All New York City traffic deaths are tragic for the victim's family, friends and community members. Victims' families experience significant financial hardship in addition to the emotional toll that losing a loved one takes on them. The first question family members ask after such a devastating loss is: Why? And often, the answer to that question will determine if negligence was a factor in the car crash.
The experienced New York wrongful death attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP have helped families of deceased car accident victims seek and obtain just compensation for their significant losses. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, please contact us at (212) 986-7353 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
In order to receive monetary support after losing a loved one, New York City residents can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. "Wrongful death" is a legal phrase that essentially means a death caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. Therefore, when someone is solely responsible for his or her own death, it is tragic, but not necessarily "wrongful" under the law.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 294 people killed in New York City car accidents in the year 2013. This number includes 84 drivers, 18 passengers, 183 pedestrians and nine bicyclists. There are many forms of neglectful and dangerous driving that can lead to a wrongful death.
Here are just a few examples of car accidents that can result in wrongful death claims:
- Distracted drivers
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Inexperienced or elderly drivers
- Speeding or driving at a speed that is dangerous given roadway, weather and traffic conditions
- Violating the rules of the road such as running stop signs/red lights, failing to yield the right-of-way, making unsafe turns or unsafe lane changes
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim filed by the survivors of the victim. Usually, a wrongful death claim is filed by immediate family members, such as a spouse or child. Other family members, including parents, siblings and anyone who was financially dependent on the victim, can also file a claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is separate from the criminal proceedings that may be initiated in connection with a car accident.
For example, a DUI driver may be convicted in a criminal case. But the family of the deceased victim will not get any monetary compensation even if the driver may be punished by the court. Filing a wrongful death claim is often their only recourse. Victims' families can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses incurred by the victim, funeral and burial costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
The experienced New York car accident death attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP understand the emotional and financial burdens families face after the loss of a loved one. We remain on their side, fight for their rights and help ensure that they are fairly compensated for their losses and that the responsible parties are held accountable. If you have lost a loved one in a New York City car accident, call us at (212) 986-7353 for a free and comprehensive consultation.