There are no words to describe the heartbreaking loss of a loved one. It’s always hard when someone passes away, but it becomes even more difficult when you’ve lost someone due to the negligent or criminal acts of another. It truly can be a devastating experience to go through. You may feel like there is a large part of your life taken away. While no monetary reward can ever heal the emotional pain of losing someone who you care deeply about, it can bring justice as well as provide financial relief for your family while you try to sort out how you are going to carry on. Contact a compassionate and aggressive New York City wrongful death lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum today so you can tell us your story.
New York City Lawyer | Helping Families of Wrongful Death Victims
Dedicated New York City personal injury attorney Brian Elbaum has handled numerous cases like yours and is dedicated to making sure families are not left to hang out to dry after the life of a loved one has been wrongfully taken away. If you want legal guidance through this particularly difficult time, please call our office and we would be glad to give you a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We are here to take your call.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a category of personal injury in that it has its own definition and claims structure. For an incident to qualify for wrongful death, there has to be provable negligence or malice involved with the loss of your loved one. This would be an instance where someone acted in a way that directly or indirectly resulted in the injury and subsequent death of your loved one.
Some of the events that wrongful death includes are:
- Motor vehicle accidents, or drunk driving
- Construction accidents
- Dog attacks
- Nursing home abuse
- Manslaughter, or murder
There certainly are wrongful death cases where criminal activity is involved, and that encompasses murder in all degrees of the crime. In that same vein, someone may be charged with involuntary manslaughter if their actions indirectly caused someone to commit suicide. That may include stalking, harassment, or bullying (this may extend to include cyberbullying as well). For criminal cases such as these, a wrongful death case may be pursued if the defendant is not found guilty in a court of law. If the family seeks justice outside of a jail sentence, that is when it would be appropriate to file for wrongful death. Families often choose to take this path because, in wrongful death cases, the burden of proof is not as difficult to attain.
Challenges with Filing for Wrongful Death
Before you let the idea of this being a challenging process discourage you, understand that an experienced New York City wrongful death lawyer knows exactly what to do to make this as successful a case as possible. You are most likely understandably overwhelmed and that’s okay. The job of your attorney is to take the pressure off of you. This is already a hard enough time for you. Our firm will not let insurance companies take advantage of you while you are vulnerable. Brain Elbaum will guide you through this step by step.
The first thing that needs to be determined is who will be responsible for bringing the claim. The statues are a little more complicated in New York than they are in other states. In order to bring a claim, you must have been financially dependent on the decedent (your loved one who has passed away).
You may bring a wrongful death claim if you are:
- The decedent’s child
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s parent
- The decedent’s personal representative
There may be additional family members or loved ones that are named as personal representatives of the estate. To be sure of who can bring a claim, it is very important that you sit down with an experienced New York City wrongful death attorney to identify who that person will be.
Two Types of Actions for Recovering Damages
When a loved one is killed and the family pursues a wrongful death claim, there are two avenues of relief for them. The first is a survivorship action and the second is a wrongful death action. Because of this, it is entirely possible that there will be two different people that will be responsible for each action separately. That is something you will need to work out with your attorney before you can proceed.
A survivorship action is an incredibly difficult reason to be awarded damages. What it essentially means is that you are seeking damages because your loved one suffered a great deal before they died of their injuries. It is a form of personal injury in that there was pain and suffering before your loved one died. The damages will be determined in that scope. The burden of proof is going to be to show that the decedent was aware of what was going on before they died. This could have been sounds they were making that indicated pain, or even things they may have said. It is a horrifying thought, and gathering evidence on your own may seem unbearable, which is why having an attorney by your side is so valuable.
Wrongful Death Action
If you are responsible for recovering wrongful death damages, you will be looking to get compensation for all financial losses. This can include but is not limited to lost wages, loss of companionship, loss of household duties, as well as the cost of hiring someone to perform tasks that this loved one used to do. For example, if they were the person you mainly relied on to care for your children, you may be entitled to damages that will pay for childcare expenses. To get these damages, you have to prove that you were dependent on this person for support in some regards. This can be further discussed in your initial consultation with your attorney.
Contact a Skilled Attorney Today
If you need to sit down with an experienced New York City wrongful death lawyer to determine how you are going to file a wrongful death claim, please contact our office today for a free consultation. Brian Elbaum is here to help you through this utmost difficult time.