Staten Island Wrongful Death Lawyer

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    Going through a lawsuit is difficult enough. When the lawsuit is about the death of a loved one, the process becomes that much more taxing for the people involved, both mentally and physically. It can be even more draining if you believe that your loved one died because someone else messed up. Many people dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit – or who are trying to set one up – may not know what to do or where to turn.

    If you are trying to figure out how to handle the aftermath of the death of a loved one, our lawyers can help. We can collect evidence, form an argument, and fight hard with you in court – all with the compassion and care needed to handle cases as sensitive as wrongful death lawsuits.

    For a free case overview, call our compassionate wrongful death lawyers from The Carrion Law Firm at the number (718) 841-0083.

    Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Staten Island?

    In a regular lawsuit, a plaintiff sues a defendant for injuries the defendant allegedly caused through their negligence. However, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the injured party is deceased. That means that someone else has to file the lawsuit on their behalf.

    There are rules in New York about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Per E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1, a wrongful death lawsuit is brought by a “personal representative.” A personal representative is someone appointed to look after a deceased person’s estate – their worldly possessions – after they have passed away. Sometimes, this person is called an “executor.”

    Usually, the executor is a close family member. Even in those cases, they would be the only party able to file a wrongful death claim. A bank, lawyer, or other party can also be an executor, and in those cases, no family member could file the claim because none of them would be the executor.

    Damages in a Staten Island Wrongful Death Lawsuit

    If you are successful in your lawsuit, the court will provide financial compensation in the form of damages. Generally, damages are the court’s way of compensating plaintiffs and making them “whole” again. However, damages are slightly different in a wrongful death case. The goal is to compensate the plaintiff for a lost loved one, not to make them whole again. Below are some of the things our wrongful death lawyers can ask for damages for in your wrongful death lawsuit.

    Funeral Expenses

    An unexpected funeral can prove to be a serious expense. In a wrongful death claim, you can incorporate the costs of the decedent’s funeral into your damages. This can include the cost of finding an undertaker, a coffin or cremation for your loved one, and other expenses that come with organizing, planning, and going through an unexpected funeral.

    Health Care Expenses

    You can get damages based on the medical care that the deceased underwent prior to their passing. However, these damages must derive from medical care that is related to their injuries. For example, if the deceased passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident, you could get damages for emergency surgery, pain medication, and other urgent care they received in connection to the car accident. However, you could probably not recover damages for a longstanding condition they were getting treatment for at the time of the accident.

    Pain and Suffering

    You can get damages for any pain and suffering your loved one went through before passing away. Damages for pain and suffering in a wrongful death lawsuit are generally awarded when there is a long, drawn-out process before the deceased passes away or when the deceased had a terrifying or scary experience before expiring. For example, if the deceased is in an accident and then is in intensive care, experiencing pain the whole time before passing away, that can be worked into your damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Unfortunately, as it stands, you cannot get pain and suffering damages for your own pain and suffering from the loss of a loved one. However, the law in New York is currently in flux on this issue, so stay tuned, as that may change in the near future.

    Loss of Consortium or Financial Benefit

    “Loss of consortium” means the loss of intangible benefits of a relationship. For example, a spouse filing a wrongful death claim for their deceased partner can factor in the love, care, and companionship from that relationship into their damages.

    Financial benefit means the income the deceased person brought into a relationship. If the deceased was the primary breadwinner” for their family or dependents, the loss of that income could be factored into damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Staton Island

    You do not have all the time in the world to file a wrongful death claim. There is a type of law called a statute of limitations that puts a timer on how long people have to file lawsuits for their injuries. After the timer runs out, courts will not hear your case, and you will not recover any damages. There are different statutory periods for different kinds of lawsuits. For wrongful death claims, the statutory period in New York is two years and six months per E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1. This is somewhat shorter than the normal statutory period for personal injury claims. That being said, there is currently a proposal to extend this time period in the works.

    Part of the reason that the statutory period is shorter for wrongful death claims is that it helps to make sure that the events relevant to the case are fresh in the minds of everyone involved. If too much time passes, people can add details that were not there and otherwise distort their recollections of events. It is important that you speak with our wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible so that you meet the statutory deadline for your claim.

    Talk to Our Staten Island Wrongful Death Lawyers Now

    The Carrion Law Firm’s wrongful death attorneys can discuss your case for free when you call us at (718) 841-0083.