A wrongful death claim is a suit that arises from the death of a person caused by the conduct of another. A wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims as the actual victim (the decedent) isn't filing suit. It's filed by their surviving family members or the decedent's estate.
A wrongful death claim is filed to recover damages for the injuries that the surviving family or estate have suffered due to the death of the victim. The purpose of a wrongful death suit is to provide relief to family members who have been affected emotionally and financially as a result of the person's death.
At Premo Law Firm PLLC, we understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, we'll do everything possible to help you achieve financial security so you can focus on recovering from the loss caused.
There Are Various Kinds of Damages for Wrongful Death
Damages in wrongful death cases are aimed at compensating for losses resulting from the death of a family member. Types of recoverable damages include:
Medical bills and funeral costs
Loss of benefits:
What the person could have received in pension/retirement benefits had they lived
Loss of future earnings:
What the person who died would have earned in salary if he or she had lived
Loss of companionship:
What the person who died would have emotionally provided to a relationship, and the mental pain and suffering resulting from the decedent's death
The amount the defendant should be punished for his or her action resulting in the victim's death
Calculating wrongful death damages is a tedious process that involves multiple factors:
How dependent the plaintiff was on the decedent
The nature of the relationship with the decedent
The anticipated lifespan of the decedent
The anticipated earnings and other benefits of the decedent
The presence of any comparative fault
Yet another important factor in wrongful death damage calculations is estimating expected or future income losses. Future losses are the amount of earnings and benefits the decedent would have earned if they had lived. It's therefore very common to take the victim's earnings at the time of his or her death and calculate the remaining years until retirement (or expected death) to determine future loss of earnings.
Present Value of Wrongful Death Damages
When using a life expectancy table to calculate future losses, courts often reduce the total future loss to the present dollar value. As most wrongful death damage compensation is paid in a lump sum, the beneficiary receives the total amount of earnings and benefits the decedent would have made over the course of his or her life, reduced to a single amount that is discounted to present dollars.
Distribution of Wrongful Death Damages
In wrongful death suits, more than one family member could be liable to receive the compensation amount. Under New York law, the damage amount recovered is distributed in proportion to damages sustained by each individual separately.
In all matters involving personal injury, it's essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the Statute of Limitations. If you or a loved one is a victim of personal injuries, call us now at 518-436-8000 or submit a simple Case Review Form. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we'll work on a Contingent Fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there's a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
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