Yonkers Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a preventable accident due to another party’s negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact Fiedler Deutsch, LLP, to speak to a skilled wrongful death lawyer in a free consultation.
Why Choose Our Yonkers Wrongful Death Lawyer?
- We have successfully recovered millions in compensation for our clients in New York.
- Our Yonkers personal injury success is based on decades of experience and the personal attention we devote to each wrongful death case.
- We understand the severity of these cases and will never charge an upfront fee. We only get paid if you do.
Yonkers Wrongful Death Resources & FAQs
- How a Yonkers Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help Your Case
- Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases
- What Is Considered a Wrongful Death in Yonkers?
- How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a Wrongful Death Claim in Yonkers?
- How Long Will a Wrongful Death Claim Take to Resolve?
- How Do You Prove a Yonkers Wrongful Death Claim?
- What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Yonkers?
- How Much Do Wrongful Death Lawyers Charge?
- What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Case and a Survivorship Action?
How a Yonkers Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help Your Case
During this extremely trying time for your family, you should not have to bear the burden of dealing with an insurance company alone. A Yonkers wrongful death attorney will understand and know the state laws applicable to wrongful death cases and frequently work with insurance companies to negotiate fair settlements. They will have your family’s best interests in mind and will aggressively fight to ensure the wrongful party is held responsible, and you are awarded compensation that accurately reflects your losses.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit arise from a large variety of fatal and preventable accidents. However, our Yonkers wrongful death attorneys commonly represent families who have lost loved ones in:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Incidents of medical malpractice in Yonkers
- Nursing home incidents
A Yonkers wrongful death attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence to use as grounds for filing the claim and as proof of liability.
What Is Considered a Wrongful Death in Yonkers?
Under New York law, New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law EPT § 5-4.1, the loss of a loved one is considered a wrongful death if the following five elements are present:
- There was a death;
- The death was caused by another party’s negligence;
- Had the deceased victim survived, a personal injury lawsuit could have been pursued in court;
- The deceased’s surviving family suffered losses as a result of the death.
In Yonkers, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate has the ability to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of surviving heirs, beneficiaries, or devisees. However, the personal representative can be a legal representative or a trusted friend or family member.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a Wrongful Death Claim in Yonkers?
Many factors can determine how much compensation a deceased’s estate can be awarded in a wrongful death claim. The most common variables considered by an insurance company or the court include the following:
- The type and severity of the accident.
- The deceased’s age, habits, and occupation.
- The deceased’s health at the time of death.
- The deceased’s life expectancy had they survived.
- The past and potential future earnings of the decedent.
- The percentage of financial support the spouse relied on.
- Whether the deceased had minor children and how many.
- Whether the deceased was actively involved in their community.
These elements can increase or decrease a surviving family’s potential settlement. For instance, a wrongful death case’s value may be lower if the victim was elderly and contributed to causing their accident. On the other hand, if the deceased victim was young with a surviving spouse and minor children and did not contribute to their accident, the case’s value would be much higher.
Examples of Compensation Awarded
Damages may be awarded to a surviving family who pursues a wrongful death claim. “Damages” refers to the compensation recovered due to a legal wrong committed by another party. The types of compensation awarded will vary based on the circumstances of each case but often 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 of parental guidance;
- Loss of support and services that the victim provided, such as childcare;
- Loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice.
- Conscious pain and suffering the deceased endured due to their injuries; and,
- Interest on top of the damages awarded, which are calculated from the date of death.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the defendant (at-fault party) if their actions were malicious or egregious.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Whether the victim was partially responsible for the accident that led to their death can also significantly impact how much compensation a surviving family recovers. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, a wrongful death settlement or award will be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault in contributing to the accident that led to their death. For example, if the deceased’s estate is awarded $500,000, but the victim was found 20 percent to blame for their accident, the estate will only receive 80% of the award, or $400,000.
How Long Will a Wrongful Death Claim Take to Resolve?
Unfortunately, there is no precise answer as to how long a wrongful death claim will take since each case is unique. However, most wrongful death cases settle out of court and are resolved relatively quickly without having to file a lawsuit. Therefore, if the case is resolved in a settlement, it may only take a few months. Whereas, if liability is disputed and you end up having to file a lawsuit, it can take up to a year or longer to make it to trial.
How Do You Prove a Wrongful Death Claim?
Bringing a successful wrongful death lawsuit requires demonstrating the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: The defendant (at-fault party) owed the deceased a duty of care—for example, the duty to drive carefully and obey traffic laws if the case involves a car accident.
- Breach of Duty: The defendant violated their duty by failing to act with the same level of care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation—for example, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Causation: The defendant’s violation of their duty of care directly caused the victim’s death.
- Damages: The surviving family suffered losses as a result of their loved one’s death.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the direct link between the defendant’s negligence and the victim’s death (causation element) can be particularly challenging to prove. The at-fault party will often try to shift the blame to the victim or another party. However, a wrongful death attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence to prove liability.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Yonkers?
Each state has its own laws governing how long the personal representative of the deceased’s estate has to file a wrongful death claim. In New York, the statute of limitations for pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If a lawsuit is not filed before this deadline, the complaint may be dismissed by the judge, and you will not be able to recover compensation.
Although two years may seem like a long time, it is almost always in your best interests to get the claims process started as soon as possible. Once you hire an attorney, they will begin investigating your loved one’s accident to collect critical evidence of fault that can quickly disappear. As a result, it will significantly improve your chances of getting justice and the compensation your family deserves.
How Much Do Wrongful Death Lawyers Charge?
Many law firms, including Fiedler Deutsch, LLP, accept wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we will advance all costs of pursuing your wrongful death claim, and you will only owe legal fees if you win. On average, surviving family members who hire an attorney secure two to three times more compensation even after legal fees. As a result, there is no risk to you. Most firms take approximately 33.3% or one-third of your settlement or award for their legal fee, but it can depend on the case’s complexity and the amount of work involved.
What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Case and a Survivorship Action?
The most significant difference between a wrongful death case and a survivorship action is the types of damages awarded. Because of wrongful death laws, a deceased victim’s estate can pursue damages for the loss of support directly related to the deceased’s death. Whereas a survivorship action allows the estate to receive compensation that the deceased could have recovered had they survived the accident. For instance, compensation for their conscious pain and suffering or loss of income from the moment of the injury until the time of death.
Speak to a Trusted Wrongful Death Attorney in Yonkers
Our Yonkers wrongful death lawyers at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP care about the loss of your loved one and your family’s suffering. We will help you hold the wrongful party accountable and ensure you receive justice. To arrange a free consultation so we may discuss your case and legal options, call (914) 993-0393 or send us a message online today.