The loss of a loved one under any circumstance can be difficult to take. It may mean drastic changes in the direction of one’s life and often tremendous struggles to maintain a standard of living. When the death of a loved one is the result of someone else’s reckless actions, negligence or criminal behavior, surviving family members may wonder what is involved in pursuing a wrongful death claim through the New York civil courts.

A wrongful death lawsuit is an action family members may be eligible to take to obtain compensation for the deceased loved one’s final medical bills, funeral costs, loss of financial support and other damages from those who are responsible for the fatal event. Only certain family members may file. This includes spouses, children and in some cases other close family members such as parents.

Those seeking damages must prove in court that the other party’s actions caused the death of their loved one, whether deliberately or through negligence. They must convince the court that their loved one was not responsible for his or her own death. Finally, the family must show the court how they have suffered and what amount of money would fairly compensate them for their loss.

Money may not bring closure, and it cannot return a grieving household to normal. However, it may relieve some of the heavy burden a family is suffering in the aftermath of a tragic accident. With the help of a skilled New York attorney, a successful wrongful death claim may ease some of the stress so that family members can focus on each other and begin the healing process.