The Support You Need After Losing A Loved One Due To Someone Else’s Negligence
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things you can go through. Knowing that the accident that took them away from you was preventable or caused by someone else’s negligence can be devastating. While no amount of compensation or damages can take away your grief and pain, it can help you hold those responsible accountable and remove some financial burden off your shoulders.
A wrongful death occurs when someone’s negligence or recklessness causes the death of another. Whether from a car accident or negligent construction site safety standards, our attorneys at Rutberg Breslow Personal Injury Law in Poughkeepsie can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. With over a century of combined legal experience, we have a strong reputation for getting results and fighting tirelessly for our clients.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
Just like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim is valid when negligence or recklessness of another person causes a fatality. The loved ones or certain family members of the deceased can file a claim for wrongful death on their behalf.
Common scenarios that lead to wrongful death claims include:
- Automobile accidents
- Medical negligence or malpractice
- Elder abuse or neglect at nursing homes
- Construction accidents
In a wrongful death case, it is essential to prove negligence or misconduct to have a valid claim. At Rutberg Breslow Personal Injury Law, our attorneys will review your case and the evidence to help you determine who was at fault and if they breached their duty of care.
Eligibility For Wrongful Death Claims
New York law designates who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a loved one. Under state law, a child of the decedent, a parent, a spouse and the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim. Siblings and cousins may bring a suit if no other surviving relatives exist.
To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must show that, had the death not occurred, the decedent could have filed a personal injury claim; there are surviving relatives of the victim; and there are valid monetary damages resulting from the death. In New York, you have two years from the date of the decedent’s death to file a claim. It is vital to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to get started on your claim.
Establishing Liability In Wrongful Death Cases
In a wrongful death claim, you must show that the death was caused by the negligent or reckless act of another. We prove this by establishing that someone had a duty of care, and they breached that duty.
For example, if your loved one died in a construction accident, we will look at the construction company, contracts, machine manufacturers and any other parties to determine what their duty of care was and if they breached it. Once we determine the liable parties, we will gather evidence to prove the duty of care and the breach that caused your loved one’s death.
Types Of Damages In Wrongful Death Claims
In a wrongful death claim, family members can obtain economic and noneconomic damages. In some situations, you may also pursue punitive damages. Economic damages include compensating for monetary losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs and lost income. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
In rare cases, the court may award punitive damages. If the defendant’s behavior or actions were especially reckless or there was malicious intent, the court may require them to pay extra damages to punish them.
The Legal Process In Wrongful Death Claims
Facing the legal process while grieving a loved one can be intimidating and overwhelming. At Rutberg Breslow Personal Injury Law, our attorneys will be here for you every step of the way. After you meet with us for your initial consultation, we will begin the investigative process. During this stage, we will gather evidence and determine the at-fault parties.
After filing a claim, we will head into settlement negotiations, mediation or trial. At Rutberg Breslow Personal Injury Law, we will always do what is best for you. With experienced negotiators and seasoned litigators on our team, our attorneys are prepared to fight for you in the courtroom or across the negotiating table.
While insurance does cover wrongful death, insurance companies are interested in settling cases quickly and cheaply. They often offer you low settlements to make the issue go away faster instead of considering the extent of the damages. To ensure that you get fair compensation after a fatal accident, you need to work with an attorney with experience negotiating with insurance companies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Cases
At Rutberg Breslow Personal Injury Law, we understand how overwhelming the legal process can be. On top of the grief and life changes you face, it can feel impossible to wrap your mind around filing a claim. We are here to answer your questions, but in the meantime, please see some answers to frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims.
How long do I have to file a claim?
In New York, you have two years from the date of the death to file a claim. If you miss this deadline, the court may deny your claim. It is vital that you contact us and get started on your claim as soon as possible.
How long will my case take?
There is no set time limit on how long a wrongful death case can take. Some cases are resolved within a year of filing, whereas others can take much longer.
Will I have to go to court?
Wrongful death cases can be settled through alternative dispute resolution methods. However, depending on your case, it may be in your best interests to take your case to trial.
Can I get damages for my own mental suffering?
No. However, in New York, you can obtain damages for the pain and suffering your deceased loved one experienced before their death.
Experienced And Compassionate Wrongful Death Representation
At Rutberg Breslow Personal Injury Law, our wrongful death lawyers provide a compassionate and personalized approach to every case. We understand this is a difficult time for you and that sometimes dragging out a legal claim can make it difficult to move forward. We will always listen to your concerns and consider your best interests while fighting for the compensation you deserve.