When a person’s loved one passes away from injuries sustained in an accident, his or her family members may pursue a claim for wrongful death. In New York, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents and by the personal representative of his or her estate.
Elements to prove wrongful death
In order for the wrongful death claim to be successful, the claimant must prove several elements. He or she must demonstrate that there was a death of a human being and that his or her death was caused by another person’s wrongful conduct or negligence.
Also, he or she must prove that if the person had not passed away as a result of the injuries, that he or she could have recovered damages in a lawsuit and that the survivors suffered specific damages because of the person’s death.
The wrongful death claimant may be entitled to several types of damages. Usually, damages are measured by financial injury which includes loss of support, medical expenses and services.
In awarding damages, the court will often consider the person’s age at death and his or her health, earning capacity and life expectancy, income at the time of death and potential future earnings, among other factors.
The compensation is important to provide support for people who relied on the deceased person, such as a spouse or children. If a loved one passed away in an accident due to the negligence of another person, there may be limited time under the law to file a claim for compensation. An experienced attorney can offer guidance and advice.