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What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

July 21, 2020
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Wrongful death suits are the most tragic civil cases because they involve the loss of a loved one. If you’ve lost a family member to someone else’s negligence or other wrongful act, you may be able to recover for certain financial losses. While nothing can return your loved one to you, recovering on your financial damages can help you better travel the path toward recovery, and an experienced NYC wrongful death attorney can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

In the state of New York, several elements must apply, including:

  • Someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct caused your loved one’s death.
  • Had your loved one survived the accident, he or she would have been eligible to bring a personal injury claim for damages suffered.
  • You qualify as a survivor of the decedent, and you suffered specific financial damages as a result of his or her death.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

Only certain parties can bring a wrongful death claim in New York. These include:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s child (or children)
  • The decedent’s parent (or parents)
  • A personal representative of the decedent’s estate (who can also obviously be a relative)

Importantly, there is an order of priority as to who can file a claim, so it’s important to speak with a lawyer about your options.

Damages Sought

The damages sought in wrongful death cases can include:

  • Medical Bills – These are the medical bills your loved one incurred before he succumbed to his or her injuries.
  • Funeral Expenses – Your wrongful death claim can include the burial costs of your loved one.
  • Lost Wages – Lost wages include those wages that your loved one would have reasonably earned over the course of his or her career had the fatal accident not occurred.
  • Reduction in Inheritance – Any decrease in inheritance that the deceased would have left had he or she lived to anticipated life expectancy can be sought.
  • Loss of Parental Guidance – For children of the decedent, the loss in parental guidance can be included in your clam.
  • Loss of Services – Loss of services provided by the decedent, such as child care, may be included in your claim.

You may also recover damages on the pain and suffering your loved one consciously endured in the time that passed from the fatal accident until death. Survivors, however, cannot collect on their own pain and suffering in the State of New York.

It’s in Your Best Interest to Consult with an Experienced NYC Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death cases often involve significant losses and can be extremely complicated. If you’ve lost a loved one to someone else’s negligence, the dedicated wrongful death attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman are committed to aggressively advocating for the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to follow the difficult path toward recovery. Our firm is one of the oldest and most well-respected in the City, and we take great pride in skillfully serving its residents. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 for more information today.


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