Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving New York City and the Surrounding Areas
Losing a loved one is never easy, and many family members are left to deal with a mix of grief, anger and sorrow. The burden can be far more difficult to bear when a death is caused by another person’s negligent, reckless or malicious conduct. Although no amount of money can ever replace a life, it is possible to find justice by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Scaffidi & Associates, we have decades of experience holding negligent parties accountable and helping families find peace of mind. We provide each client with legal knowledge and compassion, and work tirelessly to help them obtain the compensation they deserve.
What is wrongful death in New York?
There are a number of legal issues involved with wrongful death lawsuits. First, a valid claim requires showing that the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to the death. Additionally, those negligent actions must be the basis for a legal action that could have been pursued had the death not occurred. Finally, one or more survivors must have suffered a loss due to the death and there must be recoverable damages by the deceased’s estate.
A variety of circumstances can lead to a wrongful death claim, including:
- Automobile Accidents – Car accidents result in 35,000 deaths in the U.S each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Accidents that result from speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence, and other traffic violations may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Truck Accidents – Collisions involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles frequently result in fatalities. Due to the size and weight of trucks and tractor-trailers, occupants of smaller vehicles are at a high risk of catastrophic injuries and death. A trucking company or truck driver that fails to abide by state and federal safety laws can be held liable for a fatal accident.
- Medical Malpractice – People place their trust in medical professionals and expect to receive proper care. When doctors, hospitals and others fail to provide the appropriate standard of care and cause or contribute to a patient’s death, they must be held accountable. Wrongful death lawsuits due to medical malpractice can arise from surgical errors, anesthesia errors, prescription errors, misdiagnoses, defective medical equipment and devices, birth injuries, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Workplace Accidents – Construction sites, manufacturing plants, sanitation work, and other hazardous environments and occupations pose a number of risks. Workers can be killed in falls, fires and explosions, from harmful chemicals, or in equipment and vehicle mishaps. While certain jobs are inherently dangerous, all workers have a right to a safe working environment. Safety violations and negligent or reckless conduct that lead to fatal workplace accidents are often the basis for wrongful death claims.
- Product Liability – Although manufacturers have an obligation to provide the public with safe products, consumers can be killed by a variety of defective products, such as tools, electronics, appliances, and automobiles, among others. Manufacturers, distributors, product designers, and retailers can be held liable for: (1) providing dangerous or defective products, or (2) failing to warn the public about the risks associated with, or the proper use of, a product.
- Violent Crimes – Assault, homicide, and deaths that occur during the commission of a crime can lead to criminal charges. It is also possible to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit regardless of whether the accused is convicted, because the burden of proof in a civil claim is lower than in a criminal case.
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
In New York, the only person who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit is the executor of the deceased individual’s estate. If the decedent did not have a will, a close family member or relative needs to ask the court to be appointed the estate administrator. In any event, it is possible to recover damages for losses suffered by the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries, as well as the estate. These damages include:
- Past and future lost wages and benefits
- Medical expenses arising from the injury or illness prior to the death
- The deceased individual’s pain and suffering
- The value of support and services the decedent provided to loved ones
- The value of parental care and guidance for surviving minor children
- Any inheritance that surviving children may have lost
- Funeral and burial expenses
Helping Families Find Justice
At Scaffidi & Associates, we know that losing a loved one is a painful experience, and offer each client dignity, compassion and caring, personal service. By collaborating with a respected network of investigators and medical and financial experts, we work to show how the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to the death and the financial losses the victim’s survivors have suffered. Our legal team is committed to helping our clients find justice. Call our office for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.