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Bronx Wrongful Death Attorney
Acting carelessly is always irresponsible, but sometimes, carelessness results in the death of another person. When it does, surviving loved ones are often entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. Financial damages can never fully recover the loss a person feels after losing someone they love, but it can help with the burden they face in the form of funeral and burial expenses and other losses. If you have lost someone due to another person’s negligence or carelessness, an experienced Bronx wrongful death attorney from Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can advise on the laws surrounding these claims and help you through the process.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
In its simplest terms, a wrongful death occurs any time a person dies due to the wrongful conduct or personal negligence of someone else. These deaths occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Uber and other ride-sharing accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Train accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- And more
After losing a loved one in any of these accidents, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. To file a claim, you must prove that your loved one would have been able to file a claim for damages if they had survived the accident.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Not every person is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal accident, even if they are a family member of the deceased. In the Bronx, as throughout the rest of New York, the only person who can file a wrongful death claim is the personal representative of the deceased.
The personal representative is the person the deceased named in their will or in other aspects of their estate plan. However, this does not mean loved ones cannot claim damages. When a personal representative is successful with a wrongful death claim, the damages are distributed to the beneficiaries of the deceased. Beneficiaries can include a spouse, children, and parents.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims are different from other types of personal injury claims, with one of the biggest differences being the damages that can be sought. While accident victims typically file a claim for the injuries and losses they sustained, in a wrongful death claim the personal representative can seek damages for losses surviving loved ones have sustained. These damages are known as economic losses and they are intended to compensate for the pecuniary injuries of surviving loved ones.
The damages available in a Bronx wrongful death claim include funeral and burial costs, as well as lost income the loved ones were dependent on. Family members can also claim lost work benefits and the loss of inheritance they expected to receive from the deceased. Any medical bills the deceased incurred before their death can also be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Statute of Limitations
In the Bronx, and throughout the rest of New York, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. This means that the personal representative must file the claim within two years of the death, which is not always the same date as the accident. When claims are not filed within this time, surviving loved ones will forfeit their right to damages.
Many people think two years is a long time to file a claim, but it is not. Prior to filing a claim, a lawyer will conduct a full investigation into the situation that caused the death. During the investigation, a lawyer will also collect evidence that proves the case to give loved ones the best chance of success with their case. While the investigation is necessary, it is also time-consuming. For this reason, it is best to speak to a Bronx wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Wrongful Death and Comparative Negligence
While unfortunate, it is not uncommon for liable parties to try and shift blame to the accident victim. They may state that the deceased did not drive in a safe manner, did not comply with pedestrian laws, or otherwise acted negligently resulting in the accident that caused their death. Liable parties use this defense in an effort to reduce the damages they must pay, or to shield them from liability altogether.
New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that accident victims can be found liable for the accident that caused their injury or death. While surviving loved ones can still claim damages when the deceased is found partially to blame, if the liable party is successful with their defense, it will greatly reduce the amount of damages loved ones can seek.
Unlike most other states, New York is one of only 13 states that operates under pure comparative negligence laws. This means that accident victims, and their loved ones, can still claim damages even when the accident victim is found to be 99 percent liable for the accident that caused their injuries. Still, it is important to work with a lawyer who will minimize the deceased’s role in the accident. The less fault that is assigned to the deceased, the more damages family members can recover.
Get Legal Help Today
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things a person will ever go through. While struggling with their grief, loved ones are additionally burdened with funeral and burial expenses, as well as other costs related to the death. If you have recently lost a loved one, the Bronx wrongful death attorneys at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. are here to help. We know how to hold liable parties accountable when their carelessness results in a death, and we will help you recover the maximum damages your family deserves.