If a member of your family was killed in a car accident in White Plains, you might qualify to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If so, a White Plains fatal accident lawyer from Morelli Law Firm can manage the legal work in your case while you grieve your family’s loss.
At Morelli Law Firm, we understand the pain and uncertainty that can accompany a fatal automobile accident. That’s why our legal team offers to navigate the process of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf and negotiate for a settlement for your case. We represent our clients on a contingency-fee-basis with no upfront payments required.
Keep Note of Important Laws Pertaining to Wrongful Death Lawsuits in New York
Not everyone is qualified to file a wrongful death action in New York, as qualifying individuals must fall under certain relationship roles with the decedent (the deceased individual) in order to file.
Additionally, plaintiffs may require a personal representative of the decedent to file the wrongful death action on their behalf.
Qualifying Family Members Who May File a Wrongful Death Action
EPTL § 4-1.1 defines which family members qualify to file a wrongful death case in New York. Per this statute, you may file your claim or lawsuit if you are the deceased person’s:
If no direct family members exist for the defendant, a personal representative may be assigned. Our legal team can work with you to determine if you qualify to file your case.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions in New York
Per EPTL § 5-4.1, there is a general two-year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. If you wait longer than the filing period to take legal action, your lawsuit may be dismissed, and you may be unable to recover compensation for your damages.
At Morelli Law Firm, our team prioritizes this deadline when building your case. We can identify your case’s filing deadline by using the date on your loved one’s death certificate, then take appropriate steps to move your case forward. In some cases, certain exceptions may apply that alter the statutory deadline, which we can inform you of if applicable to your case.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Morelli Law877-751-9800
You May Be Able to Recover Certain Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Should you decide to pursue a claim or a lawsuit, you can demand compensation for specific types of damages based on the losses you, your family, or your loved one experienced. Per EPTL § 5-4.3, these damages include:
- The decedent’s pre-death medical expenses
- Reasonable funeral and burial or cremation expenses
- Loss of financial contribution from the decedent
- Pain and suffering, including grief
- Property damage expenses, such as to repair or replace a damaged vehicle
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional damages, such as mental anguish or loss of companionship and guidance
A White Plains fatal accident lawyer from Morelli Law Firm can help you assess and calculate the recoverable damages your family might be entitled to receive when we represent you.
Evidence We Use to Prove the Value of Your Damages
As part of our legal services to you, our team will investigate your loved one’s accident to retrieve evidence that exemplifies the estimated value of their damages. We will also collect information from you and your family to calculate your damages. As such, evidence for your case may include:
- Medical records, including the autopsy report
- Medical invoices for your loved one’s treatment
- Invoices from mechanics about damaged property or the funeral home for services
- Salary information, such as tax return papers or paystubs
- Expert witness testimony, such as from economists who can estimate the financial impact of losing your loved one as a contributor
If you have other financial documents or pieces of evidence that can further illustrate the impact of your loved one’s death on your life, we may review this information and see how it can support your case.
You Must Prove Liability and the Circumstances of Your Loved One’s Death
Morelli Law Firm may be able to help you build a case against the party responsible for the death of your loved one. You might be eligible for financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was:
- The driver of a vehicle struck by the at-fault driver
- A passenger in a vehicle involved in a car accident
- A pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist struck by the at-fault driver
The At-Fault Driver May Not Be the Only Liable Party
Occasionally, a negligent non-driver party may be liable for a car accident. This may include:
- A municipality that left a hazard in the road
- A negligent component manufacturer whose defective product, such as tires or an airbag, malfunctioned and caused the accident
- A negligent mechanic who caused the accident by failing to safely maintain a vehicle system they were responsible for
When reviewing your case, we may initiate a separate investigation into the accident to confirm if other causal factors contributed to your accident. If so, we can explain what legal options you have to pursue other liable parties involved in your case.
Our Lawyers Can Help You Prove Negligence in Your Wrongful Death Case
Many car accident cases come down to proving the negligence of another driver. If a driver violates a traffic law and causes an accident, this may establish their negligence. Examples of negligent driver actions may include:
- Failing to yield
- Making an improper lane change
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals
- Making illegal lane changes or turns
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Texting and driving
Morelli Law Firm can collect evidence that establishes which causal factors led to the fatal accident and whether the defendant’s actions or inactions were negligent.
Evidence Used to Prove Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases
We may use any of the following evidence to establish how the defendant was at fault or liable for the fatal accident and which factors contributed to it:
- The police crash report
- Witness statements
- Photos or videos from the accident scene
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts
- Medical or coroner records
Make sure to retain any evidence you have from the accident or of your accident-related expenses.
Working with Morelli Law Firm Can Relieve You of Having to Manage Your Own Case
When we partner on your case, Morelli Law Firm can identify the at-fault party and pursue compensation from them. On your behalf, our team can:
- Communicate with all parties
- Read and review medical and police reports
- Collect evidence of liability and your damages
- Estimate the monetary value of your claim
- Negotiate a financial settlement
- Take your case to trial
While you focus on your family’s mental and emotional health and recovery, our legal team at Morelli Law Firm can also answer your questions and keep you updated on your wrongful death case.
Our Law Firm Also Works on a Contingency-Fee Basis
The unexpected loss of a family member can mean that you and other surviving family members are suddenly faced with a plethora of difficult decisions. As your family comes to terms with its loss, you may have to make and pay for final arrangements, including funeral and burial expenses. There may be questions about changes to family income and who, if anyone, may be liable for your losses.
Morelli Law Firm offers representation on a contingency-fee-basis. This means there are no upfront payments required. Instead, our attorney’s fees come as a percentage of your settlement offer or court award if and when you win your case.
Call Morelli Law Firm for a Free Consultation Today
A White Plains fatal accident lawyer from Morelli Law Firm may be able to support you during this time by pursuing compensation on your behalf. When you are ready, contact the wrongful death team at Morelli Law Firm for a free, no-obligation consultation on your case. You can reach us by calling (212) 751-9800.