrongful death action yourself. New York requires the personal representative of your family member’s estate to file the claim. This is either a person named in the victim’s will or a party appointed by the court. Typically, it’s a spouse, close personal friend, or a personal injury attorney.

While you might not be able to bring the claim yourself, you may be able to benefit from damages that are recovered. Damages are to be distributed as directed in the victim’s will or by New York probate law if the victim died intestate. 

If the victim died:

  • With a spouse and no children, all damages are awarded to the spouse.
  • With a spouse and children, the spouse receives $50,000 plus half of the remaining award, while the remainder is split evenly by the surviving children.
  • Without a spouse but with children, the children share the award equally.
  • Without a spouse or child, their parents receive the monetary award.

If there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent, the victim’s siblings and/or other close relatives can potentially get the monetary award.

What Are the Main Causes of Wrongful Death in Buffalo?

Almost any accident or act of violence has the potential to be fatal under the right circumstances, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Mass transit accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Assaults
  • Sexual assaults
  • Negligent security
  • Construction accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Accidents involving defective products

You’ll want a trustworthy, experienced legal advocate by your side as you fight to obtain compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death. Choose O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers, and our award-winning team will do everything in its power to help you make the most of this incredibly difficult situation.

What Is My Wrongful Death Claim Worth?

Several factors will impact the potential value of your wrongful death claim. 

  • How old was your family member at the time of their fatal accident?
  • What was their projected life expectancy before their death?
  • What was your loved one’s income?
  • What benefits did they provide?
  • Did your family member provide most of the financial support for your household?
  • Did they experience any pain and suffering before their death?
  • What was the nature of your relationship?
  • What insurance benefits are available?
  • What are those policy’s limits?
  • Does your family member share responsibility for their fatal accident and/or death?

In New York, you can recover both current and future losses. Since these types of damages are subject to interpretation, it’s important to have skilled experts and specialists weigh in on what your losses are likely worth.

The best way to know what your wrongful death case might be worth is by speaking with a trusted personal injury attorney near you in Buffalo. Call O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss the details of your case today. 

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered Through a Wrongful Death Claim?

New York allows the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages in wrongful death cases. Economic damages are designed to help families cope with the financial impact of their loved one’s death, while non-economic awards are intended to compensate for the harder-to-value trauma they experience in the wake of their loss.

However, since wrongful death lawsuits are intended to compensate the victim’s family, the types of damages that can be awarded are more limited in scope than other types of personal injury cases.

Recoverable damages can include:

  • Lost financial support, benefits, and income the victim would have provided if they survived
  • Loss of inheritance
  • The value of household services provided by the victim
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial costs
  • Medical bills paid prior to the victim’s death
  • The victim’s pain and suffering
  • Loss of parental guidance 
  • Loss of consortium

In some situations, punitive damages can also be awarded in a Buffalo wrongful death lawsuit. New York permits punitive damages when there is convincing evidence of intentional misconduct or a conscious disregard for a victim’s safety. 

Can New York’s Comparative Fault Law Affect My Wrongful Death Settlement?

New York’s pure comparative negligence statute applies to most personal injury cases, including matters of wrongful death.

If your family member’s negligence contributed to their death, it will impact your ability to obtain compensation through a wrongful death claim.

Damages will be reduced proportionately to the victim’s liability. If your loved one is deemed to be 10 percent at fault for their fatal Buffalo car accident, your wrongful death recovery will be reduced by 10 percent.

How Long Does a Family Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York?

New York state law provides a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits.

Families will have two years from the date of a victim’s death to formally seek damages from a liable party.

You’ll lose the ability to demand justice if your wrongful death claim is not filed on time. As there are exceptions to the two-year time limit, it’s best that you reach out to our law firm as soon as you can for help taking legal action.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Buffalo Wrongful Death Lawyer

You’ve experienced an unimaginable loss. You deserve justice, and O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers can help you get it. 

Our Buffalo wrongful death lawyers have over 84 years of collective experience fighting for families across Western New York. We put pressure on insurance companies and liable parties to make things right. Our results speak volumes, with tens of millions in damages recovered.

Keep in mind as well that you can still file a wrongful death claim in civil court regardless of whether the at-fault party is facing criminal charges. The burden of proof standard is lower in civil cases, which means you can still win compensation even if the opposing party is acquitted in criminal court.

Find out how we can help your family maximize your wrongful death recovery by calling our Buffalo law office today. Your initial case evaluation is free.