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What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

During a wrongful death claim families hold an at-fault party accountable for the death of a loved one in a fatal accident. The type of accident generally does not matter as long as it can be proven that the responsible party’s negligent or wrongful actions caused the death. Through a wrongful death claim, the survivors may pursue compensation for the economic and non-economic damages caused by the death, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and funeral costs.

wrongful death infographic

If you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person, you should not hesitate to contact a New York wrongful death attorney at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP. We can sit down with your family in a free consultation to discuss what happened. We have more than 50 years of experience and have recovered millions of dollars for grieving families throughout New York. To discuss your case today, call us at (212) 986-7353.

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Am I Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in NY?

In order to be eligible to file a NY wrongful death claim, you must be a statutory beneficiary of the deceased person. This means that immediate family members, including a spouse, children, or parents are eligible for compensation. An attorney will act on behalf of the family to present evidence and testimony to prove the responsible party is at-fault and that the death was a direct result of the accident.

You must also demonstrate that your loved one died due to another person’s act of negligence, according to New York’s wrongful death statute. While it may be clear to you that a reckless driver or careless surgeon caused your loved one’s death, it often takes an in-depth investigation to prove this. To recover compensation, you will need to file a claim against the negligent individual’s insurance company, which may appear dismissive of your family’s loss.

However, when you work with an experienced attorney, you can trust that the legal burdens of your case are in good hands. The team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, has walked many families through the difficult process of recovering compensation. We can provide in-depth legal counsel regarding your claim. We have handled cases involving car accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, and construction accidents. We can look into the cause of your loved one’s death and collect evidence of wrongdoing to support your claim.

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Causes of Wrongful Deaths in New York

Unfortunately, devastating accidents happen every day across New York that tragically cut someone’s life short. After cancer and heart disease, accidents are the third leading cause of death in New York State, but make no mistake: someone besides the deceased is often to blame for these deaths. In addition, unintentional injuries have consistently ranked among the top five causes of death in NYC.

Wrongful death lawsuits can involve a wide range of fatal accidents, including:

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What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Wrongful Death?

While legal action cannot erase such a tragic loss, it is possible to obtain significant financial compensation to assist with life after the death of a loved one. The immediate family members can claim the following damages:

  • Medical costs related to hospital care prior to death
  • Burial or cremation expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Lost expected wages
  • Lost benefits from deceased’s work
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Punitive damages for crimes committed by the at-fault party that caused the death

With a significant financial settlement, the family can focus on healing without worrying about paying for past losses or future expenses related to the death.

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Defending Your Right to Compensation

The compassionate lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP have extensive experience handling wrongful death cases on behalf of clients who have lost a family member in catastrophic accidents. We understand that money cannot erase the loss you have suffered, but it can help relieve the financial burdens that may interfere with your ability to grieve. Please contact WRSMH online or by calling (212) 986-7353 to receive a free and comprehensive consultation to help you make an informed decision about your circumstances.

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Additional Information

Our Wrongful Death Case Results

$4.5 Million - Wrongful Death of Construction Worker by Heat Stroke

WRSMH attorneys obtained a $4.5 million dollar settlement for the family of a construction worker who died as the result of heat stroke at a construction site.

William Hepner, Jason Rubin

$4.5 Million - Emotional Injuries Caused by Baby's Death

Phil Russotti recently obtained, by our research, the largest verdict, $4,500,000.00, ever rendered in the country for emotional damages for a mother who lost a child at childbirth.

Philip Russotti

$1.9 Million - Elevator Mechanic Killed on Job

Bryce Moses represented the family of an elevator mechanic who was killed while performing repairs in an elevator shaft when the elevator directly overhead crushed him.

Bryce Moses

$1.875 Million - Failure to Treat Electrolyte Imbalance

During jury selection in Westchester County, the firm settled a case involving the death of a 42-year-old Vice President for Blue Cross / Blue Shield.


$1.8 Million - Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death

WRSMH attorney Jason Rubin obtained a $1,800,000.00 settlement in a wrongful death case involving the death of a 21 year old woman resulting from a hospital's failure to timely diagnose and treat postoperative bleeding.

Jason Rubin

$1.75 Million - Failure to Diagnose Lung Cancer

During trial, Jason Rubin settled a medical malpractice case for $1.75 million arising out of the death of a 73 year old man as a result of defendants' failure to diagnose small cell lung cancer.

Jason Rubin

$1.5 Million - NY Rail Road Accident

WRSMH attorney Bill Hepner settled this matter at the second mediation of this case, five days before he was to pick a jury and begin trial.

William Hepner

$1.45 Million - Wrongful Death

WRSMH attorney settled a case of liability during trial in the amount of $1,450,000. The case was against a Long Island trucking company, hospital, and surgeon for the pain and suffering and death of a 48 year old father.


$925,000 - Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Settlement

Jason Rubin obtained a $925,000.00 settlement in a medical malpractice/wrongful death case involving the death of a 48 year old woman as a result of a hospital's failure to diagnose and treat pulmonary embolism.

Jason Rubin

$835,000 - Failure to Diagnose and Treat a Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis, Resulting Death

The case involved the failure of defendants to diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, resulting in decedent's death several weeks later.

Jason Rubin

$750,000 - Failure to Timely Diagnose Cancer of the Parotid Gland

Jason Rubin obtained a $750,000 settlement in a wrongful death case where there was a delay in the diagnosis of parotid cancer, which eventually caused the decedent's death

Jason Rubin

$750,000 - Woman Struck and Killed by a Tractor Trailer

Kenneth Halperin obtained a settlement in the amount of $700,000 out of a $750,000 insurance policy for the estate of a 75 year old woman struck and killed by a tractor trailer.

Kenneth Halperin

$650,000 - Negligent Security at a Group Home for the Mentally Disabled

Attorney Ken Halperin settled this negligent security case during mediation for $650,000.00. The decedent was a 29-year-old resident of a group home for the mentally disabled.

Kenneth Halperin

$600,000 - Pedestrian Killed by Out of Control Vehicle on Strip Mall Sidewalk

WRSMH attorney, obtained a $600,000 settlement for the estate of a man who was killed by an out of control vehicle in a strip mall parking lot, which had jumped onto the sidewalk, striking and killing our client.


$600,000 - Medical Malpractice Death Case

Prior to trial, Jason Rubin obtained a $600,000 settlement in a medical malpractice/wrongful death case arising out of the failure to diagnose uterine cancer in a 35 year old woman.

Jason Rubin

$510,000 - Pedestrian Fatally Injured in Car Accident

Our client, a 74 year old woman suffering from significant dementia, was hit by a motor vehicle in the early morning hours. As a result of the impact our client passed away.

Paula Greco

$500,000 - Drowning at Amusement Park

WRSMH took a plaintiff's verdict on liability against a municipality in the drowning death of a 43 year old Korean male at a public lake.


$450,000 - 74 Year Old Dies From Post-Surgical Complications

WRSMH attorney settled for $450,000 the case of a 74 year old man who died from severe post-surgical complications from what was to be routine hernia surgery.


$450,000 - Wrongful Death - Fall Injury

Plaintiff was a 62 year old woman who went to her friends' house for a barbecue. Defendants had recently renovated a wooden deck and had not yet fastened handrails to the deck stairs.

William Hepner

$300,000 - Fatal Vehicle Accident

Our client was the public administrator of Onondaga County. The decedent was a 76 year old woman who's vehicle was rear ended by a tractor trailer. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


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