What To Do Following The Wrongful Death Of A Loved Family Member 

Wrongful death form and stethoscope on a table.When a close family member passes away due to the fault of someone else, you may be able to earn monetary compensation for your costs and reliance on the decedent. Understandably, no amount of money will ever be able to make up for the loss of your loved one, but money can still help you along the way to your recovery. You may be faced with medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of income following such a death, but with the help of legal professionals, you’ll be able to get through this difficult time.

How You Can Sue and How Damages are Distributed

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit to be economically reimbursed for expenses following the death of a close family member. This type of lawsuit can arise following a death caused by medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents on the premises of another, or any other reason a death was caused by another person. Even if the person that at-fault was criminally charged for his or her wrongdoing, you can still file this civil suit for your loss.

In New York, the personal representative of the decedent can file suit. Presuming a successful outcome, the personal representative will then be able to distribute the money earned through the claim to the people who have suffered a pecuniary loss by that death. People who receive this money are typically the children, spouse, and/or parents of the decedent.

If you have suffered a pecuniary loss due to the death of a close family member, you could recover financially for the reliance the decedent gave to you, the value of the support and services rendered, loss of nurture and guidance, pain and suffering, loss of inheritance, and potentially punitive damages under aggravating circumstances. Additionally, you may be able to receive medical, funeral, and burial expenses arising from the decedent’s death.

Statute Of Limitations

Statutes of limitations in each state determine how long you have to file suit. You will not be able to file suit once the statute of limitations has run on your claim, so it is vital for you to know how long you have and make sure you file within the time limit. In New York, you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. There are certainly exceptions, such as when there was also a criminal proceeding against the defendant or if a minor is involved, but nevertheless, you should always contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is timely filed.

Contacting An Attorney

When you’re not sure what to do, you should always contact an attorney to further advise you of the specific wrongful death statutes in your state and help guide you with what you should do. When you’re looking for a compassionate attorney that cares about the people they work with, you don’t need to look any further than the team of attorneys at O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers in New York. Contact us today so we can help you and your family receive fair compensation to get you back on your feet. Call us at: (716) 330-2901

Can And Should You Sue For Wrongful Death? 

 illustration of Wrongful Death title on Legal DocumentsWhen a family member passes away because of the fault, negligence, or recklessness of another person, the decedent’s named personal representative can sue on behalf of the decedent in a civil wrongful death lawsuit. It is understandable to want a defendant to be held responsible for the loss of your family member and damages that you have suffered. Spouses, children, and parents of deceased family members can ultimately receive monetary compensation including: 

  • Funeral and burial costs 
  • Healthcare and pain and suffering costs related to the cause of death 
  • Lost wages and income 
  • Reasonable value for the support and care that the decedent gave to close family members 
  • Inheritance 
  • Punitive damages in certain circumstances 

Past Cases 

In New York, The Estate Powers and Trust Law in the State Constitution lays out the rules for wrongful death. Courts have given verdicts in favor of plaintiffs for deaths that have occurred in fatal car accidents, poorly maintained premises, medical malpractice, and deaths at work, for example. Each case is unique but depending on the facts of your case, a New York licensed attorney will be able to tell you what you might be able to recover. Additionally, experienced attorneys will know exactly how to pursue your case and answer any pressing questions that you may have. 

Courts may also award more or less money depending on what happened. If the deceased was partially at fault, courts will typically award less but if the defendant acted maliciously, you could be awarded more. Even though an attorney will not be able to give you an exact dollar amount of what you will receive, attorneys can still tell you whether you likely have a successful case on your hands, what you can potentially recover, and guide you along the way. 

Statute Of Limitations 

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in New York is two years. This means that a decedent’s personal representative will only have two years following the death to pursue a lawsuit. Waiting past the statute of limitations will result in a court not hearing the wrongful death claim unless there is a rare exception. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible will ensure that your case a filed in time.  

Even when you are still deciding whether you should sue or not, an attorney will be able to explain what the likely outcome is. After all, it is never too early to get the ball rolling, but it can get to be too late. Even if you think it might be too late, an attorney will also be able to let you know if you fall under any few exceptions that could allow suit.  

Contact Us 

We always give free initial consultations so if you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit, we can discuss what happened and let you know what we can do for you. We will not charge you anything until you win your lawsuit, so there are no obligations. Our attorneys at O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers know that you are going through a difficult time after the death of a loved one, but we will do anything possible to make this an easier time for you. 

Call us at your earliest convenience: (716) 330-2901.