Wrongful death accidents can happen nearly anywhere and at any time. Unfortunately, many deaths are preventable and are caused by another party’s negligent or deliberately reckless behavior. Whatever the circumstances of your loved one’s death, you and your family deserve time to grieve and heal. If you’ve lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent actions, you may have the right to pursue a lawsuit.
The compassionate Long Island wrongful death attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC understand that nothing can bring your loved one back. The thought of pursuing a lawsuit may seem overwhelming during this difficult time. We can help you understand your legal options, including recovering compensation for your family’s financial damages. Contact Dell & Dean, PLLC today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your options.
Accidents That Can Cause Wrongful Death
Most wrongful death lawsuits occur when one or more parties act negligently or recklessly, causing an accident that results in another person’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits include a broad range of cases that lead to a victim’s death ranging from car accidents to defective products. Unfortunately, these accidents are usually preventable because of a party’s failure to use reasonable care. Some of the most common types of cases include the following:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Commercial trucking accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Boating and drowning accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Product liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Assault and battery
- Premises liability, including negligent security
- Dog bite accidents
Who Can File a Claim on Long Island?
Under New York law, only the deceased individual’s personal representative of the estate has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. In many cases, the personal representative is the deceased individual spouse or child, but this isn’t always the case. Due to the complexities of New York’s wrongful death laws, working with a knowledgeable attorney can help your case significantly.
If you aren’t the personal representative but are a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased individual, you may have a right to recover a portion of the damages. If you aren’t sure whether you are entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit after your loved one’s death, Dell & Dean, PLLC is here to help. After carefully reviewing your case, we can help you understand your legal options.
Wrongful Death Caused By Vehicular Accidents
Auto accidents cause a high percentage of wrongful death cases each year. Although drivers have become more aware of the dangers of driving while distracted and intoxicated, many continue to engage in those dangerous behaviors. Contacting an attorney is essential if your loved one dies in a traffic accident. An attorney can gather photos, video, and other evidence of the accident scene. Working with an accident reconstruction specialist can help you prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the auto accident that resulted in your loved one’s death.
There may be additional third parties who also contributed to your loved one’s death. For example, suppose a company hired a driver with a history of DUI convictions. If that driver went on to cause an accident while intoxicated, the company might be financially responsible for the driver’s actions. The attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC have the knowledge and resources to investigate your auto accident case carefully and determine the best strategy for recovering compensation for your loved one’s death.
Proving Liability on Long Island
Many situations can lead to wrongful death claims, as any accident has the potential to cause serious injuries or death. Whatever the cause of your loved one’s death, the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit must prove liability. Recovering compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit requires the plaintiff to prove the defendant’s fault.
Most wrongful death lawsuits involve some type of accident that was not intentional. When an accident causes a person’s death, the party bringing the wrongful death lawsuit must prove that negligence caused the deceased individual’s death. The plaintiff needs to prove the following elements of negligence:
- The defendant had a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances to prevent injury
- The defendant failed to satisfy this duty or breached their duty of care
- The failure caused the accident or incident that resulted in fatal injuries
- The victim suffered injuries leading to death, conscious pain and suffering, and/or financial losses as a result
The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and Criminal Charges
Not all wrongful death lawsuits involve negligence. Your loved one’s death may have been caused by a defendant’s intentional or reckless behavior. For example, if your loved one died in a shooting, stabbing, or another type of assault, you can still pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits and are a separate process from the defendant facing criminal charges. Whether or not the person who caused your loved one’s death is convicted of criminal charges, you may still have the right to pursue compensation and hold him or her accountable in civil court. Additional punitive damages may be available when the defendant’s intentional or reckless behavior causes the victim’s death.
Damages Available Through New York Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you’ve recently lost a loved one in an accident, pursuing financial recovery may be the last thing on your mind. Financial recovery will do little to ease the pain of missing your loved one. However, recovering compensation will make it easier for your family to move forward financially. Under New York law, a deceased individual spouse, children, and parents may be entitled to compensation for their loved one’s death. Any recovered losses will be distributed to eligible surviving family members and may include the following types of compensation:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses related to the accident
- Loss of your loved one’s income
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of benefits provided by your loved one
- Loss of services, such as housework and childcare
- Loss of consortium
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Long Island Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost your loved one because of another party’s negligence and recklessness, you may have the right to hold them accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible is an essential first step in recovering the compensation you need and deserve. Contact the Long Island wrongful death attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Dell & Dean, PLLC handles wrongful death cases throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island as well as the boroughs of New York City, and the surrounding areas.