There’s no average settlement for a wrongful death claim because every case comes with its own unique characteristics. The settlement can be higher or lower based on:
- The nature of the fatal accident
- Type of injuries your loved one incurred
- Who the deceased left behind
- Financial and non-financial losses
A wrongful death lawyer on our team can help you fight for compensation during this extremely difficult time for you and your family.
Factors That Can Affect Your Ultimate Settlement Amount
The amount of compensation you receive after a wrongful death accident depends on a variety of factors, such as:
The nature of the accident
Whether the at-fault party was grossly negligent or careless could have a say in how much compensation you can receive.
For example, if your loved one passed away from a head-on collision because the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol and speeding—completely disregarding the traffic rules—you might be able to argue for a higher settlement.
On the other hand, if your loved one was a pedestrian and jay-walking before a truck struck them, then the settlement might be reduced because your loved one was acting negligently.
Type of Injuries
If your loved one died within hours or days of the accident, then they might have sustained an underlying injury that they hadn’t known about. For example, they might have suffered a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a slip and fall accident that just started out as a headache.
After it worsened and they went to the doctor, it might have been too late to treat, leading to their death. This injury might have required your loved one to undergo diagnostic tests, stay at the hospital, and take medication.
On the other hand, if your loved one did not suffer and the accident (and their passing) happened quickly, then you might have incurred only after-life expenses, as opposed to past and future pain and suffering.
Who the Deceased Left Behind
Your loved one might have been a young parent and had children depending on them. It’s also possible that they could have been the breadwinner or the matriarch or patriarch of the family. In these cases, it is possible to request compensation for supporting the family.
However, if the deceased didn’t have any dependents, then the other party may be resistant to providing greater financial recovery.
Non-Financial and Financial Damages the Surviving Family Members Incurred
Wrongful death is devastating, and no amount of money can take back what happened. However, suing for compensation might lighten the burden you’re carrying. You can request different forms of damages to help you with this new chapter of your life.
You may be able to recover financial damages, such as:
- Your loved one’s medical bills
- Funeral or memorial service expenses
- Burial costs
- Your loss of inheritance or financial support
In addition, you might have non-financial damages available to you, like:
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Your loss of consortium
- Your loss of society, guidance, and moral support
It might be difficult to quantify the latter group of damages, but your lawyer can price each of your losses accordingly by assessing the situation. Also, note that you can recover other forms of compensation that are not listed here.
Those Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York
Under EPT §5-4.1, only personal representatives of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death claim in New York State. Family members are barred from doing so unless the court appoints one as the decedent’s personal representative.
You Have the Option to File a Lawsuit for Damages
If you and the other party’s insurance company can come to an agreement for a settlement amount, you have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. EPT § 5-4.1 allows claimants two years to bring it against the at-fault party.
Prompt action is crucial. The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that if you don’t file your lawsuit in time, then you will not be allowed to pursue compensation, and the at-fault party will no longer be responsible for reimbursing you.
Our lawyers can help you meet the deadline if you call us as soon as possible, so we can get to work.
Beware of Insurance Companies Contacting You and How You Handle Them
Your lawyer can handle all communication with the involved parties, particularly with the other party’s insurance company.
Within several days of your loved one’s death, the insurer might call you so you can give a recorded statement. While you’re vulnerable, this time is perfect for them to tailor your words towards their benefit so they don’t have to pay you what you need.
If they contact you, refer them to your lawyer—your lawyer can take all calls and emails from there.
Call the Attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for a Free Consultation
The average settlement for a wrongful death claim isn’t meaningful to us. Instead, we just want to focus on your needs.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (516) 358-9600 to learn more about how we can help you. We operate on a no-win, no-fee basis.