Wrongful Death Attorney in NYC
The passing of a loved one is devastating. When the death is unexpected and unfairly caused by the actions of another, words cannot describe the situation. For a wrongful death lawyer, there is no case more deserving of justice than one seeking to help the loved ones of someone who has died because of negligence. Dealing with the issues surrounding a wrongful death can be understandably painful. It is vital to have an experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyer who understands the impact this can have on a family. A wrongful death attorney can file suit on behalf of the decedent’s loved ones to obtain a money judgment on the family’s behalf. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can offer some sense of justice and help cover costs such as medical or funeral expenses, lost wages, and other forms of compensation. Mark L. Bodner, P.C. is a nationally recognized wrongful death law firm that is committed to helping you and your immediate family receive financial compensation from the parties responsible for the death. For a consultation with our firm, contact Mark L. Bodner, P.C.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death is a legal term that describes a situation where negligence leads to the death of another person. Wrongful death occurs for a variety of reasons, including medical malpractice, workplace accidents, automobile or airline accidents, exposure to hazardous conditions or substances, or other serious accidents during a supervised activity. The goal of the attorney is to make sure that the survivors and beneficiaries are compensated for their loss and cared for during the years after the death has taken place. An attorney experienced in wrongful death law can achieve the best possible outcome in a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family.
Causes of wrongful death in the medical industry
Many wrongful death claims are the result of medical malpractice – mistakes or errors by a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare providers. In fact, medical errors are estimated to be responsible for 45,000 to 98,000 deaths a year – more than those caused by breast cancer, AIDS or motor vehicle accidents, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Harvard University has conducted a comprehensive study on medical errors that is widely considered to be the defining statement concerning wrongful death. The Harvard study reveals as many as 120,000 people die every year as the result of medical errors committed in hospitals. Others have reported that as many as 1,000,000 people die annually as a result of medical mistakes made both inside and outside of hospitals.
How does this happen? There can be surgery errors or improper care by a physician. Hospital personnel can fail to timely diagnose a medical problem, they can be fatally inattentive to patients, or they may administer the incorrect medication. In medical negligence situations, investigations all too often reveal medical malpractice as the cause of death – if investigations ever occur. Since most people never learn about these healthcare mistakes, they do not know to check with a wrongful death attorney or to seek legal compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Families of patients are sometimes reluctant to pursue a wrongful death claim against a doctor or a hospital, even when they never receive adequate answers to questions about why their loved one has died. An experienced medical malpractice attorney knows how to investigate what really happened by getting medical records, consulting with experts and asking the right questions of those who were actually involved with the treatment.
The goal of the wrongful death attorney is to make sure that the survivors and beneficiaries are compensated for their loss and cared for during the years after the death has taken place. An attorney experienced in wrongful death law can achieve the best possible outcome in a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family.
Damages in a wrongful death case
Wrongful death attorneys can help family members or the decedent’s estate representative (acting on behalf of the widow or widower, surviving children, parents or other heirs) in filing either a wrongful death claim or formal wrongful death lawsuit. Grieving loved ones are allowed money damages under the wrongful death laws for a variety of things, such as:
- Benefits they had a right to expect if there had been no wrongful death, such as financial support, voluntary assistance, and possible inheritance;
- Increased earnings the decedent could reasonably have obtained through further advancement or promotion and increased earning capacity;
- For children, the loss of a parent’s training and instruction, nurture and guidance;
- Funeral expenses, medical expenses, and all other “lawful element” of expense.
These damage amounts are determined by considering the age, earnings, life expectancy, and education of the individual. While it may seem callous to put a price on the life of a loved one, this allows jurors to realistically value the financial and personal impact of the death on survivors. Damages for the pain and suffering of survivors—their understandable grieving—are not available in New York.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may also recover monetary damages on behalf of the loved one who has died. This can include damages like:
- The personal injuries to the person who has died;
- The decedent’s conscious pain and suffering;
- The decedent’s loss of enjoyment of life that he or she experienced before death as a result of the wrongful act (negligence); and
- The decedent’s awareness of impending death.
How much time do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
While it is difficult for family members to think in terms of lawsuits shortly after the death of a loved one, it is also important that an investigation into the wrongful death not be delayed. Problems can occur with the passage of time – evidence and key witnesses are not as easily located, recollection of details may fade, and records may be misplaced. There are also strict limitations concerning the time to file a wrongful death claim, and if the family does not start a lawsuit before time limits expire, they could lose the right to bring a lawsuit forever. In New York, the statute of limitations period which applies to wrongful death cases is two years from the date of death. In some circumstances, the statute of limitations may be shorter.
Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney
Mark L. Bodner, P.C. is a nationally recognized wrongful death law firm committed to helping you and your immediate family in dealing with the wrongful death tragedy you’ve faced. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights and futures of our clients. If you find yourself unsure of your situation and need to discuss your legal matter, contact Mark L. Bodner, P.C. for a free consultation.