When a person dies as the result of a negligent or intentional act of another, a wrongful death claim may be made by the deceased individual’s surviving family members, who could be entitled to receive compensation for the loss of their loved one.
At Gorayeb and Associates, we understand that the death of a loved one can be an extremely difficult and traumatic time for any family. The deceased may have been the sole provider for his or her family, the primary person responsible for meeting childcare needs, or simply trying to begin life as a productive member of society. No matter the situation, Gorayeb and Associates advocates for our clients who find themselves dealing with these difficult circumstances. Although money can never replace the person lost, Gorayeb and Associates advocates on behalf of the surviving family members to ensure that they are not only compensated for the loss of their loved one, but to secure their financial future.
The law governing damages in a wrongful–death action is intended to compensate the decedent’s distributees – the surviving family members – who are the heirs to the decedent’s estate for the “pecuniary loss” they have suffered as a result of the death. Examples of permissible recovery in wrongful–death cases include loss of support, loss of household services, loss of parental care and guidance, as well as the decedent’s loss of earnings and the possibility of inheritance from the decedent.
As a result of the law limiting recovery in wrongful death actions to pecuniary loss, a separate survival cause of action is recognized that allows for the recovery of money to compensate for the pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to his or her death. This cause of action is brought by and the recovery of same goes to the Estate of the Decedent, rather than a particular distributee.
There are many examples of situations in which a wrongful death claim can be made. For instance, a wrongful death claim may arise from a construction accident in which a worker dies as the result of a fall from a ladder or scaffold, is struck by machinery being used without the proper safeguards, or is crushed by heavy equipment, materials, or debris that were improperly secured.
A wrongful death claim may also arise in many other settings. For instance, a wrongful death claim may exist due to the medical malpractice of a physician or hospital that fails to adequately and properly treat a patient under their care. In other circumstances, a wrongful death case may arise where a person is killed as a result of an auto accident.
The time within which a wrongful death suit must be made – otherwise known as the statute of limitations – in New York is two years from the date of the person’s death. However, if the death was due to medical malpractice the statute of limitations is two and one half years from the date of the person’s death.
If your loved one has been a victim of wrongful death, call Gorayeb & Associates to learn your rights and begin the process of retaining compensation.