If a wrongful death occurs, there will be many parties involved, including the defendants, insurance companies, and the authorities. The claim will need to address how the death happened, what caused it, and who knew what when. It’s a demanding process to investigate a death, and it can be painful for the loved ones left behind. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can help collect and preserve evidence, interview those involved, and make sure that the claim moves forward.
What Damages Are Available?
Table of Contents
In a wrongful death claim, there are three categories of damages that may be available:
- Economic damages include damages that you can easily attach a number to. For example, health care expenses prior to death, property losses, lost earnings, and funeral expenses are types of economic losses. When someone loses earnings and property or incurs an expense that is easily put into numbers, they are considered economic damages.
- Non-economic damages include losses and damages that are much harder to put a number on. These include loss of consortium and the loss of services that the deceased provided to their loved ones. They also include the loss of care, guidance, and support that loved ones provide. Even when loved ones do not have income from a job, they can provide invaluable care and comfort to those they love. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate the deceased’s loved ones and family for the accident.
- Punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish defendants and deter others from following their example. In New York, punitive damages are only available in rare cases where the conduct of the defendant was exceptionally bad or malicious. A lawyer can help you review your case and determine whether punitive damages may be available.
How Long Do You Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Action?
In New York, you have two years from the time of the death to bring a claim for wrongful death. Known as a statute of limitations, this time limit is strictly enforced. Two years may seem like a long time, but between investigation and negotiation, it can go by fast. If you need to bring a wrongful death claim, it’s important to begin the process as soon as possible.
Your wrongful death lawyer will need to investigate the claim, preserve evidence, prepare legal paperwork, and negotiate with the parties that were responsible. It is detailed and time-consuming work that must be done correctly from the start. Don’t wait to bring a wrongful death claim, speak with a lawyer, and act today.
How Can a Long Island Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
Wrongful death claims can be overwhelming. They require careful investigation of the cause and circumstances of the death. They also require skilled negotiation and, in some cases, aggressive action in court. A lawyer can help you:
After an investigation, many at-fault parties will want to negotiate a settlement. They may try to low-ball the deceased’s loved ones and offer far less than they should. If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, don’t assume that insurers will offer a fair amount for your suffering and losses. A lawyer will complete a thorough evaluation of your claim, work to understand the circumstances of the death, and fight for the maximum settlement possible.
In most cases, the people responsible for the death will want to settle. However, in rare cases, you’ll need to take your wrongful death claim to court. Court procedures, evidentiary standards, and state law will all be involved. It can seem overwhelming, but a skilled wrongful death lawyer will manage the process and fight for you and your rights.
Pursuing Justice for You and Your Family
At The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, we’ve represented loved ones and estates in all types of wrongful death claims. We understand how hard it can be to bring a wrongful death claim, but with our knowledge and resources, our compassionate attorneys can be your voice in the process. When a wrongful death happens, we are strong advocates for those left behind.
If you are ready to discuss a wrongful death claim, contact us today for a free consultation.