If your loved one has died due to the reckless actions or negligence of another party, you do have recourse to recover damages for psychological and financial harm done to you. It may be possible to bring a suit for wrongful death, which is the term used by courts for a death caused by wrongful conduct or negligence.
Who pays for a wrongful death?
If the courts find a party negligent, that party is responsible for paying the amount the court mandates.
Wrongful death is a civil suit, not a criminal one. Wrongful death cases vary. They can be brought against hospitals or physicians for medical malpractice or improper care that resulted in a death. They can be brought against motorists who drove under the influence of alcohol or otherwise with disregard for the law. They can be brought against companies who marketed or manufactured a defective product. They can be brought against employers who failed to make conditions safe or actively made them harmful, such as construction companies who didn’t provide harnesses to employees working at great heights. They can be brought against architects or landlords whose buildings were unsafe for residents.
Attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, for example, secured a $1.4 million wrongful death verdict for the loved ones of a worker in Queens County who was electrocuted, by proving that electrocution was due to unsafe conditions in the workplace.
Money damages available to plaintiffs
In New York State, as in most states, wrongful death claims are intended to compensate families for the death of a loved one when that death might have caused financial hardship.
No monetary award can undo the loss of a loved one, but families can be left destitute if a breadwinner dies. They can also be left without emotional and physical care and support. The law recognizes both, but some financial damage is required in order to file a wrongful death claim.
Under New York state law, a wrongful death suit may compensate plaintiffs for the following:
- Lost earnings
- Lost benefits
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental support
- Medical costs related to the injury, before the death occurred
- Loss of services (examples: cooking, care-giving, household chores, household maintenance)
- Funeral expenses
If you are an immediate family member, you may be eligible to file a claim. This includes spouses of the deceased, parents, children, siblings, and first-generation grandchildren.
Assistance filing a wrongful death claim
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye provide compassionate legal representation to residents throughout Suffolk County and offer complimentary case reviews for prospective clients. Don’t forfeit your right to legal reparations by waiting too long, contact a Long Island wrongful death attorney at 800-469-7429.
- Marsh, Bill. “Putting a Price on the Priceless.” New York Times. September 9, 2007. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/weekinreview/09marsh.html
- Moore, Thomas A. and Matthew Gaier. “Itemized Damages in Wrongful Death Actions.” New York Law Journal. April 2, 2018. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/04/02/itemized-damages-in-wrongful-death-actions/?slreturn=20180901131658