Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult moments of anyone’s life. It becomes much more difficult when you know someone else’s actions or negligence was responsible for your loved one’s death. After a sudden death, you may not be sure what your future holds. You might be left without half of your household income, and you could be facing mounting end-of-life medical and funeral bills. While there is no amount of money that can heal the wound of losing your loved one, recovering compensation if someone else’s actions or negligence were the cause of death can help you start to put your life back together. Recovering compensation can help you pay off those medical and funeral bills, handle your mortgage and other household bills, and make sure your dependents are taken care of. At Carner & DeVita, our Islip wrongful death attorneys have helped families of victims recover the compensation they and their family deserve for over 60 years. We know how difficult this time in your life can be, and we also know that there are practical benefits to getting the compensation you deserve as soon as possible. Our mission is to represent you and protect your legal rights while holding the responsible party accountable. To speak with an Islip wrongful death lawyer at Carner & DeVita, call us at 631-543-7070 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Under New York law, there are five elements that must be proven in order to establish a potentially successful wrongful death claim. These include:
- A death that was,
- Caused by the wrongful or negligent actions of another party
- Gave rise to a lawsuit that, if your loved one hadn’t died, they could’ve filed themselves (i.e. would be a personal injury case if not for the death), and
- The deceased was survived by at least one person who suffered a loss due to the death, and
- There are damages the estate can recover.
To put it simply, your loved one must have been killed by someone else’s wrongful action. If your loved one hadn’t died in the incident, they must have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit for their injuries. For instance, if they were injured instead of killed in a car accident, they would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. The last two elements will be discussed in further detail below.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Islip?
In many states, the surviving dependents of the decedent (that is, the deceased person) would bring forth a wrongful death claim. However, New York requires a “personal representative” of the estate to file the claim. This representative may be a family member, or it may be a lawyer or trustee for the estate. However, the wrongful death claim can claim damages suffered by the decedent’s beneficiaries, heirs and dependents, in addition to losses suffered by the estate. If damages are paid out, the representative of the estate will essentially hold it in trust for the surviving family members and others who suffered losses.
Types of Damages You Can Recover after a Wrongful Death in Islip
For the most part, the damages recoverable for wrongful death are economic. This means an objective dollar amount can be placed on the damages, and they are directly related to the actual money lost due to the death. There are some noneconomic damages available, but unlike other states, damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of companionship are not recoverable.
- Medical, nursing and other healthcare expenses related to end-of-life treatment
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Wages and benefits lost between the decedent’s fatal injury and their death
- Surviving children’s lost inheritance
- The value of services and support the decedent provided to family members (noneconomic)
- The value of parental care, nurturing and guidance to surviving children (noneconomic)
- Conscious pain and suffering endured by the decedent due to their injury (noneconomic)
- 9 percent interest on the awarded damages, calculated from the date of death
If the decedent is a child, parents may also recover damages for the lost value of services, like chores. However, that amount is reduced by the estimated cost of rearing the child until they’re adults.
Why You Should Consult with an Islip Wrongful Death Lawyer As Soon As Possible
At Carner & DeVita, we have helped members of the Islip community find justice for their loved one’s wrongful death since 1957. Our attorneys know how to meet the criteria to file a successful claim, and we can help you get the compensation you and your family deserve. We know that no amount of money can possibly heal the hurt you feel after losing your loved one, but with proper compensation, you can start to financially recover. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an Islip wrongful death lawyer, call us at 631-543-7070 or contact us online today.