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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death claim is a suit that arises from the death of an individual caused by the wrongful conduct of another. A wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims because the person who suffered physical injuries (the “decedent”) is not bringing suit; rather, it is the family members or the decedent’s estate. As such, a wrongful death claim is brought to recover damages for the injuries that the surviving family and/or estate have suffered due to the death of the victim. The estate can also recover for the decedent’s pre-death pain and suffering, and fear of death. Wrongful death claims can result from any incident in which the defendant negligently or intentionally harmed the decedent. Some examples include:

  • car accidents;
  • construction accidents;
  • criminal acts;
  • medical malpractice; and
  • premises liability.

In the State of New York, a wrongful death suit can be brought by the representative of the decedent’s estate, usually called an administrator or executor, on behalf of the decedent and any of the decedent’s distributees.

Damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • pain and suffering of the decedent;
  • the decedent’s fear of dying;
  • medical expenses;
  • funeral, cremation, or burial costs;
  • lost wages the decedent was earning;
  • reduction of inheritance;
  • lost guidance of the survivors; and
  • loss of services the victim provided to certain family members.

It is usually necessary to have an administrator of the estate appointed prior to the commencement of a wrongful death lawsuit. Because of the complexities involved in any wrongful death case it is important that an attorney be contacted as soon as possible after the incident occurs.

At Zalman Schnurman & Miner P.C., we understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, we can help make sure that all of your rights are protected in pursuing justice against those that caused the wrongful death. If you are in need of an attorney for a wrongful death lawsuit, please reach out to our firm as soon as possible for a free consultation.

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