Smithtown, NY Wrongful Death Attorney
If you clicked on this article, chances are you or someone close to you lost a loved one in an accident. Losing someone close to you is never easy, but the pain of the experience can be even worse when a death is caused by another party’s negligence.
A lawsuit might be the last thing on your mind during this difficult time, but our lawyers are here to help. We can examine the facts and evidence pertaining to your case, interview witnesses, and fight for you in court so you can focus on healing and getting back to life as best you can. You do not have to deal with the aftermath of losing a loved one alone.
Our wrongful death lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm are ready to talk about your case when you call (718) 841-0083.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Smithtown, NY?
Some states allow any immediate family member to file a wrongful death claim. That is not the case in E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1 states that a “personal representative” is the person who brings a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person. A personal representative is essentially the executor or manager of the deceased’s estate. Their job is to safeguard the worldly possessions of the deceased so they can be distributed according to the deceased’s wishes in their last will and testament. Our wrongful death lawyers can work with you to see to it that, even if you personally cannot bring a wrongful death lawsuit as the personal representative, you can still be involved in the process of getting justice for the deceased and receiving compensation for their death.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Vs. “Survival Actions” in Smithtown, NY
A survival action is a different kind of lawsuit that might happen alongside a wrongful death lawsuit. In a survival action, the deceased person’s estate sues for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person just before their death, along with other pre-death damages. For example, if a deceased person were hit by a truck and then was in intensive care and experienced great pain up until they passed away, the deceased person’s estate would sue for damages based on that experience in a survival action.
Survival actions are brought by the executor of the deceased person’s estate. In many states, a survival action is brought by a different entity than a wrongful death claim. However, New York law allows the same personal representative to bring both lawsuits, usually as part of one single case.
Damages You Can Recover in a Smithtown, NY Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you are successful in a wrongful death claim, the court will award you compensation in the form of damages. In personal injury lawsuits, including those for wrongful death, the point of damages is to “make the plaintiff whole” again. Since, in many cases (universally so for wrongful death cases), the plaintiff cannot literally be made whole again, financial compensation is used as the next best alternative.
Damages are generally broken down into three categories, economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are damages with a fixed monetary value that can be clearly ascertained. In a wrongful death lawsuit, funeral expenses, loss of financial support from the deceased person, and medical expenses for the deceased person are all examples of economic damages that you could be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit.
While economic damages are usually the most concrete damages to figure out, you may need an expert in a particular field to express their views as to what the economic damages in your particular lawsuit are worth.
Non-economic damages are more abstract than economic damages. Non-economic damages will not have a value that can be scientifically explained, even by expert testimony. Things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship and consortium are all examples of non-economic damages you could be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Since every wrongful death case is different, non-economic damages can vary greatly from case to case. You and our lawyers will have to come up with a damages amount that makes sense for your situation and convince the judge and jury that you are owed it. There are formulas courts and attorneys can use to help calculate these damages.
Punitive damages are a special kind of damages that are different from economic and non-economic damages. The first two types of damages are designed to make plaintiffs whole again and are based on the plaintiff’s situation. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are designed to punish the defendant for especially bad conduct. An example of conduct that could result in punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit would be a hospital neglecting to give the deceased person pain management medication while they were receiving care. Courts rarely award punitive damages because they are reserved for only the most deserving defendants.
How Long Do I Have to File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Smithtown, NY
You only have limited time to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. A law called the statute of limitations puts a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit. In New York, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the death of the decedent (the legal term for a deceased person in a wrongful death lawsuit) per E.P.T. § 5-4.1. After that time is up, your case will be thrown out, and you will not be able to recover any damages.
Call Our Smithtown, NY Wrongful Death Attorneys Right Away
Call our wrongful death lawyers from The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free initial case review.