Facing the loss of a loved one is one of the toughest things you’ll face, but it’s worse when it was caused by a preventable accident or a deliberate action. Negligent people can kill others, leaving families with few options when they suddenly lose a breadwinner. However, speaking with a Bronx personal injury lawyer can help take some of the sting away.
Negligent people owe families compensation when their actions kill someone, and we can help you get that compensation through a wrongful death claim. Find out if your case is eligible by contacting Morelli Law’s Bronx wrongful death lawyers right away for a free consultation.
What Is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death happens when someone dies because of someone else’s negligence or deliberate action. Any personal injury situation could become a wrongful death claim if death happens during or after the act, and many crimes can also meet the standards for a wrongful death claim.
There are a few requirements necessary to make a successful wrongful death claim in New York:
- Someone must die because of negligence or a wrongful act
- There must be surviving dependents or beneficiaries who suffered financial or emotional harm because of the death.
- The deceased must have suffered “conscious pain & suffering” for some damages.
- There must be financial damages
- There must be an appointed estate representative for the deceased, whether through a will or through the probate court.
- The claim must start within two years of the death
While many of the laws are the same as other personal injury cases, wrongful death claims have significant differences. Even if you don’t know who the estate representative might be, a discussion with Morelli Law’s Bronx wrongful death lawyers can help you understand if there is a claim and how it may proceed.
Common Reasons for Wrongful Death
The most common reason for wrongful death is car and truck accidents. It takes just one wrong move by another driver to create a fatal situation. Other common reasons include:
- Workplace accidents
- Violent crime
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
You can read about other common types of wrongful death on our FAQ page. As long as negligence or deliberate action by another caused the death, you may have a claim.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Morelli Law877-751-9800
First Steps After a Wrongful Death
The first step is to contact the authorities to report the death. Most of the time that will be the police. Workplace accidents can be reported to OSHA for investigation, and medical malpractice cases can be reported to the New York State Department of Health. Reporting a death to the authorities creates proof of the death that we can use as a basis for your claim.
Next, contact a Bronx wrongful death attorney as soon as possible for assistance and guidance about what happens next. They will explain the process of a wrongful death claim so you’ll know what to expect and whether your claim qualifies for one. If so, they’ll offer their services.
Upon hire, your lawyer will investigate what happened, collect evidence, interview witnesses, and calculate the value of the claim. Then they will start a lawsuit and begin negotiating with any insurers for compensation. Most cases end in a settlement, but some may need to go to trial before they’re completed.
Who Can File a Claim for Compensation?
All compensation from a wrongful death claim goes to two groups. Some specific damages, like funeral and medical expenses, go to the estate of the deceased. The rest go to the deceased survivors, not to the personal representative (unless they’re part of that group).
The most common beneficiaries of compensation in a wrongful death claim are immediate family members, those who were financially dependent on the deceased, and other people named as specific beneficiaries in the will. Immediate family members include spouses, children (including adult children), and sometimes parents.
Wrongful death sits at the intersection of personal injury and probate law, so there are complexities that could make your case unique. It’s best to let a wrongful death lawyer look over what happened and explain how the laws affect your situation.
What Are the Possible Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Survivors can get both economic and non-economic damages, some of which may go to the estate first. Common economic damages include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and lost income to the family. Non-economic damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
If the cause of death was due to especially egregious behavior, the court may also award punitive damages. The court has discretion on whether to allow these to become part of your claim, while the jury is responsible for their amount.
If you believe that your case qualifies for punitive damages, you must speak with a wrongful death attorney. They will need to persuade the court that your case qualifies for these, as well as show evidence for the other damages you’ve suffered because of your loved one’s death.
Contact a Bronx Wrongful Death Lawyer Now
Losing a loved one to wrongful death is incredibly difficult on many levels. Money won’t bring your loved one back to life, but it can remove the sting of the financial hardship you may face after their passing.
Don’t let your opportunity to hold the people who killed your loved one accountable. Reach out to Morelli Law and our team of Bronx wrongful death lawyers. We have recovered billions of dollars for our clients over our years of service. We know what to do to get victims the most from their cases.
Start your case now by contacting us by phone or email. All consultations are free, and you will owe us nothing for our services unless you win compensation with our help. You can call us anytime to schedule your appointment, even on nights and holidays. Call now.