Brooklyn Wrongful Death Lawyer
The loss of a loved one and family member is always an extremely difficult time for a family. On top of the obvious emotional and mental difficulties that this loss will cause, there can be a significant financial strain placed on a family. Not only may a family be responsible for any medical costs and funeral expenses, but the lost earning power of the deceased may also be a heavy burden.
Brooklyn wrongful death lawyers understand the pressures and emotional burdens that these difficult times can place on a family. That is why they work with the families of people who have met an untimely death due to the criminal acts or negligence of others to provide for their family’s financial future. Consult with a compassionate personal injury attorney that can pursue justice for you and your loved ones. En Español.
New York Wrongful Death Laws
A lawsuit alleging wrongful death works much the same way as any other lawsuit alleging personal injury. A plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that if proper care was taken, the injury that led to death would not have happened.
However, due to the often complex nature of these cases, there are a few key differences to remember. In a case alleging personal injury, the injured person must be the plaintiff in the lawsuit. Of course, this is not possible because of the injured person is deceased.
Role of Representatives
Under New York Law for Estates Powers & Trusts 5-4.1, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate is a potential plaintiff in these matters. In many cases, the representative may be named in a decedent’s will.
If there is no specifically named representative, the court itself may appoint an administrator to pursue the lawsuit. This is common in cases where both parents die and the children are the only members of the estate.
Criminal vs. Civil Court
A second thing to remember is that many wrongful death cases are the result of a criminal act. The criminal law and the civil law are two separate but related branches.
One set of facts may lead to both cases, but in no event can a criminal court order a defendant to pay money to the decedent’s estate. Any compensation for the families must be ordered in a separate civil trial.
Fortunately, if the defendant is convicted in a criminal court, a Brooklyn wrongful death lawyer can use this evidence to prove their liability in a civil claim.
One last aspect to remember is the statute of limitations. The law places a burden on plaintiffs in wrongful death cases to start their lawsuits within a certain period of time. Under New York Law for Estates Powers & Trusts 5-4.1, all cases must be initiated within two years of the decedent’s death. If this deadline is missed, the case will be dismissed.
This portion of the law has an interesting interaction with the criminal law as discussed above. If there is a criminal action that results from the death, the statute of limitations shifts to one year after that criminal action ends, regardless of its outcome. Contacting a qualified Brooklyn wrongful death attorney is imperative for individuals who wish to pursue their case in a timely manner.
How a Brooklyn Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
The loss of a loved one is never easy. Whether the death occurred as the result of a car accident, a workplace injury, a defective product, or even a criminal act, the decedent’s estate has the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the people responsible. This suit can request compensation for not just medical bills and funeral expenses, but also for lost earning power and loss of companionship.
Making the decision to start a lawsuit alleging wrongful death is never an easy one, but there is a strict time limit that must be met. When you are ready, contact a Brooklyn wrongful death lawyer to see how they can help.