Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, especially when their death could have been prevented. Wrongful death claims arise when another party’s negligent actions result in a victim’s death. Families can file wrongful death claims against negligent parties to hold them accountable and hopefully deter anyone from engaging in similar behavior. A successful claim can help families pay for expenses related to their loved one’s death, compensate them for their loss, and ease the impact of losing the financial support their loved one may have provided.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe have helped hundreds of families successfully resolve their wrongful death claims or lawsuits against those who’ve caused them great pain and loss. We take great pride in taking the stress of pursuing a wrongful death claim off our client’s shoulders, giving them the time, space, and resources to focus on grieving and recovering maximum compensation to help them move forward. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe is here to help.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean in Jamaica, Queens?
Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury case. A personal injury case in Jamaica is brought forth by the injured party against the liable party to recover damages. However, in a wrongful death case, the victim has died because of their injuries and cannot bring forth a personal injury claim themselves.
In New York, wrongful death claims must be brought forth by the deceased’s personal representative against the at-fault party for a wrongful act, neglect, or default caused. Wrongful deaths are commonly caused by car accidents, medical malpractice, and workplace accidents.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In many states, certain close relatives (spouses, children, parents, etc.) can file a lawsuit on behalf of their loved one. However, that’s not the case in New York. In New York, only a personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Typically, a personal representative is appointed in the deceased’s will. Often the personal representative is the executor of the will, administrator of the estate, or legal guardian. Where there is no named personal representative before death, the court appoints one to file the lawsuit.
The personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages on behalf of the family. The personal representative will hold the money in a trust and oversee its management until it is distributed to the family according to the court’s order.
What Elements Must Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims are usually based on negligence or an intentional act. Negligence is when an individual or entity fails to use reasonable care, resulting in physical, mental, and financial to someone else. When someone is negligent (they didn’t intentionally cause harm), the actions resulting from carelessness. When someone acts intentionally, they knowingly take a certain action. An intentional act that leads to the death of another may also be a crime. However, criminal cases are separate from wrongful death cases. Wrongful death cases go through civil court, while criminal cases go through the criminal justice system.
Families do not have to pursue criminal charges to be able to file wrongful death. The following elements must be established to prove wrongful death:
- Someone died
- There are surviving distributees, children, or dependents of the victim
- The responsible engaged in negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct that caused the death.
- The deceased would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
- As a result of the victim’s death, their family suffered damages.
An attorney can help your family prove these elements by a preponderance of the evidence. They can also evaluate your case and assess the damages you’ve suffered to ensure you’re recovering maximum compensation.
What Evidence Is Used to Prove Wrongful Death?
You or an attorney must produce enough evidence for the court to rule in your favor, but only some types of evidence are allowed in court. The New York Rules of Evidence dictate what can and cannot be admitted as evidence in court. It also details how a lawyer is allowed to question the witnesses.
The particular evidence in a wrongful death trial varies from case to case, but the most common types of evidence are:
- Relevant police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- A certified copy of the death certificate or an autopsy report
- Video and photographic evidence of the injuries
- The defendant’s admissions or statements
- Medical records detailing the deceased’s injuries and the official cause of death
- Expert testimony as it relates to scientific and medical issues in the case
Obtaining the various pieces of evidence necessary to support your claim can be challenging without the proper experience and resources. Fortunately, a seasoned attorney will know how to obtain sufficient evidence to secure the outcome your family deserves.
Contact a Skilled Jamaica, Queens Wrongful Death Attorney
Understandably, family members are experiencing a difficult time due to their loved one’s unexpected death. Unfortunately, liable parties, their insurance carriers, and their attorneys know this and try to use it against families. When families are already dealing with their loss, it’s difficult to concentrate on going through a legal process or trial. Insurance adjusters and attorneys are quick to jump on this to protect their own interests. They count on the process being mentally draining so that families will drop their lawsuits or be willing to settle for less than they deserve.
At The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, we protect our clients against those who harmed them and may try to take advantage of them during such an emotional time. We provide the legal and moral support they need to pursue their claim, even if it means going to trial, so they get the maximum compensation they are owed. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe is here for you. Schedule a consultation through our contact form or by calling 718-280-5337. You may also visit and subscribe to our Cohen & Jaffe YouTube Channel to learn more about the wrongful death laws that may impact your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Jamaica, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.