If your loved one passes away due to another’s negligent behavior, you may consider filing a wrongful death suit to obtain compensation. In New York, a wrongful death claim can only be made by the deceased’s personal representative. However, the deceased beneficiaries can receive any damages awarded in the case.
Anyone involved in a wrongful death lawsuit should consult a wrongful death lawyer. A qualified wrongful death attorney from Catalano Law can defend the deceased person’s interests and their family to get fair compensation.
In New York, a wrongful death results from wrongful conduct, negligence, or default that a person could have sought compensation for if they had lived. The state considers wrongful death a direct injury to a deceased person, making it a legal issue requiring personal action.
A personal representative of the deceased is responsible for filing the claim on behalf of the victim, as the victim cannot file the claim. In New York, surviving family members cannot sue directly for wrongful death.
In wrongful death claims, New York State prioritizes the deceased person’s spouse and children before their parents and siblings. The damages can be divided equally if the children are of the same generation.
Compensation will be awarded to the deceased’s beneficiaries in the following order and amounts:
- When no children are involved, the spouse receives all awarded damages.
- With a spouse and children, the spouse receives $50,000 and half of the balance of the estate. If the children are in the same generation, the rest of the estate is divided equally among them.
- If there is no spouse, children are equally entitled to the deceased’s estate as long as they belong to the same generation.
- The surviving parents of the deceased person can receive damages if there is no spouse and children.
- The surviving siblings receive the damages as long as they are in the same generation if there are no surviving parents.
If the deceased’s children come from different generations, the state of New York gives preference to children from the closest generation to the deceased. For instance, a deceased person’s estate is worth $450,000, and their spouse receives $50,000 and $200,000 of the estate. Their two children will receive $100,000 each.
Each deceased member of the first generation has an equal share to distribute to their children. Assuming that a child dies before their parent and leaves two grandchildren, the grandchildren receive $50,000 from the first-generation child’s share of the estate.
If all the beneficiaries from this first generation have passed, their portion will be dispersed equally among their children. If the other child also predeceases and has two grandchildren, each of the four grandchildren receives $50,000 each, or one-fourth of the children’s $200,000.
Your lawyer can inform you and your family about your legal rights to compensation. To ensure that everyone can understand their share of the inheritance, you can ask them to assist you in distributing the estate and the damages equally among your family members.
Family members can recover various damages from a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- Medical bills for the deceased’s illness or injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of inheritance for survivors
- Loss of wages the victim would have earned if the accident hadn’t occurred
- Loss of consortium for the surviving spouse and children
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased due to their injury or illness
The state of New York does not compensate you for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or mental distress. The Syracuse wrongful death lawyers at Catalano Law can help you determine the specific damages that may apply in your wrongful death claim.
If your loved one died because of negligence by another party, Catalano Law can assist your family with filing a wrongful death claim in New York. We will protect the rights of you and your family and seek justice on behalf of your deceased loved one. Contact Catalano Law for a free initial consultation to start your wrongful death lawsuit.