Roosevelt Wrongful Death Lawyer
When an accident or a crime leaves a family without a loved one, it can be difficult to plan for the future. Not only do people need to take care of the final expenses and outstanding medical bills, they need to consider what impact this loss will have on their financial future.
Thankfully, New York law allows family members of people who have met untimely deaths to pursue civil lawsuits against the people responsible. Whether the death was the result of an accident or an intentional act, Roosevelt wrongful death lawyers are here to help. Compassionate personal injury attorneys represent individuals in their claims for both costs associated with the incident and for future hardship.
Wrongful Death Laws
In many respects, civil lawsuits for wrongful death are similar to those alleging a personal injury. In fact, there is no cause of action known as wrongful death that a plaintiff may use to form their case. Instead, other causes of action, such as negligence, product liability, or assault must be used. The plaintiff bears the same burden of proof as they would in any other case, but they state that the damages suffered involved the death of the deceased.
One obvious issue that quickly arises is that the usual plaintiff in these cases, the injured party, is now deceased. New York Law addresses this issue in New York Law for Estates Powers & Trusts 5-4.1. In this statute, it is clearly stated that the personal representative of the estate has the power to pursue claims in the event of a wrongful death. A personal representative is usually named by the deceased in their will. If the deceased passes without a will or the personal representative does not bring the action, the court will appoint an administrator to serve as plaintiff.
Statute of Limitations
This statute also states that there is a time limit within which the case must be initiated in court. This is known as the statute of limitations. Roosevelt wrongful death lawyers know that all cases must begin within two years of the decedent’s death. This may be extended in cases where the death came about as the result of a criminal act. In these instances, the statute of limitations ends one year after the end of a criminal case.
Causes of Wrongful Death Cases
Not every death can be the subject of a civil lawsuit. Many deaths, while untimely and tragic, are freak accidents, or natural. It is when the death was caused by an otherwise negligent or criminal act that the death can be viewed as wrongful. In this way, a death that was accidental may still be the subject of a wrongful death claim.
Imagine that a person is killed when they are involved in a car accident. If the plaintiff can show that the defendant was driving in a negligent manner, the defendant will be held liable for all damages to the deceased and their family. Many other wrongful death claims are centered around criminal activity. In these situations, many times a plaintiff will not need to prove to the court that the defendant was responsible for the death.
Due to a concept known as res judicata, courts will not allow people to relitigate issues of fact that have already been decided. If a defendant is convicted in criminal court, they cannot reargue that they did not commit the act in civil court. When this concept is combined with the expanded statute of limitations for deaths resulting from criminal acts, these cases are given special consideration under New York law.
Contact a Roosevelt Wrongful Death Attorney
Regardless of whether the death occurred as the result of an accident or an intentional act, the surviving family members face a heavy burden. Not only do they need to deal with the immediate grief and pain of the loss, but also need to make plans for the future.
Roosevelt wrongful death lawyer can help represent estates of decedents to pursue civil claims against the people responsible for the death. The lawyer can argue that the estate of the family is owed compensation for both the economic and emotional damages inflicted by the defendant. Contact an experienced attorney to see how they can provide peace of mind and economic stability by bringing the responsible people to justice.