Representing Family Members of Wrongful Death Victims in Queens

Wrongful death is a legal term denoting a civil action in which damages are sought against a party for causing death through negligence or wrongdoing. A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by surviving family members and dependents of the deceased to recover for losses they have suffered because of the death. If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, it is in your family’s best interests to consult with an experienced Queens wrongful death lawyer.

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What Types of Accidents Can Result in Wrongful Death?

Virtually any type of accident could give rise to a wrongful death claim if the negligent or wrongful actions of someone other than the victim caused it. Common causes of wrongful death in Queens include:

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Queens and When?

Under state law, only the following persons can file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Spouse of the deceased
  • Parent of the deceased
  • Child of the deceased
  • Personal or court-appointed representative of the estate of the deceased

It may be possible for other blood relatives, such as siblings, to bring a claim if the deceased has no surviving spouse, child, or parent. To do so, however, such a relative must be named as the personal or court-appointed representative of the estate. The statute of limitations is two years for wrongful death in New York. This means a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death, or the claim will be forever barred.

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What Forms of Compensation May Be Available for Wrongful Death?

Although no amount of money can ever compensate you for loss, a wrongful death claim is a way to seek justice for your loved one, hold responsible parties accountable, and seek compensation for your family’s future. Damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim will depend on the circumstances of the case. Common damages include:

  • Medical expenses related to the last injury or illness of the deceased
  • Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
  • Lost expected wages of the deceased
  • Lost benefits from the work of the deceased
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of consortium (right of association and companionship with one’s husband or wife)
  • Punitive damages if the death was caused by extreme recklessness, willful indifference, or intentional wrongdoing

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How Are Wrongful Death Damages Distributed in New York?

Under New York intestacy statutes, priority in distributing wrongful death damages is given as follows:

  • Surviving spouse and no children: The whole amount goes to the spouse.
  • Surviving spouse and children: $50,000 and one-half of the balance of the estate goes to the spouse, and the remainder is divided equally among the children of the same generation.
  • Surviving children and no spouse: The whole is divided equally among the children of the same generation.
  • One or both parents and no surviving spouse or children: The whole goes to the surviving parent or parents.
  • Surviving siblings or nieces and nephews and no spouse, children, or parents: The whole is divided equally among siblings of the same generation.

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Do You Need a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Claim in Queens?

Your best chance of prevailing in a wrongful death claim is to have an experienced Queens personal injury attorney representing you. Our seasoned trial lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP can work to prove that the defendant acted negligently and that the defendant’s negligence or failure to act caused your loved one’s death. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation.

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