Car crashes claim tens of thousands of lives every year in the United States. If you have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one in a car crash, you may be feeling a range of emotions, from shock and grief to anger and despair, and you may wonder if there is anything you can do to hold the responsible party accountable and recover compensation for your losses. The answer is yes. In New York State, those who lose their loved ones to the negligence of others can file a wrongful death lawsuit against them. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned New York City personal injury lawyer from the Law Office of Richard M. Kenny to learn more about how we can help if you’ve lost your loved one in a car accident. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is defined by New York law as a death caused by “a wrongful act, neglect or default,” of a kind that would have entitled the deceased person to sue for personal injury if he or she had survived. This means that if your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing, you may have a valid wrongful death claim.
Some common examples of car crashes that could result in wrongful death include those involving:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to yield or follow traffic rules
- Defective vehicles or parts
- Poor road conditions or maintenance
Can I Sue if I Lost My Loved One in a Car Accident?
New York law requires that the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate file the wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is usually appointed by the court and is often a close family member of the deceased, such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.
Unlike many other states, New York does not allow other family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit unless they are also the personal representative of the estate. However, the personal representative can seek damages on behalf of the surviving family members who are entitled to share in the estate. These may include:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased
- The siblings of the deceased
- Any other person who was financially dependent on the deceased
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?
In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, you can recover damages for both measurable and immeasurable losses. Measurable losses are those that can be quantified in monetary terms, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills related to the deceased person’s final injury or illness
- The value of lost income and benefits that the deceased person would have earned if he or she had lived
- The value of lost services, support, care, and assistance that the deceased person provided to the family
Immeasurable losses are those that cannot be easily assigned a dollar amount, such as:
- The pain and suffering that the deceased person endured before death
- The sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of companionship that the surviving family members suffer
- The loss of parental nurturing, care, and guidance to the surviving children
If you have any further questions, or you’ve lost your loved one and need a seasoned NYC personal injury attorney in your corner, look no further than the Law Office of Richard M. Kenny.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED NEW YORK CITY FIRM
Our entire legal team is dedicated to providing the advice you need and the personalized attention you deserve. If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, call 866-886-0892 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a New York City personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to financial compensation, which can help you on your road to recovery.