The sudden and tragic death of a family member in a motor vehicle crash, workplace accident or other event can be devastating emotionally and financially. While it may be nearly impossible to think about practical matters after losing a loved one, the fact is that bills continue to come due and creditors will expect payment. When an accident robs a New York family of a critical source of income, it may be possible to obtain just compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Family members may qualify for death benefits through insurance policies such as workers’ compensation. However, if the accident was the result of someone’s recklessness or other wrongdoing, surviving family members may be entitled to additional compensation. It will be necessary to prove that the deceased’s fatal injuries resulted from the negligence or intentional actions of someone else, and those filing such a claim will have a limited time to take legal action.
A successful wrongful death claim can result in an award of damages for the loss of income the deceased provided as well as covering any final medical expenses and the cost of the victim’s funeral. In addition, the court may order payment to compensate for the loss of companionship and support the deceased once provided and an amount representing the value of any suffering the victim may have experienced in his or her last moments. The court will consider many factors when arriving at an amount for compensation.
While it may be impossible to put a monetary value on the life of a loved one, it is often a reality that a fatal accident leaves family members to bear heavy financial burdens. A wrongful death claim may relieve some of that burden and allow family members to begin to rebuild their lives. Families dealing with the loss of a loved one in a preventable accident may wish to discuss their rights and options with a compassionate New York attorney.