Islip Wrongful Death Attorney
Suing for the death of a loved one can lead to complex court filings and fact-intensive litigation. If someone in your family passed away in an accident or under other circumstances where a person or a company was at fault, you should work with a lawyer to file a wrongful death case.
Our Islip wrongful death attorneys can help with all kinds of wrongful death cases, from car accidents to medical malpractice cases to defective product injury deaths. It is important to understand how these cases work and what kinds of damages you could be entitled to before pursuing compensation. Working with a lawyer can help you get all of the information and legal help you need.
For a free case review on your potential wrongful death claim, call the Islip wrongful death attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Islip, NY
When a loved one is killed in an accident or otherwise dies because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you can often sue the at-fault parties for wrongful death. These cases are essentially allowed in any situation where the deceased would have been able to sue for their injuries if they had lived. This means you can file a wrongful death claim for most kinds of deadly accidents and for murder or manslaughter.
Any of the following accidents or injuries, if they end up leading to your loved one’s death, could qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bike accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Taxi or Uber/Lyft accidents
- Public transit accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous and defective product injuries
- Slip and falls or other premises liability injuries
- Negligent supervision accidents
- Construction injuries
- Workplace injuries
Who Files the Lawsuit?
Ultimately, E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1(1) states that this lawsuit is filed by the deceased’s “personal representative.” This individual is typically appointed in the deceased’s will (or by the court if they died without a will). However, the damages paid in these lawsuits are meant to benefit the victim’s family. Our Islip wrongful death lawyers can help you determine who is eligible to fill this role and help you file your case to get the damages you need.
Who Receives Damages?
The surviving family members of the deceased can claim damages from this lawsuit. If you are the spouse or children, you should be given first priority and the greatest share of these damages. Other family members such as parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and even cousins might be able to receive damages as well if there are no closer relations to receive these damages. The rules for distributing damages are found under E.P.T. Law § 4-1.1 – the same law used for determining inheritance rules when there is no will.
There is a legal distinction between certain categories of damages, and some damages are paid into the deceased’s estate instead of paid directly to the victim’s family. Either way, all damages will end up going to the victim’s heirs, as explained below.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case in Islip, NY
Technically, when you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will also typically file a second lawsuit at the same time: a survival action. Each lawsuit covers different areas of damages, but they are both filed by the deceased’s personal representative for the benefit of the victim’s estate and heirs, and they are usually combined into one court case. Your Islip wrongful death lawyer can explain the differences between each lawsuit and the different damages you can claim.
Survival Action Damages
A survival action is, at its core, filed to recover the damages that your loved one could have received before their death. The ability to file a lawsuit does not end when someone dies, and their personal representative can file this lawsuit and have its damages paid into the victim’s estate.
Under E.P.T. Law § 11-3.3, this lawsuit pays damages for anything the victim would have been able to claim if they lived through the accident, such as damages for hospital bills paid before death, lost wages from before death, and pain and suffering before their death. This lawsuit can also include damages for funeral expenses if the estate paid those expenses.
Instead of distributing these damages directly to the deceased’s heirs, they are put into the deceased’s estate and distributed with the rest of the estate under the decedent’s will or the rules of § 4-1.1 if they died without a will. Speak with your Islip wrongful death attorney if you have any questions about how these damages are paid and distributed.
It is important to note that § 11-3.2(b) also blocks punitive damages from being claimed in this kind of lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Damages
The damages in the wrongful death lawsuit are paid to the family for the harms they suffered because of their loved one’s death. These damages are defined and explained under E.P.T. Law § 5-4.3.
First off, if there are any payments that the victim’s family made to cover end-of-life medical bills or funeral expenses, they can be reimbursed directly under this lawsuit instead of getting damages paid through the estate like in a survival action. Other damages are paid for any economic damages the victim’s family suffered. Your Islip wrongful death attorneys can help you account for all damages and determine the total value of your case.
This can include damages for any economic impact, such as lost wages after death, lost household services, lost advice and counsel – really any losses that can have a clear price associated with them. However, a victim’s family members are not entitled to claim damages for grief, their own pain and suffering, or other non-economic damages.
Call Our Islip Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
If your loved one was killed in an accident or by someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional acts, call our Islip wrongful death attorneys today for help. At The Carrion Law Firm, we offer free case evaluations. Call us at (718) 841-0083.