Westchester County Wrongful Death Lawyer
The shock of a loved one’s sudden and wrongful death can be both emotionally and financially debilitating. Surviving family members of persons killed by another’s negligence have a right to pursue compensation. The attorneys at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP help families in Westchester County, achieve justice for wrongful death victims. Contact us for a free consultation today.
Why Choose Our Westchester County Wrongful Death Attorneys?
- We have helped surviving families in New York recover millions of dollars.
- Our firm has over 50 years of combined experience advocating for wrongful death survivors.
- We strive to provide each client with exceptional care, which is why our lead attorneys, Duane and Adam, always handle cases personally.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in New York?
Under New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law EPT § 5-4.1, a loss of a loved one is considered a wrongful death if the following five elements are present:
- A death.
- The death was caused by another party’s wrongful or negligent act.
- A deceased could have pursued a personal injury lawsuit had they lived.
- The deceased’s family members suffered losses as a result of the death.
- The estate is eligible to recover damages.
There is one exception, which is when a fetus dies before being born. An individual cannot be held liable for the death even if a negligent act caused it.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Westchester County
New York law allows a personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving heirs, beneficiaries, or devisees. The personal representative is typically named in the deceased’s will or elsewhere in the estate plan. It can either be a trusted friend, family member, or a legal representative. If the deceased did not have an estate plan, the court may appoint a personal representative.
There is a rule known as the statute of limitations, limiting the amount of time that a personal representative has to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of surviving family members. In New York, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased’s passing.
Compensation in a Westchester County Wrongful Death Claim
The types of compensation that surviving families are often awarded in a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical bills related to the death.
- Funeral, cremation, or burial costs.
- Loss of the victim’s expected wages.
- Loss of benefits
- Reduction in the inheritance suffered by surviving children.
- Loss in parental guidance.
- Loss of support and services that the victim provided, such as childcare
- Conscious pain and suffering the deceased endured due to his or her injuries.
- Nine percent interest on top of the damages award, calculated from the date of death.
Surviving family members are not entitled to compensation for their own pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of companionship.
The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Case and a Survivorship Action
The significant difference between a wrongful death case and a survivorship action the types of damages awarded. First, wrongful death laws make it possible for the estate to pursue damages for the loss of support directly related to the death. A survivorship action allows the estate to seek compensation that the deceased could have recovered had they survived the accident. For instance, the deceased’s pain and suffering and lost wages from the moment of the injury until the time of death.
Contact Our Westchester County Wrongful Death Lawyers
If a loved one has passed due to the negligence of another, contact Fiedler Deutsch, LLP. Our team can help ease your burden and recover maximum compensation on your behalf. Call (914) 993-0393 today for a free consultation.