Generally, you must show that another party’s carelessness or recklessness caused the incident that took your loved one’s life. This requires gathering evidence and presenting it as a compelling case against the liable party. The evidence you’ll need to gather depends on the details of your case.
Having a wrongful death lawyer handle your case makes it less stressful to navigate the legal process and hold the at-fault party accountable. Your attorney will be responsible for building the case, meeting all necessary deadlines, and managing all communication with the insurance companies while you focus on grieving and taking care of your family.
- Proving a Wrongful Death Case Using Evidence
- What Is a Wrongful Death Under New York Law?
- How Will an Attorney Handle Your Wrongful Death Case?
- Who Is Eligible to File a New York Wrongful Death Action?
- Discuss Your Legal Options With Our Team Today for Free
Proving a Wrongful Death Case Using Evidence
The evidence necessary to prove a wrongful death case depends greatly on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. You will need to show that the accused party caused the accident that led to your loved one’s fatal injuries. In a car accident case, evidence typically includes photos and video footage. Medical malpractice cases generally require the collection of witness testimony and doctor’s records.
Building a wrongful death case could involve:
- Obtaining relevant medical records
- Gathering bills, receipts, and other documentation of expenses
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Collecting any official reports, such as those filed by police
- Hiring experts to review necessary aspects of the case
- Surveying the scene where the incident occurred
- Seeking photos or video of the incident
Collecting Evidence That Proves Your Family Suffered Wrongful Death Damages
As a part of building your case, you must also document your family’s recoverable damages. This could include:
- Medical bills stemming from your loved one’s injuries
- Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
- Loss of financial support
- Reduced inheritance
- Loss of services, such as childcare or lawncare
- Your loved one’s conscious pain and suffering before their passing
If you work with a wrongful death lawyer on your New York wrongful death action, they will oversee the investigation and manage these tasks. This includes identifying and documenting the recoverable damages. By working with an attorney, you will eliminate a lot of stress and frustration families often face when attempting to handle these cases on their own.
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What Is a Wrongful Death Under New York Law?
Under New York’s wrongful death law, Estates, Powers & Trusts § 5-4.1, holding the at-fault party accountable after someone suffers fatal injuries due to their carelessness or recklessness is possible. These injuries could occur in a wide range of ways. The circumstances that lead to wrongful deaths could include:
- Car accidents
- Truck collisions
- Motorcycle crashes
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Slip and falls
- Trip and falls
- Falls from elevation
- Balcony or deck collapses
- Elevator and escalator injuries
A wrongful death action might be possible in almost any situation where one party’s bad behavior, mistake, or intentional act causes fatal injuries. To learn if your loved one’s death will support an insurance claim or lawsuit, you should consider connecting with a personal injury law firm that handles wrongful death cases. Most provide free initial consultations, which include a case assessment. They will explain your options and next steps.
How Will an Attorney Handle Your Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death lawyers know how to approach a case, fight for accountability, and pursue justice for victims and their families. Most provide free initial consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis. They do not charge any money upfront, including retainers or hourly fees. Instead, they receive a portion of the financial recovery in the case.
Figuring out the steps you need to take and navigating this process on your own is time-consuming and often frustrating. When you have a lawyer on your side, you do not have to worry about whether you are making the right decisions at every turn.
You should expect an attorney to do the following for you:
- Keep you updated on the case
- Identify the liable parties
- Communicate with the insurance carriers and other parties for you
- Gather evidence and build the case
- Determine a value for the case
- Fight relentlessly to win the best possible case outcome for you
In short, your lawyer should handle all aspects of your wrongful death action for your family. They have the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle these cases—and win. They take the burden of figuring out how to navigate the legal process off your shoulders.
Who Is Eligible to File a New York Wrongful Death Action?
New York’s wrongful death laws limit who files wrongful death lawsuits. Many states allow immediate family members to sue based on a wrongful death. However, New York only allows the victim’s personal representative to file a lawsuit. This is the executor of their will or the party named by the Surrogate’s Court (i.e., the administrator) to handle the estate.
If you do not know who should file on your family’s behalf, your attorney will evaluate the circumstances, determine the eligible parties, and offer advice as to who should carry out those duties. The personal representative will work with the law firm to navigate the process and negotiate an appropriate settlement or take the case to trial.
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Discuss Your Legal Options With Our Team Today for Free
Our team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. is sorry to learn your family lost a beloved member to a negligence accident. We understand this is a difficult and frustrating time. We consider it an honor to represent families in these cases and seek justice for victims who cannot speak for themselves.
Our team meets people on Long Island or elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area, assessing their cases and discussing how our attorneys handled similar cases. Get in touch with our team today by calling us. We have someone available to talk to you about your next steps.