Sometimes cases go above and beyond the ordinary bounds of personal injury law. When accidents caused by negligence lead to serious injury or wrongful death, you need a Nassau County wrongful death attorney you can count on to protect you and your family’s rights moving forward. Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult situations a family must learn to navigate. You and your loved ones can count on caring wrongful death lawyers Ted Rosenberg and Michael Gluck to help during these tough times.
Wrongful Death Statistics
Wrongful death, unfortunately, occurs more often than most people realize. Fatal car accidents, workplace accidents, falls, accidental poisoning, medical malpractice, animal attacks, and criminal acts could all constitute wrongful death. Wrongful deaths are those that would not have occurred were it not for the negligence or wrongful act of someone else. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keep track of the number of fatal accidents throughout the U.S. each year. The most recent data is available from 2014. The following accidents took the most lives:
- Unintentional poisoning. Unintentional poisoning took 42,032 lives in 2014. The main cause of death in this category is drug-related complications or overdoses. Drug abuse, medical malpractice (prescription errors), and defective or dangerous drugs could all result in unintentional poisoning deaths. Accidental poisoning can also occur when exposed to hazardous substances in the environment.
- Motor vehicle traffic accidents. Auto accidents caused 33,736 deaths in 2014. Negligence is the main factor in car accident statistics in Nassau County and around the country. Driver negligence, such as driving under the influence or distracted driving, causes the majority of fatal auto accidents. Motor vehicle traffic deaths also include fatal bicycle and pedestrian collisions.
- Unintentional falls. In 2014, there were 31,959 deaths from accidental falls. Falls can be deadly if the victim injures his or her head, brain, spine, or internal organs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of construction worker deaths, aside from transportation accidents.
All around, unintentional or accidental causes took 135,928 lives in 2014. The majority of these deaths are considered “wrongful” by law. This means they happened because of someone else’s negligence or wanton disregard for the safety of others. At Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP we believe just one negligence-related death is too many. Our Nassau County wrongful death lawyers fight for the loved ones of the deceased, in an effort to secure financial compensation, closure, and justice for families.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Nassau County?
After the wrongful death of a loved one, many family members or friends might wonder whose responsibility it is to file a civil claim. In New York, as in all other states, there are laws restricting who may pursue recovery for someone else’s wrongful death. Although many states allow family members to file claims, New York does not. In New York, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate has the authority to file a wrongful death claim.
The deceased person might have named a representative in a will or estate plan, or the courts will assign one during the probate process. The personal representative could be a family member, trusted friend, or professional. The representative files the claim on behalf of beneficiaries, heirs, and surviving loved ones. If the claim is successful, the court will treat the personal representative as if he or she holds the award in trust for family members that will later own the proceeds.
To have grounds to file a wrongful death claim in New York, the plaintiff will have to establish that someone died, that the defendant’s wrongful action caused or contributed to the death, and that the estate can recover damages. To learn if you have grounds to file a wrongful death claim in New York, speak with a knowledgeable Nassau County personal injury attorney experienced in wrongful death cases.
Wrongful death claim in a New York
The damages that could be available in a Nassau County wrongful death claim differ from those in a personal injury claim. Since the incident resulted in the death, the surviving family members will have different damages than if the victim had survived. Although the amount of compensation will differ on a case-by-case basis, the types of damages possible remain the same. The following damages could arise in any given wrongful death lawsuit in New York:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills relating to the decedent’s final injuries
- Costs the family paid for the decedent’s care
- The decedent’s lost wages and benefits due to the final injury or illness
- Future wages and benefits the decedent likely would have earned
- Payment for the deceased person’s pain and suffering leading up to death
- Lost inheritance the children will no longer receive
- The value of the decedent’s lost support and services rendered to loved ones
In New York, a plaintiff can also receive a 9% interest payment on the damages award, calculated from the date of the decedent’s death. The New York courts do not allow surviving loved ones to seek recovery for their personal pain, suffering, emotional anguish, or “loss of consortium” (the decedent’s companionship, love, care, guidance, etc.). Even parents of a wrongfully deceased child cannot move to recover pain and suffering damages. Punitive damages might arise in cases involving a grossly negligent or malicious defendant, such as in cases that involve homicide. For additional information regarding claimable damages, consult a reliable Nassau County wrongful death attorney.
Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York
In New York, there is a “statute of limitations” that imposes a strict time limit for filing wrongful death and other types of civil claims. Missing the statute of limitations almost always results in losing the right to seek recovery for damages. There are exceptions, however, so talk to a lawyer before assuming the ability to file is lost. In the vast majority of cases, a personal representative of the estate has two years to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death in New York.
In wrongful death cases where there is a pending criminal action against the defendant, the plaintiff has at least one year from the date the criminal case ends to bring a wrongful death claim. If the beneficiary in a wrongful death suit is under the age of 18, the statute of limitations for him/her to bring the lawsuit does not begin until their 18th birthday. If you are confused about your time limit for filing a wrongful death claim, contact our Nassau County wrongful death attorneys for assistance.
Why Choose Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP?
Wrongful death lawsuits require experienced attorneys to gain justice for personal representatives and the surviving family members they represent. At Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, we know that monetary recovery pales in comparison to the losses you and your loved ones have suffered. However, we also know that a financial award can mean a future of stability for a surviving spouse, children, or other dependents, and remove hardship from the process. We make it our mission to fight for fair and just compensation for a life wrongfully cut short, by whatever means necessary.
Our skilled team of skilled wrongful death lawyers in Nassau County can settle most wrongful death claims in New York without having to go to trial; saving your family time and money. Our trial-tested lawyers are ready and more than willing, however, to go to court if that’s what it takes to secure maximum compensation. When you retain our firm, you can be confident that our lawyers are deeply concerned with helping those dealing with a family member’s tragic and wrongful death. Whether you need legal representation to go up against an insurance company, business, corporation, government entity, product manufacturer, property owner, or individual, we are the firm for you in Nassau County. Call our office at (516) 451-7900 or contact us online to schedule your wrongful death consult today.