Rockaway Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is never easy, regardless of the circumstances. Matters only become more devastating and traumatic if another person’s careless actions caused their passing. The emotions associated with such a tragic loss can be paralyzing, rendering you incapable of basic functioning.
During this sensitive time, a lawsuit may understandably be the last thing on your mind. However, prompt legal action may be the only way for you to hold the negligent party accountable and recover damages. Focusing on expenses that need to be paid and how you will survive financially should not be your burden to bear—allow a Rockaway Beach wrongful death lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your case while you mourn and focus on your family. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation with a compassionate personal injury attorney.
Filing Suit and Proving Liability
Wrongful death cases in New York are generally governed by N.Y. Estates, Powers & Trusts Law § 5-41. This statute sets the parameters for filing a wrongful death suit. Notably, the wrongful death suit generally must be filed by the personal representative of the estate, rather than a surviving spouse or family member.
Depending on the circumstances, wrongful death suits can be pursued under several legal theories. The death could have been caused by the negligent actions of the responsible party, or it could have been the result of intentional criminal conduct. When a wrongful death results from criminal activity, it is possible that both criminal prosecution and a civil wrongful death claim may be pursued.
Proving liability for wrongful death generally involves four stages. First, a Rockaway Beach attorney must show that wrongful conduct resulted in the untimely death. This wrongful conduct can stem from various circumstances, such as an automobile accident or a slip and fall due to a lack of maintenance.
Once the wrongful conduct has been established, the attorney must also show that the wrongful conduct caused the death. Proving causation could be a complicated legal task, particularly if there was more than one contributing factor.
In addition to showing that the wrongful conduct caused the death, the attorney must also establish that there is a party entitled to damages. In most wrongful death cases, this party is either a surviving spouse, a child, or another beneficiary or dependent of the deceased. The last step in a wrongful death case is to show that the claimant suffered economic damages.
Damages and Time Limits in a Wrongful Death Suit
Unfortunately, unlike many states, New York does not allow individuals to recover for emotional pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. Damages in these lawsuits are limited to the economic costs associated with the death, such as the funeral expenses, lost wages the deceased may have otherwise earned, or a reduction in inheritance. While the emotional trauma from experiencing the loss of a loved one is the most egregious form of loss, the wrongful death statute in New York was designed only to provide for the tangible, pecuniary losses that loved ones experience.
In order to proceed on a wrongful death case, the lawsuit must be filed within a set amount of time established by statute. These laws, also known as statutes of limitation, are often strict deadlines, and the failure to meet them could result in the loss of a right to compensation.
In New York, wrongful death cases generally must be filed within two years of the date of death. Because meeting this deadline is imperative, consulting a wrongful death attorney in Rockaway Beach could help grieving individuals ensure that they have the support and guidance they need to timely comply with the law.
Reach Out to a Rockaway Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The pain associated with the death of a loved one cannot be overstated. Learning to process your grief and work toward healing is a harrowing experience.
By contacting a Rockaway Beach wrongful death attorney, you could start alleviating the additional stressors you may experience throughout this time. While financial compensation cannot make up for your tragic loss, it could help you cover any costs related to your loved one’s passing. Allow yourself the opportunity to focus on recovery while an attorney at our firm manages the rest. Call our firm today.