There is nothing more difficult than saying goodbye to someone you love, especially if their passing was unexpected. However, when you know that the death should not have happened in the first place, it can truly deepen the tragedy. Our wrongful death attorneys in White Plains understand how devastating it can be when losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence. File a wrongful death lawsuit with our experienced lawyers. We will fight for your rights and seek the justice you deserve.
A wrongful death can leave surviving family members grappling with complicated legal and financial issues. Even in a time of grief, family members may be burdened with unanticipated financial problems. Funeral and burial expenses, medical bills left behind from the loved one’s end-of-life care, and the sudden loss of financial support that the deceased had been contributing to the household can wreak havoc on the finances of loved ones.
This is to say nothing of the profound emotional impact that the sudden loss of life creates. Spouses, parents, children, and other loved ones are left devastated and in need of strong emotional support and guidance. The family might also have counted on the deceased person to provide other kinds of assistance around the house, from parental support to household services and beyond. In the blink of an eye, the collective life of an entire household has changed.
Our White Plains wrongful death attorneys know how harrowing an event like this can be, which is why we are here to help you recover the damages incurred from this tragic event and begin the process of healing. Contact the Lever & Ecker, PLLC wrongful death attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your options.
As White Plains wrongful death lawyers, we help grieving family members recover the financial compensation they need and deserve after experiencing the wrongful death of a loved one. Our White Plains personal injury lawyers have more than 65 years of combined legal experience helping families navigate this complex process during some of the most challenging days of their lives.
We always focus on providing the sensitive, diligent legal representation that these situations call for. We understand that legal action may very well be the last thing on your mind in the days and weeks following a tragedy. However, these situations give rise to important decisions and considerations that simply do not go away, and the choices you make now may have profound ramifications for you and your family in the future.
The process of proving the wrongdoing, or negligence, of another party, can be challenging, and court proceedings can be overwhelming if you’ve never had to deal with a legal matter before. This is especially true when you are attempting to cope with the unexpected, sudden loss of a loved one. A qualified and compassionate White Plains wrongful death lawyer who understands these issues is a crucial component to navigating this difficult process.
In the sections that follow, we will explain what wrongful death is, how the laws in New York work, the compensation you might be entitled to, and how our team can shoulder the legal burden while you focus on your family during this difficult time.
A wrongful death is a loss of life caused by another party’s negligent, careless, or reckless behavior. Wrongful death cases can include deaths caused by irresponsible or unlawful actions and/or by another party’s breach of their legal duty of care.
New York State law allows certain close family members to recover financial compensation for certain losses they have incurred by a wrongful death. Family members can do so by filing a wrongful death claim, which may take the form of an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit. In some cases, the amount of compensation can be substantial.
It is essential to understand that “wrongful” doesn’t mean “intentional.” While intentional deaths (such as those caused by murder, homicide, or manslaughter) can fall within the category of wrongful death, many wrongful deaths happen entirely by accident. For instance, a drunk driver, or even a careless driver, may be liable for the wrongful death of another motorist, even though he or she never meant for anyone to get hurt.
It is also important to understand that wrongful death claims are entirely separate from any criminal proceedings that might occur in relation to the death. Your civil rights under New York wrongful death law do not depend on the outcome of any criminal proceeding, however, a criminal proceeding may impact your civil claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate this process.
Wrongful death claims are filed against the party whose negligence or recklessness caused the death. In some cases, more than one party might have been at fault, in which case claims can generally be filed against each responsible party.
Even if the deceased was partially responsible for his or her own death, it might still be possible to seek a claim for wrongful death compensation against the other parties whose negligence also caused or contributed to the loss.
In many cases, the responsible party will have an insurance policy that covers the unintentional loss of life, in which case the insurer will ultimately have the responsibility of paying the claim.
Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to mount aggressive defenses against wrongful death cases, making it very difficult for families to reach a fair resolution without hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
Technically, the only person allowed to file a claim for wrongful death in New York is the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This person may or may not be a family member, but they are typically appointed in the deceased person’s last will and testament or are otherwise appointed by a court of law through an administrative proceeding.
In the event money is awarded for losses incurred by the family from the death, 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.
A wrongful death claim can arise out of virtually any type of accident or personal injury situation.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in New York are:
The New York wrongful death lawyers at Lever & Ecker can help you with these or any other causes of fatality.
