Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
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Rochester Wrongful Death Lawyer

Lost a loved one in an accident? Get legal help.

When you lose a loved one in an accident, it can be heartbreaking. But when you find out that the accident was caused by negligence and that it could have been prevented, the pain can be too much to bear. Filing a wrongful death claim can help you find closure to this tragedy and help your family seek justice for your loved one.

King Law can guide you through the claims process and assist you with all the details, including the investigations, the paperwork, the negotiations with insurance adjustors, and even litigating the claim if negotiations are unsuccessful.

Speak with a compassionate Rochester wrongful death lawyer about your loved one’s accident. Dial (585) 270-8882 to begin.

New York State Laws Governing Wrongful Death Claims

The operative law in New York for a wrongful death case is the Estates Powers & Trust Law, section 5-4.1. This section largely states that the personal representative can bring an action for the unreasonable acts of another person that caused the death, within two years. If the court appointed representative does not bring a claim, those entitled to payment can request the court appoint someone else to file the wrongful death lawsuit.

If your loved one’s loss was caused by the negligent acts of another person, and if that person would have been liable to the deceased for damages should he or she have lived, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. In New York, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is entitled to file a wrongful death claim.

Damages in a wrongful death claim may include medical bills and nursing expenses accrued prior to your loved one’s death, and funeral and burial expenses.

Additionally, you may recover the wages and benefits the deceased could have earned and the value of the deceased’s support to family members, and the conscious pain and suffering felt by the deceased prior to death.

Wrongful Death Compensation in New York

Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to recover compensation for a variety of damages and losses.

What does wrongful death compensation in New York usually cover?

Wages and benefits that the deceased could have earned
Medical bills from the accident prior to the deceased’s death
Funeral and burial expenses
Value of the deceased’s support to family members

Damages in a wrongful death case can be some of the most complex. New York is a pecuniary loss state. However, if children are involved economic losses can be claimed. Damages can also be claimed for the pain and suffering of the decedent. In addition, most claims are for the value of the loss of what the decedent provided to the person bringing the lawsuit. For example, a child may claim that the wrongful death of a parent caused them to lose money that would have been provided in their upbringing.

A spouse may be able to show the wrongful death lead to a loss of income for the family. In addition, there can still be a claim brought for wrongful death even if the deceased never worked, so long as they provided something measurable to the family. For example, the value of a stay and home parent to a family with young children.

Time Limitations for Wrongful Death in New York State

It is important to discuss the potential for filing a wrongful death claim with an experienced attorney. In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from your loved one’s death, a full year shorter than most other time limitations for other cases involving negligence. Many wrongful death cases involve a government agency. In those cases there is a 90 day time limit to file a notice of claim, although sometimes extensions are granted up to a year later. Finally, Section 5-4.2 extends the time period to file a claim if there was a criminal action involved with the death.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death claims vary greatly given the distinct factual issues that each case presents. One of the most common areas of wrongful death claims is motor vehicle accidents.

Wrongful Death & Motor Vehicle Accidents

An example of a successful wrongful death claim for a motor vehicle accident in Rochester, New York came when the deceased suffered significant injuries during the accident and died four months later. A claim for wrongful death was made against the driver who struck their vehicle as well as the local restaurant that the driver was driving home from under the theory that he was over served with alcohol and under the Dram Shop Act, the restaurant was liable for the accident that resulted from him driving while intoxicated. They were successful in their claim for damages for the wrongful death.

Wrongful Death Claims & Construction Accidents

In addition to motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death claims can also be made in construction accidents. In 2004, the estate of a deceased male brought a claim against numerous parties after the deceased fell from a scaffold while working on a painting project. He fell several stories and died hours after having surgery attempting to repair his internal injuries. His estate successfully sought and received damages for the pre-impact terror the deceased experienced during the fall and for the pain and suffering he had during the last hours of his life. They also sought and received for the deceased’s lost wages he would have received but for his death assuming a retirement age of 65. Finally, they received damages for the lost household services of the deceased.

Free, Personalized Case Consult From an Experienced Rochester Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one in a motor vehicle, trucking, or boating accident, then you understand the sense of unexpected, traumatic and sudden grief that comes with the loss. Very few things in life can compare to the pain. The deceased leaves behind a family who, while grieving, is left to pick up the financial burden – the medical bills, funeral expenses, and all other financial responsibilities.

If you would like to learn more about what you can do to seek justice and compensation for the loss of your loved one, call the personal injury team at King Law. The firm can answer your questions, explain your options, and give you an honest evaluation of what you can expect. When you work with the firm, you can receive compassionate counsel and knowledgeable representation throughout the process. Whether your loved one was injured in a car crash, truck accident, or another accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help.

Reach King Law by calling (585) 270-8882.


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