When a family member passes unexpectedly, it can be a trying time for the surviving family members. A sudden death of a family member can cause several problems. Things such as the loss of a primary earning family member, funeral costs, or other associated medical costs can lead to a financial crisis for an already grieving family. The compounding of stress and issue's related to a family member's tragic death can leave a family shaken and confused. Many times, the law can provide some relief for a grieving family. Pursuing a wrongful death case may be able to provide a family with the relief they need to get back on their feet after a painful loss.
Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death In New York?
When a loved one suddenly passes, the right to a wrongful claim is not available to just anyone. Generally, wrongful death claims are limited to those who are in the deceased's immediate family or very close relatives. This means these types of claims are typically limited to the surviving spouse, children, or parents. This category can sometimes be expanded under certain circumstances.
Who May Be Held Responsible For Wrongful Death In New York?
Generally, wrongful death claims are pursued against the individual or individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the events that caused a person's death. These individuals are known as defendants. Defendants can come in many forms: an irresponsible driver, a company that fails to create a safe product, a doctor that failed to perform up to professional standards.
Common New York Wrongful Death Cases
The cause of action that generates a wrongful death claim can arise from a number of circumstances. When tragedy strikes, it can often come at unpredictable times, and oftentimes in ways that people do not always expect. Some of the most common types of wrongful death claims may include:
- Car Accident: Car accidents are an incredibly common source of injury, and by extension, can also cause a person's death. A family that loses a loved one in a vehicle accident is likely to have a cause of action for wrongful death.
- Truck Accident: By nature, a trucking accident will often carry much more serious injuries and increased risk of death for an individual. A family that has lost a loved one in a truck accident is likely to have a claim for wrongful death against multiple parties, including the trucking company.
- Work Accident: Sometimes, a loved one may lose their lives in a tragic workplace accident. Workplaces often have certain standards they must keep in order to ensure the safety of their employees. Failure to adhere to these standards may be the cause for the aggrieved family to bring a wrongful death claim.
- Medical Malpractice: One common source of severe injury and potential death nationwide is medical malpractice. When a doctor makes an error, the consequences for the patient can be dire. These errors can sometimes result in the patient's death. If a doctor has made an error causing a person's death, the surviving family may have a chance to make a wrongful death claim under medical malpractice law.
- Product Liability: Products that fail to adhere to safety standards can be the cause of injury or, in some cases, death. Safety standards are imposed to protect consumers from harmful consequences, and a family may have a wrongful death claim against the company. These types of claims can be common for food and drug products, and sometimes even against auto manufacturers.
Damages in New York Wrongful Death Cases
When a person files a wrongful death lawsuit, they are seeking relief by using the courts. This relief sought is known as "damages," a term of art. Damages can come in many forms. Some common damages seen in wrongful death cases can include the following:
- Funeral Costs: One of the most common claims for damages in nearly every wrongful death lawsuits is damages for funeral costs. Any and all costs associated with a loved one's burial and death rites are covered under this. The party in a wrongful death suit who is held liable can be made to cover the aggrieved family's cost associated with their loved one's funeral.
- Medical Costs: Sometimes, a person facing death can incur serious medical costs before they die. This can come from hospital care, hospice care, ambulance rides, and emergency medicine. In most cases, the family will still bear responsibility for these costs, even if their loved one is not saved. Because of this, at times, the family is sometimes able to make claims for their deceased loved one's medical costs in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Decedent's Conscious Pain and Suffering: When a family loses a loved one who suffered before their death they can seek a claim for the conscious pain and suffering their loved one endured before they died from their injuries.
- Lost Wages or Loss of Financial Support: In certain cases, the family member lost in a wrongful death incident may be the primary source of income for the family. In these cases, the family may sometimes be able to seek monetary damages for the financial support they are no longer receiving due to their loved one's untimely passing.
If you have lost a loved one, we understand that this may be a difficult and confusing time for you. For compassionate and effective legal services for your wrongful death claim, contact Kenneth Puig today.