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Westchester County Wrongful Death Lawyers

One of the hardest challenges we ever have to face is the loss of a loved one. The aftermath of an accident that causes the unexpected death of someone you love is always difficult emotionally, and can also create substantial financial challenges. Trying to navigate a legal claim while mourning can be overwhelming and frustrating, but an experienced attorney at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can relieve you of those burdens, to pursue legal claims arising from the loved one’s death.

If your loved one has been killed because of another person’s negligence, you can seek legal action to hold them accountable for their actions. While no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, having the financial ability to lessen the burdens on your shoulders can give you the time and tools to mourn their loss. Our Westchester County wrongful death lawyers understand how challenging this time is for you and will do everything in their power to help you and your loved one receive justice, through compensation, for the events leading to your loved one’s death. 

What Types of Accidents Lead to Wrongful Death in Westchester County, New York?

Many different types of accidents can cause wrongful death. Whether the accident happened in the workplace, on a highway or elsewhere, dangerous actions can cause someone to lose their life unexpectedly. The following are examples of some types of serious accidents that are more common than others:   

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are some of the most common causes of fatalities in the United States. This includes not only car and truck collisions, but also pedestrian, bike, scooter, boat and aircraft accidents. Given the potential severity of the impact from a motor vehicle collision, the chances of a catastrophic and fatal outcome can be quite high.

Medical Malpractice

When a medical professional fails to provide the care a patient requires, and causes the individual’s avoidable death, you can seek legal action to hold them accountable. The lack of proper care by a doctor, nurse, hospital, or nursing home is inexcusable, and the loved ones of the person who died have every right to seek compensation.

Workplace Accident

So much of our time is spent at work, and employers and others (such as owners and contractors in certain circumstances) are responsible for the health and safety of employees. If a person or group of people disregard those safety regulations, they can be held responsible for their actions. Workplace accidents are more common in positions where work is performed in risky conditions like the construction industry, where workers are often working at high elevations on ladders, cranes, and scaffolds or navigating falling objects. While the workers’ compensation laws generally prohibit pursuing a lawsuit against one’s own employer, if someone other than the employer is responsible for the accident, they can certainly be held responsible for their actions.

Criminal Activity

The law helps protect everyone, and when individuals disregard those rules, they can cause severe harm and even death. You can file a wrongful death claim when your loved one is killed because someone else broke the law. Some examples of criminal activity that can lead to wrongful death include assault, theft, and DUI.

Accidents often occur and sometimes result in severe injuries and even death. It’s hard to fathom that our loved ones can be susceptible to harm due to another person’s carelessness. However, you can hold the person responsible for their actions and seek legal action for their negligence. Contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible so that you can receive the best possible outcome for your case.

What Factors Can Impact a Westchester County Wrongful Death Claim?

With any legal proceeding and claim, there are factors that impact the case’s outcome. A skilled wrongful death lawyer will work on your behalf to identify the unique aspects of your particular case to pursue the best course of action. There are two separate causes of action that can be brought in New York to recover for a person’s death, wrongful death and survivorship. A survivorship action is brought by the estate of the deceased person to obtain damages for pre-death pain and suffering, such as conscious pain and suffering and pre-impact terror. Survivorship claims must be brought within three years from the date of the accident or the date of death, whichever is longer. A wrongful death action is brought by the deceased person’s survivors who have suffered economic losses due to the person’s passing, and with some exceptions, must be brought within two years of the person’s date of death. 

Unfortunately, New York’s wrongful death statute is quite strict and limits damages in wrongful death claims to the financial losses demonstrated by the deceased person’s survivors. It does not allow recovery for emotional damages of the surviving family. However, there are many elements that must be considered when handling a wrongful death case. 

The following are a few examples of factors that can impact a wrongful death and survivorship claim in New York:

  • Conscious pain and suffering, if any, the decedent experienced prior to death
  • The decedent’s pre-impact terror and fear of impending death, if applicable
  • The age of the family member who died (called the decedent), at the time of death
  • Decedent’s income and earning capacity
  • Dependents’ ages and financial reliance on the decedent
  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses
  • State of health of the decedent

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

When a loved one dies, there are many that feel their loss. Individuals who are extended family, or friends of the deceased person, may incur losses and want to seek compensation. However, under New York law, since the decedent cannot bring the action, a personal representative of the estate must be appointed to represent the surviving members of the family and file the wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. If the decedent died without a will, or not indicate in their will who they wanted to administer their estate, the administrator will be appointed by the Court.

At the time a settlement or recovery is obtained, the personal representative will essentially hold those funds in trust for the family members or beneficiaries. Generally, the personal representative does not personally benefit from those funds unless he or she is also one of the family member beneficiaries of the estate.

Whether you are the personal representative in your situation or you have concerns about who in your family will be able to recover compensation, we encourage you to contact the wrongful death attorneys at Lever & Ecker, to discuss your unique situation in detail. Hiring the right wrongful death lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of the claim for you and your family.

Contact an Experienced New York Wrongful Death Attorney at Lever & Ecker, PLLC

The loss of a loved one is something no one can ever prepare you for, but our team at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can work with you to receive the justice you and your loved one deserve. We understand how challenging this time is for you and will protect your rights and provide you with honest legal advice. 

With over 60+ years of experience advocating for our clients’ rights, we have the tools and knowledge to provide you with professional legal representation. If your loved one was killed because of another person’s negligence, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your next steps. We will be by your side every step of the way.

Call (914) 350-6328 or (718) 550-6924 and fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. 

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