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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Wrongful Death Attorney in Long Island, NY

Negligence and wrongful acts can rob us of those we love and leave us suffering in their wake. There’s no amount of money that can replace a loved one, but a wrongful death claim can help you find the justice you need. If someone you care about has died due to negligence or another wrongful act, you need to learn about your legal rights.

At The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, our compassionate and knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys have successfully helped families throughout in Long Island and nearby areas after a tragic loss of life. We know how difficult and financially devastating it is to lose a loved one unexpectedly, and we’re proud to fight for those left behind. Our legal team will thoroughly investigate what happened and build a strong claim for the compensation you need.

Your family doesn’t have to cope with this loss alone. If you need to bring a wrongful death claim, contact us today for a free consultation.

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What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a type of legal claim involving an individual who has died as a result of injuries that could have been prevented. These injuries are usually caused by someone else’s negligence or failure to meet their duties. This includes all types of accidents, situations where poorly designed products result in death, and times when individuals and companies don’t live up to their professional duties or other standards of care.

Wrongful deaths can happen anywhere and anytime:

  • Car accidents. Perhaps the at-fault driver was abusing drugs or alcohol, or perhaps the driver was distracted and failed to obey traffic laws. If you have lost a family member due to a fatal car accident, you may be entitled to pursue justice through a wrongful death claim.

  • Medical malpractice. We rely on medical professionals to care for us in our time of need, but they can and do make fatal mistakes. Hospitals and administrators may also fail to maintain facilities and have inadequate policies in place to protect patients. When medical professionals and providers fail in their duties, they may be liable for wrongful death damages.

  • Dangerous and defective products. When people use tools, safety equipment and other everyday products sold in stores, they expect that those products will not harm them when used as intended. However, dangerous and defective products can lead to severe and often fatal injuries.

  • Construction and workplace accidents. Proper planning, safety equipment and training can prevent so many needless deaths. When someone dies in a workplace fall or other accident, it may be because the employer has failed them. A wrongful death claim can help a victim’s family get to the truth.

What Damages Are Available?

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?

wrongful death attorney long island

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:

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.

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.

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    Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

    In many states, surviving family members can bring wrongful death actions. However, in New York, these claims are handled differently. In New York, only the representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a wrongful death action.

    The personal representative must be appointed by Surrogate’s Court. If you are a survivor of someone who died through the wrongful actions of another, it is important to begin the process of probate so that a personal representative can be appointed. The personal representative may claim damages suffered by the deceased’s relatives and heirs, but these people may not bring their own action. The representative will handle any matters related to the claim and will distribute any awarded damages to the surviving relatives.

    A Surrogate’s Court is located in every county in the state. The purpose of these courts is to hear cases involving deceased persons, including probate of wills and administration of estates. You can find more information about the Surrogate’s Court procedures through the New York Courts website.

    Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

    Every wrongful death case is unique. However, when pursuing a wrongful death claim in the legal system, there are five consistent elements that the claim must prove:

     

    • The defendant committed wrongful acts or was negligent. This can include harmful actions such as driving drunk, or it can include a failure to adequately train and equip the deceased for the job at hand. There are many ways to show that a defendant was negligent.
    • The defendant’s actions resulted in the death. Death and injury can happen due to many causes. When you’re pursuing a wrongful death claim, you’ll need to show that the acts or negligence of the defendant clearly resulted in the death.
    • The defendant’s negligence or actions could have been challenged in court if no death had resulted from them. For example, a car accident victim could sue if the other driver’s negligence had resulted in injury rather than death. This alone is enough to bring suit and satisfy the condition.
    • Family members or other beneficiaries of the estate have suffered losses as a result. These losses can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages as discussed below.
    • These losses are of a type that can be recovered through the legal process.
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