What Types of Damages Are Available in a New York Wrongful Death Case?

When you file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York over the loss of a loved one, you may be entitled to economic damages for lost wages (past, present, and future) of the deceased, as well as ambulance and emergency room costs, medical bills, and funeral and burial costs. You may also be entitled to non-economic damages for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced prior to death.

If you have lost a loved one, you deserve to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. A successful wrongful death lawsuit in NY could represent your best opportunity to do just that.

No amount of monetary compensation can undo the hurt that comes with the unexpected loss of someone you love. However, a wrongful death claim can ease the financial burden that comes with that loss. Let a New York City wrongful death lawyer at Douglas and London assist you throughout this difficult time by addressing your legal matter in an effective and compassionate way.

Economic damages in wrongful death claims

Economic damages compensate the decedent’s family members for their measurable losses following a wrongful death. These can include the cost of medical treatment for the decedent’s final injury or illness. From ambulance bills to emergency room costs, a successful wrongful death claim could cover the full balance.

Economic damages also include the cost of the deceased person’s final arrangements. This includes expenses related to cremation, burial, and funeral services.

Another form of economic damages involves the lost wages the deceased person would have earned had they survived. While these losses are based on the wages a person earned at the time they died, they are speculative, given that it is impossible to perfectly predict future wages.

Non-economic damages

Not all wrongful death claims will rely exclusively on economic losses. Some limited non-economic damages may be available in these cases. However, they are not as easy to calculate as more tangible economic losses.

Unfortunately, non-economic damages for the surviving family members in New York are fairly limited. State law does not allow the pursuit of compensation for the family’s emotional trauma or loss of companionship due to the wrongful death.

There are some forms of non-economic losses that can result in compensation in a wrongful death claim. For example, it is possible to obtain compensation for the conscious pain and suffering the decedent experienced prior to their death. If they had survived, that individual would have had the right to pursue this claim under a personal injury lawsuit. Allowing this form of compensation ensures the negligent party does not benefit from their victim passing away.

Determining the amount of fair compensation in a wrongful death case can be difficult and complicated. Thankfully, you do not have to take on these challenges on your own. You can rely on the assistance of New York City personal injury lawyers to guide you through a wrongful death claim.

The right to recover

Not every person connected to the decedent has the right to pursue a claim for compensation on their behalf. Under New York law, only a spouse, child, or parent of the victim can pursue a claim. There are some limited exceptions that could allow other family members to move forward with a wrongful death claim, however.

When a wrongful death claim results in economic compensation, it will be paid out first to the entities that the estate is indebted to. This includes hospitals that provided medical care or funeral homes that handled the decedent’s final arrangements.

When it comes to non-economic damages, this compensation is typically paid to the family. This money often goes to the spouse and any children, although the specifics of every estate can differ.

Discuss wrongful death damages with an attorney

If you have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one due to negligence, you may have the opportunity to hold the at-fault party accountable with a civil lawsuit. The attorneys of Douglas & London are ready to assist you with your case during this difficult time. Call right away to schedule a free consultation.