The loss of a beloved family member is difficult to cope with. If this untimely loss was caused by negligence, you can hold the responsible party liable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Doing so can help you recover compensation, which you and your family might be in need of if your loved one’s death also resulted in financial hardship. That said, only certain individuals can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court, so it is essential to understand what state law allows.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a person dies in an accident caused by reckless or negligent actions. Certain surviving family members can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages.
In the state of New York, the following individuals can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased person
- The surviving children of the deceased person
- The surviving parent of the deceased person
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
Typically, siblings and cousins do not have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court unless they were named as a personal representative of the deceased person. If there is a surviving child, spouse, or parent, however, a surviving sibling still might not be able to file such a claim, regardless if they were named guardian of the estate.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Many of the recoverable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are difficult to measure, given that many of them are non-economic or intangible. Moreover, trying to calculate the loss of future income is incredibly speculative. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help ensure you are appropriately compensated for your loss by retaining the assistance of knowledgeable economists who can estimate the earnings your loved one might have made if the fatal incident never occurred.
Here are some of the damages you might be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Direct damages, including burial and funeral expenses, and medical bills
- Pain and suffering the decedent experienced before death
- Loss of future benefits and earnings
- Loss of companionship
- In some cases, it is also possible to recover punitive damages
Although it is not required by law for you to hire a wrongful death attorney, moving forward without legal assistance is a mistake that can cost you. Do not hesitate to obtain the guidance you need during this challenging time.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Wrongful Death Case Today!
If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless actions, you should not postpone taking legal action. At Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC, our wrongful death attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to guide you through this complex legal process. We understand that receiving compensation will never right this wrong. However, it can at least provide some financial relief during this already stressful and overwhelming time.
Call our law office today at (607) 228-8404 to schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted wrongful death attorneys.