IF a loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, that is a term of law called a wrongful death and you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are on the rise as people discover that it’s possible to take action against the party at fault and in many cases, recoup financial losses related to medical bills, damaged property, and burial expenses. A lawsuit can also be filed against a state or a city; it does not have to be a person. Wrongful death cases oftentimes involve businesses or places of employment due to negligence that led to injury.
Wrongful death is an umbrella term that can cover a wide variety of situations. If your loved one died after a slip and fall accident, a workplace injury, a car accident, or even a medical error, this could qualify as a wrongful death and make you eligible to receive a settlement.
In order to prove that your loved one died as the result of the other party’s action, you will need a top New York wrongful death attorney on your side. There has to be a surviving spouse or someone that can stand in the civil court to give the testimony that monetary damages have been caused in the event. When the attorney steps in to take the case, there are things that he has to establish to move the case to civil court.
When the case goes to court, you will have to be prepared to offer evidence of all the expenses that resulted from the offending party’s negligence. You should have receipts, copies of medical bills, and funeral expenses to make a clear case. Your New York wrongful death attorney will likely recruit an expert witness to testify against the defendant, further showing that your loved one’s death was preventable and unnecessary.
Monetary losses are only one portion of a wrongful death settlement. Your attorney can review the case and alert you if you are eligible for additional compensation for pain and suffering, stress, or lost wages. Take some time to think about all the expenses you have faced both physically and emotionally since your loved one died. Be prepared to show these expenses to your attorney and share the details of your emotional losses as well. If you have required grief therapy following the death, the offending party could be forced to pay for that as well.
Choosing the right New York wrongful death attorney is essential if you want to have the best chance for success. In the vast majority of cases, a settlement will be reached outside of court. This is particularly true if the offending party is a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare provider. In those incidents, you will also have insurance parties involved, further complicating the process of negotiating a settlement.
While no one wants to go through the death of a loved one, a qualified New York wrongful death attorney can help you lighten the load by guiding you towards some compensation to help offset your financial and emotional losses.
Before someone works to hire a New York wrongful death lawyer, they need to know if they have a viable wrongful death claim. There are a number of causes of wrongful death in which someone can file a suit. You should have a general idea about what these are so that once you find a good wrongful death lawyer, you can move forward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following as the three primary causes and the number of deaths associated with each cause in 2013:
Unintentional falls: 30,208 deaths
Unintentional poisoning: 38,851 deaths
Motor vehicle traffic: 33,804
These are just the general categories and they do not constitute the only categories that a wrongful death could fall into. There are a lot of variables to consider and each case is considered on its own merits.
This form of wrongful death is associated with a patient dying as a result of not receiving appropriate medical care. In most cases, these claims are associated with negligence on the part of a healthcare provider. In this type of claim, a suit may be brought against a hospital or a single healthcare professional, such as a doctor, chiropractor, nurse or psychologist.
A workplace accident that would fall under wrongful death can happen to anyone. There are strict standards given by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that employers must follow strictly. If these are not followed and an employee dies as a result, the family of the deceased can inquire about bringing a wrongful death suit. For example, things like improper training or faulty equipment that result in death could warrant wrongful death.
Both civil and criminal law proceedings can be brought against a person who causes the death of another while committing a criminal act. The burden of proof is far more strict in a criminal case compared to a civil one. If the person responsible for the death of another is not convicted in their criminal case, the family of the deceased can choose to bring forth a suit in a civil court.
If a consumer purchases and uses a product and dies as a result of things like a defective manufacturing process or a faulty design, wrongful death might apply. Factors such as not provide adequate warnings associated with a person using the product might also warrant wrongful death. If a product is thought to be responsible for someone’s death, it is important to study the warnings that came with the product. An experienced attorney that deals with wrongful death cases can help loved ones determine if the warnings were inadequate and failed to warn the deceased of potential dangers.
If you have a claim that does not fit into the information presented here, you could still have a wrongful death claim. Talk to a New York wrongful death attorney that specializes in this field of law to determine if your claim qualifies under wrongful death.