New York’s wrongful death laws are highly complex. While there is nothing in the law that requires you to hire a lawyer, trying to handle these matters on your own can be extremely challenging, leaving a non-lawyer prone to make mistakes. Errors in the legal sector are easy to make, especially if you are inexperienced in the world of law. Any errors made during your wrongful death case could delay the process or even decrease your settlement or eliminate it entirely. You can be assured that the insurance companies will look to capitalize on your inexperience if you proceed without an attorney.
Wrongful death claims frequently involve multiple intersecting areas of law that require an extensive amount of legal knowledge. These areas of law can include:
The particular issues involved will depend on the specific facts surrounding the death. It is critical that you understand which laws are relevant to your situation and how they apply to the facts surrounding your claim and your family’s unique makeup and structure.
As White Plains wrongful death lawyers, we are available to represent and advise:
Hiring the right wrongful death lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of the claim for you and your family.
Every situation is different, so the total value of a claim will depend on a number of factors, such as the cause of death, cost of medical care, and the coverage limits on the relevant insurance policies.
While it is not possible to predict a particular outcome in advance, it may be helpful for you to understand the types of damages that are often awarded in wrongful death cases in New York. These include:
Note that, unlike in some other states, presently, it is generally not possible for surviving family members in New York to claim compensation for their own personal mental anguish, nor for their own loss of love, affection, consortium, companionship, or sexual intimacy.
Because every case is different, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long a wrongful death claim will take in New York. Some claims resolve in a matter of months, while others can take a year or longer.
The period of time required for resolution will depend on a number of factors, such as the nature of the evidence in the case, the court’s trial calendar (if the claim proceeds to trial), and the extent to which the insurance company is willing to cooperate toward reaching a fair and appropriate pre-trial settlement. If there are complex or unresolved issues concerning the disposition of the estate itself, that can cause additional delay.
Often, the insurance companies will do their best to make it difficult for families to recover the damages they deserve. Insurance companies generally do not want to pay out a victim’s family’s rightful compensation, so they will draw the process out for as long as they can. Our skilled attorneys are exceptionally responsive and incredible communicators who are passionate about what they do. Although we cannot guarantee the results of any case, partnering with our White Plains area attorneys will give you the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for your damages as quickly as possible.
At Lever & Ecker, we understand how important it is for you and your family to be free from the burden of unresolved legal issues relating to death as fast as possible so that you can focus on grieving your loss. As wrongful death lawyers, we work hard to resolve these cases as efficiently and swiftly as possible. However, at the same time, we recognize that the achievement of true justice can take time.
While we do want to work diligently and avoid undue delay, we also want to make sure we are never rushing a claim or doing anything that could compromise the interests of our clients. We are committed to always keeping our clients informed about the status of their claims—as well as our expectations and strategies—at all times.
If you have lost someone you love because of another party’s negligence or carelessness, no matter what the circumstances may be, we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options. The consultation is always free.
Please do not sign a settlement agreement with an insurance company or any other party until you have had a chance to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in White Plains, New York. Doing so could permanently impact your legal rights and foreclose you from pursuing your wrongful death claim any further. You and your family may be entitled to more compensation than you realize.
When insurance agencies construct offers for victims, their interests are in their own wallets, not with your grieving family. However, when you partner with the wrongful death lawyers at Lever & Ecker, you can rest assured that you are being legally represented by a skillful attorney who has the ability to maximize your settlement and ensure that your rights are being protected so that you can focus on your family and the healing process.
At Lever & Ecker, our commitment to the community goes beyond our legal duties. We are proud to be New Yorkers and care deeply about the success of our community. The relationship between you and our team goes deeper than mere legal representation. Holding negligent parties liable is what makes our community safer.
We do not charge a fee for our services unless we get you the compensation you deserve. Your initial consultation is entirely free and with no obligations whatsoever. Schedule your confidential case evaluation by calling us at (914) 288-9191 or 718-933-3632, or by completing our contact form. We are proud to offer bilingual legal representation for our Spanish-speaking clients.
Lever & Ecker, PLLC, is a New York personal injury law firm located in White Plains and serving clients throughout the state, including New York City’s five boroughs (the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island), as well as Westchester County, Rockland County, Long Island, and beyond.