Losing a loved one unexpectedly is never easy, especially when their death could have been avoided if not for another person’s negligent actions. Families who’ve lost someone due to wrongful death are coping with their grief and having to go through a complicated and challenging legal process to secure financial compensation and hold the responsible party accountable.
Wrongful death cases are devastating and deserve personal and detailed attention. The Levittown injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe know that families are coming to us because of a horrible loss, which is why we go above and beyond to ensure they feel supported. We aggressively pursue justice for their lost loved one, taking on the legal process so they have one less thing to worry about. No amount of money can make up for their loss, but we can at least ensure they have the financial means to elevate some of their worries.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed because of another person’s negligent or wrongful conduct. Common instances in which wrongful death occurs include:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Uber accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents, and more.
When assessing whether you have a wrongful death case, consider whether you’re loved one would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim had they survived. If the answer is yes, you will likely have grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in New York?
Unlike other states that allow certain family members, whether parents, children, spouses, or other close relatives, in New York, only the deceased’s personal representative can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. Typically a personal representative is appointed in the deceased’s will. The personal representative is often the executor of the will, the administrator of the estate, or a legal guardian. However, if there is no named personal representative at the time of the victim’s death, the court will appoint one to file the lawsuit.
The personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit and recovers damages for the family. They are also responsible for holding the money in a trust and overseeing its management until it is distributed to the family according to the court’s order.
How Is Compensation Distributed in a Wrongful Death Case?
In New York, the distribution of compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit is based on the monetary losses resulting from the fatality. The settlement documents detail how much money goes to each individual impacted by the death.
Oftentimes, the deceased’s spouse and children are the distributees (legal heirs to inherit the estate) of the wrongful death awards. That may not always be the case. The distributees depend on who the deceased provided financial support for before their death.
The estate will be distributed according to the specifications of the deceased’s last will and testament. If they didn’t have a will at the time of their death, the estate will be distributed according to the New York intestate law:
- If they pass with a spouse and no children, the estate goes to the spouse.
- If they had a spouse and children upon their passing, half of the balance goes to the spouse, and the other half is split equally between the children.
- If they had children and no spouse, the estate is distributed equally among the children.
- If they had no spouse or children, the estate goes to their parents.
- If they had no spouse, children, or parents, but had siblings, the siblings then divided the estate evenly.
If the wrongful death lawsuit enters a jury verdict rather than being settled out-of-court through insurance negotiations, the jury will decide how to distribute the award.
The Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers can provide you with a wide range of services. When you work with an attorney, they can help with the following:
- Answer questions: Throughout the legal process, they can answer any questions you may have, offer advice, and discuss possible outcomes of the case.
- Find evidence: collect any evidence that can prove the responsible party’s liability, the existence of damages, and the need for damages.
- File paperwork: They can file the wrongful death lawsuit and handle all legal forms and documents.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: After filing the insurance claim, they can meet with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.
- Represent you on trial: If the liable party’s insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your case goes to trial, and an attorney argues your case in front of a judge or jury.
Unlike personal injury claims, the victim is no longer alive to advocate for themselves. Instead, families are left devastated and faced with needing to grieve and advocate for their loved ones. An attorney takes on the legal weight of your loss, fighting for you and your loved one, so you can focus on what matters most.
Work With a Skilled and Trusted Levittown Wrongful Death Lawyer
The Law Office of Cohen &Jaffe has successfully helped hundreds of clients protect their rights, file wrongful death claims, and obtain fair compensation for their losses. Our firm believes in a strong attorney-client relationship, in addition to our personalized attention, that’s essential for a rewarding experience. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe are committed to being there for our clients every step of the way. Most importantly, our number one concern is protecting our clients best and ensuring they get the justice they deserve.
Pursuing a wrongful death claim on top of having just suffered a loss can seem overwhelming and daunting, but that’s what the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe is here. We get the justice you and your loved one deserve so you can navigate the grieving process. Call 516-358-6900 to schedule a consultation or learn more about how we can help you by completing our website’s contact form. You can also subscribe to our Cohen & Jaffe YouTube Channel to learn more about the laws that may impact your wrongful death claim.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Levittown, 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.