Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing can be devastating. In addition to the emotional toll, families may also face financial hardships due to medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of income. In such cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide a path to justice and compensation. In these lawsuits, damages can be awarded to help the family cope with the losses they have suffered. This Eastcoastlaws.com article will explore the various types of damages that can be awarded in wrongful death lawsuits in New York, the factors that can impact the amount of compensation, and how families can seek the help they need to navigate the legal process.
What Damages Can Be Recovered In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
One of the most terrible situations a family may go through is losing a loved one in an accident that should have never happened. Regrettably, negligently induced death accidents can occur, leaving families with deep pain and issues they could never have imagined. Although a wrongful death lawsuit cannot take away the emotional suffering a family is going through, it can assist ease the financial worries brought on by the loss of a loved one. We will describe possible damages in a New York wrongful death lawsuit for families who have been put in this situation.
Economic Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death lawsuit aims to make up for the financial damages sustained by the victim’s family members as a result of the untimely passing of their loved one. In New York wrongful death claims, the following types of damages are frequently awarded:
- Medical expenses required to treat the victim
- The costs of the funeral, cremation or burial
- Lost wages the victim was earning and would have been able to earn in the future
- Reduction in the inheritance that the victim would have left
- Loss in parental guidance the deceased would have provided if they reached their anticipated life expectancy
- Services that the victim provided, such as childcare
The assessment of these financial losses will be influenced by the age and remaining life expectancy of the deceased (the person who passed away) and their distributees. Legally negotiating the compensation for the loss of parental supervision, emotional support, and moral training that should be paid is one of the more difficult aspects of any wrongful death claim, as indicated above. Adult children of a deceased parent may be able to claim these damages in some circumstances, but they are undoubtedly more significant when the surviving child is younger.
Damages Awarded for Conscious Pain and Suffering
Regrettably, as of 2019, surviving family members who file a wrongful death claim in New York are not entitled to receive compensation for the pain, suffering, and loss of companionship they endure after a loved one passes away. Nonetheless, it is conceivable to receive compensation for the victim’s conscious anguish, fear of imminent death, and other pre-death emotions.
Anyone considering filing a wrongful death claim should get in touch with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can sort out these difficulties, pursue the best techniques, and secure the most money possible. These topics can be uncomfortable to confront and highly complicated legally.
Who Can Receive Compensation From A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In New York
The victim’s spouse, child, or parent may pursue a wrongful death claim in New York. Occasionally, if they have been expressly designated as the executor of the decedent’s estate, further family members of the victim may bring the action. Based on the financial losses brought on by the fatal accident, the wrongful death lawsuit’s settlement amount will be divided. The settlement documents will make this clear. Although this isn’t always the case depending on who the decedent was financially supporting at the time of their passing, the spouse and children are typically the recipients of wrongful death awards.
The victim’s estate receives any compensation granted in a survivorship claim for conscious suffering or dread of approaching death. After then, the estate is divided in accordance with the will. The inheritance will be divided in accordance with New York intestate law if the victim passed away without leaving a will:
- When somebody dies with a spouse and no children, the estate goes to the spouse
- If a spouse and children, $50,000 and half of the balance goes to the spouse, while the other half is divided equally among the children
- If children and no spouse, the estate is divided equally among the children
- If parents and no spouse or children, the estate is left to the parent(s)
- If siblings but no spouse, children or parents, the siblings split the estate evenly
The jury will decide how the damages are divided if your wrongful death case advances to a jury verdict as opposed to an out-of-court settlement.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out In New York?
Wrongful death settlements in New York can be paid out in a lump sum or through structured payments over time. The specific payment arrangement will depend on the terms negotiated between the parties involved in the settlement.
In cases where the wrongful death claim is resolved through a settlement agreement, the responsible party (or their insurance company) will typically pay the settlement amount to the deceased’s estate. The settlement will then be distributed to the legally recognized distributees of the deceased, such as the surviving spouse, children, parents, or personal representative of the estate.
In some cases, a structured settlement may be preferable to a lump sum payment. A structured settlement involves spreading the payment out over time, typically in the form of regular installments, to provide a steady source of income for the family over a specified period. This can be particularly beneficial for families who have lost a breadwinner or who are facing ongoing medical expenses related to the death.
It’s important to note that any settlement or judgment obtained in a wrongful death claim may be subject to liens or other claims from creditors, such as medical providers who provided treatment to the deceased. In these cases, the amount of compensation received by the distributees may be reduced to satisfy these claims.
Overall, the payment of wrongful death settlements in New York will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the terms negotiated between the parties. It’s important for families to work with experienced attorneys who can help them navigate the legal process and ensure that their rights and interests are protected.
Resources For Wrongful Death Lawsuit In NY
Here are some resources for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York:
- New York State Unified Court System: This website provides information on New York’s court system, including how to file a lawsuit, court rules, and filing fees. You can access the website at: https://www.nycourts.gov/.
- New York State Bar Association: The New York State Bar Association can provide a list of qualified attorneys who have experience handling wrongful death cases. Their website is https://nysba.org.
- New York State Department of Health: The New York State Department of Health provides information on how to obtain copies of medical records, which can be useful in a wrongful death lawsuit. Their website is https://www.health.ny.gov/.
- Legal Information Institute: The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School provides access to New York’s laws and statutes. You can access their website at https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/new_york_law.
- New York State Trial Lawyers Association: The New York State Trial Lawyers Association provides resources for individuals who have suffered a wrongful death, including legal guidance and support. You can access their website at https://www.nystla.org/.
It’s important to note that these resources are not a substitute for legal advice, and they are provided for informational purposes only. If you believe you have a wrongful death case, it’s important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can provide guidance on your specific situation.