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Do You Have a New York City Wrongful Death Case? 3 Common Examples

Posted in Wrongful death on February 16, 2022

Do You Have a New York City Wrongful Death Case? 3 Common Examples

When a loved one dies because of another party’s conduct, the family may have a New York City wrongful death case. The conduct could be intentional or negligent. 

What does wrongful death mean? It means the family can file a civil action against the party who caused their loved one’s death. They can seek compensation for the losses and damages resulting from losing their family member. 

A wrongful death claim may be settled without filing a lawsuit. Wrongful death may result from a variety of personal injury cases. Keep reading to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits, including common examples.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving motor vehicles are common sources of wrongful death claims. 

A truck accident or motorcycle crash could result in a tragic death. Likewise, pedestrians and bicyclists struck by cars may also sustain life-threatening injuries that result in their deaths. 

Most car accidents in New York City are caused by negligence and carelessness. Examples of negligent behaviors that can lead to a car crash include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Tailgating
  • Reckless driving
  • Road rage
  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Drowsy and fatigued driving

In 2019, police-reported fatal traffic accidents totaled 33,244. Fatal traffic crashes caused 36,096 deaths that year. 

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical provider fails to provide care that meets the acceptable standard of care. When a patient is harmed due to medical negligence or intentional acts, the family may sue the doctor and other responsible parties for wrongful death.

Examples of medical malpractice that could lead to a patient’s death include, but are not limited to:

  • Surgical errors
  • Failing to order diagnostic tests
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to consult a specialist or refer a patient to a specialist
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to diagnose 
  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis 
  • Failing to monitor a patient
  • Failure to obtain informed consent

Diagnostic errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice. Additionally, a doctor could be liable for malpractice if a patient dies because the doctor was intoxicated or practicing medicine under the influence of drugs.

Slip and Fall Accidents (Premises Liability)

Slips, trips, and falls can cause death, especially if someone falls from a great height. However, falls are not the only premises liability cases that can result in a wrongful death claim. Other premises liability cases that could give a family the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Fires and explosions
  • Elevator accidents 
  • Building collapse
  • Electrical accidents 
  • Drowning 
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction accidents

Property owners may not intend for someone to be injured on their property. However, if their negligence results in a death, the family members may have a wrongful death claim for damages. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York?

Each state has laws governing wrongful death lawsuits. Some states permit family members to file lawsuits against the at-fault party. Other states require the personal representative for the deceased to file a lawsuit on behalf of the probate estate.

In New York, the personal representative for the estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent had a will, the personal representative was likely named in the will. If the person did not have a will, the state appoints someone to serve as the personal representative.

What Damages Can I Receive for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Money cannot ease your sorrow or replace your loved one. However, a monetary award is the only way the court can compensate you for your loss. The amount of money you receive for a wrongful death claim depends on the facts of the case.

However, damages you could receive from a wrongful death action include:

  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Parental care
  • Loss of income 
  • Household services

The damages reimburse the family members for the financial losses they incurred. New York laws require that the damages awarded are fair and just. Unfortunately, New York is one of the few states that do not allow family members to seek non-economic damages in a wrongful death action, including loss of companionship and consortium. 

Because wrongful death compensation benefits the family members, the money is not subject to claims against the estate. However, survivorship damages could be subject to estate claims.

Survivorship actions seek compensation for the decedent’s damages caused by the accident or injury. The deceased person would have needed to survive the accident and have cognitive awareness for the estate to recover pain and suffering damages in a survivorship action.

The estate receives compensation for the medical bills incurred before death and the mental anguish and awareness of impending death the person sustained because of the at-fault parties’ actions. The money can be used to pay estate claims. Any money remaining from a survivorship action is distributed to the heirs.

The best way to know whether your family can file a wrongful death lawsuit is to consult with a New York City wrongful death lawyer. The lawyer reviews the case to determine your options for filing against the party or parties who cause your loved one’s death.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the NYC personal injury lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600