Pittsford, NY Wrongful Death Attorney

Table of Contents

    Wrongful death lawsuits can be some of the most difficult lawsuits to go through. Not only are the ordinary stresses of lawsuits, such as depositions, testifying before a jury, and potentially re-living a tragedy present, but plaintiffs must also deal with the grief of losing someone close to them. Chances are, if you are reading this article, you or someone you care about has lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.

    Our lawyers are here to help. We approach wrongful death actions with the sensitivity, compassion, and care that they demand while still preparing a strong case for you to bring to court so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to.

    Call our wrongful death attorneys with The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.

    The Statute of Limitations in a Pittsford, NY Wrongful Death Lawsuit

    You do not have unlimited time to file a wrongful death claim in New York. Something called the statute of limitations prevents people from filing lawsuits after a certain amount of time has passed. In New York, wrongful death actions must be filed within two years of the deceased’s death per E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1. If you do not file a wrongful death lawsuit within that statutory period, a court will not hear your case, and you will be incapable of being awarded damages.

    Statutes of limitation exist for two main reasons. First, they help to ensure that cases are brought to court when the important facts are fresh in the minds of everyone involved. Second, they allow people to move on with their lives without the fear of impending lawsuits from the distant past hanging over their heads.

    There are some cases that allow the statute of limitations to be extended or “tolled” or put on hold. For example, many jurisdictions do not start the statutory timer until the plaintiff has turned 18 years old. For example, this could apply to a plaintiff who had their parents pass away in an accident while they were still a minor.

    Damages in a Pittsford, NY Wrongful Death Lawsuit

    Damages are awarded to successful plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits. In wrongful death lawsuits, only certain parties can recover damages. The damages are distributed according to certain rules that match how their estate would be distributed if they die without a will. That means that even if they had a will, you still need to follow these “intestacy” rules for distribution, with some minor changes.

    The idea behind damages in civil lawsuits is to put the plaintiff back where they were before they were injured. In a wrongful death lawsuit, that cannot literally happen because the matter involves a deceased individual. Thus, courts will use financial compensation as a way to try and put the plaintiff back to where they would have been if the wrongful death had not occurred. Below are some of the things you could be awarded damages for in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    Funeral Costs

    Funerals can be expensive, and an unexpected death can impact finances in a way that an expected passing might not. You can be awarded damages based on expenses for memorials, internment, undertaker fees, and other processes related to a funeral for the deceased.

    Lost Income and Other Financial Support

    In many personal injury cases, future income can be awarded as damages by the court. This is also true for wrongful death lawsuits. If the survivors of the deceased person relied on their income for support, the court can compensate plaintiffs for the income the deceased person would have earned for the rest of their career. Damages for lost income are one of the ways a court can help try and put plaintiffs back to where they were prior to the wrongful death.

    Medical Bills

    You can be compensated by the court for expenses incurred from medical treatment for the deceased. The bills for medical care of the deceased person prior to their death might have been passed on to the deceased’s estate. A court can compensate you for the cost of medical treatment of the deceased. You should keep in mind, however, that damages for medical bills are often awarded in a separate lawsuit brought by the deceased’s estate called a survival action.

    Punitive Damages

    There are limited circumstances in which you may be able to recover punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. E.P.T. Law § 5-4.3(b) makes it so that plaintiffs are able to recover punitive damages in any wrongful death action where, had the deceased actually survived and filed a personal injury .lawsuit, they would have been awarded punitive damages.

    Punitive damages are only awarded when the defendant has acted in an especially bad way.

    Can You Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Pittsford, NY?

    In many states, wrongful death claims can be brought by any immediate family member. New York is different in this regard. Under E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1, only a “personal representative” may bring a wrongful death claim in the state of New York. The personal representative is generally the executor of the deceased person’s estate.

    Just because you personally might not be able to file a wrongful death claim does not mean you cannot be involved in the legal process should you wish to. For example, you could offer testimony explaining your situation to help bolster the case of the deceased’s personal representative if you want to be involved. Our lawyers can help to get you involved in getting justice for the deceased.

    Call Our Pittsford, NY Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

    Our wrongful death lawyers with The Carrion Law Firm are ready to discuss your case at (718) 841-0083.