Wrongful Death


Filing a claim for wrongful death can be particularly challenging in the state of New York because of the unique laws that govern the matter. It is precisely for this reason that you should seek the counsel of an experienced New York City personal injury attorney when evaluating your options and trying to determine the right course of action. Our firm is dedicated to seeing our clients through difficult legal situations and we will remain steadfastly by your side throughout the duration of your legal process.

Filing a Claim for Wrongful Death in New York

New York state law allows the family members to seek compensation for the damages caused by the untimely and accidental death of their loved one. While there are no limits to how much can be awarded for the damages in a wrongful death claim, there are seven categories under which the complaining party may claim damages.

The loss of pecuniary income concerns any future income that the family would have received through the work of their deceased loved one. This would be calculated according to income, pension plans and benefits. Compensation may be sought for medical expenses if the victim of the accident was treated directly prior to his or her death, and funeral expenses will be covered completely if the claim is granted.

In addition to these financial losses, emotional losses of the deceased, such as pain and suffering can be compensated, as can the loss of parental guidance (for children or legal dependents of the deceased). Lastly, punitive damages may be awarded if the negligent acts of the defendant, who was the cause of the accident, were particularly rash and abhorrent.

The unique part of New York’s provisions for a wrongful death claim concern the parties qualified to file such a claim. While other states allow for the direct family members to personally file for a claim of wrongful death, New York restricts that ability to the personal representative of the deceased.

According to New York’s Estate Powers and Trust Law, only a personal representative of the estate has the right to sue for wrongful death on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries. This person would likely be the executor of the deceased’s estate through a will or trust established prior to death.

The representative would be the name on the claim but any compensation obtained from the suit would be added to the original estate and distributed according to the wishes of the grantor. If there was no will or trust established prior to death and therefore no personal representative for the deceased person, a family member or individual with an interest in the estate may apply with the Surrogate’s Judge to be named executor and therefore qualify to file a claim

What Compensation Is Available After a Fatal Construction Accident?

Under state law, you have two separate courses of action available for pursuing financial compensation in the wake of a fatal construction accident.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could either pursue death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, and you could file a wrongful death claim.

In either scenario, you have a right to hire an attorney to represent your claim. Contact Greenberg & Stein for an initial consultation to discuss your situation and to determine which type of claim best suits your family’s needs.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in New York City

Nearly all injuries on the job are eligible for coverage under our state’s workers’ compensation laws, with the exception of accidents caused by the employee’s use of alcohol or drugs, as well as intentionally self-inflicted injuries.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program, so it is not necessary to prove that anyone else is responsible for the accident, and it is even possible to recover benefits if your loved one was at fault.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

The amount you could receive in death benefits is calculated at two-thirds of your loved one’s average weekly wage over the course of the last year before the date of the accident. Note that there is a maximum of two-thirds of the statewide average weekly wage, which in 2011 was $1,188.10. Currently, the most you could receive would be $784.14 per week. Workers’ comp will additionally pay up to $6,000 in funeral expenses.

Wrongful Death Damages for Fatal Construction Accidents in NYC

Article 1, Section 16 of the New York State Constitution secures your right to take action to “recover damages for injuries resulting in death,” and, by doing so, you can secure comprehensive financial compensation for your losses. While no amount of money will ever make up for your tragic loss, you can at least demand a settlement to offset the economic impact of your family member’s death and help you move on in life.

According to New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law § 5-4.3, you may be entitled to claim pecuniary damages, which can include the income your family has lost since the date of death and which you could reasonably have expected to receive in the future.

You can additionally recover compensation for all the medical care and treatment which was provided for the injury that caused your loved one’s death, as well as punitive damages in cases of gross negligence.

You can also recover for any pain, suffering and fear of death that your loved one suffered between the incident and the time of death.  Note that the value of your settlement can include interest from the date of death.

Compensation for Death at Work

A wrongful death lawsuit may only be brought to the attention of the courts by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Additionally, every state has a civil “wrongful death statute” that establishes the procedures for bringing a wrongful death claim to the courts. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the personal representative to take action for personal injury, conscious pain and suffering, and expenses incurred before the death of the family member.

For this reason, it is tremendously important that the personal representative of the estate contact a wrongful death attorney. The compensation for death at work is often substantial, but claiming it can get complicated, meaning things are best left in the hands of a professional.

Wrongful death lawsuits have complicated and severe implications. The construction company or another party may want to settle outside of court, for example. Often, this action is utilized by the company to avoid paying out a more significant lawsuit in court.

Speaking with a wrongful death attorney at Greenberg & Stein enables you to get an expert on your side. We’ll review all the details of your case and make sure that you receive the maximum possible settlement for your damages.

Hire a Construction Accident Death Attorney

Deciding to a file a wrongful death claim.in civil court allows the family members of the deceased victim to receive financial damages associated with the case. These damages can help support family members who depended on the deceased party for their livelihood. They may also cover the emotional strain and burden placed on surviving family members.

It’s important to reach out to a construction accident death attorney if the surviving family members wish to pursue legal action. The wrongful death lawyers at Greenberg & Stein have extensive experience representing these types of cases and will work to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

What Happens If My Spouse Dies at Work?

Losing a spouse at work is devastating for loved ones left behind. The shock and sorrow revolving around the incident can linger for some time. While a spouse and other loved ones struggle with the unexpected loss, the rest of the world has a habit of moving on without you. But you are not alone.

In this type of instance, the family may miss out on crucial opportunities to pursue legal damages for the wrongful death due to their grief. Its best to hire a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer who can shoulder this burden and advocate on your behalf. The legal team of Greenberg & Stein will handle the complex process while you deal with your loss and work toward a better future.

Surviving family members can file a lawsuit over the wrongful death of a loved one. However, the process is complex and requires firm evidence to make such a bold declaration evident. Furthermore, insurance companies and the construction entity may put up roadblocks along the way, making your pursuit of damages even more of a hassle.

Family members could receive damages that help cover necessary living expenses, taking care of children, funeral costs, and other expenses. Contact an attorney at Greenberg & Stein for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.

Contact Greenberg & Stein Today for Help

If your loved one passed away due to another’s negligence, reach out to Greenberg & Stein as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your case before the statute of limitations runs out. Our knowledgeable team has decades of combined litigation experience, and one of our attorneys is even a member of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, an honor bestowed on less than 1% of attorneys across the country.

Speak to an attorney today for a confidential consultation. Greenberg & Stein charges nothing for this service, and there is absolutely no commitment. This initial consultation is provided as a public service to discover if you have enough evidence or cause to pursue legal action.

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