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Long Island Wrongful Death Lawyer

Was your loved one’s death caused by someone else? If so, you may be able to take legal action against them. Get the help of a respected wrongful death attorney on Long Island. 

The death of a family member can be devastating. When you learn that their death could have been prevented, your grief may quickly turn to anger. Thankfully, when someone else is liable, you can take action against them to get justice for your loved one.

At the Law Offices of Dennis Smith, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping victims get through challenging times. If we take on your case, your Long Island wrongful death lawyer will seek max compensation in your civil claim

What Makes a Death “Wrongful” on Long Island?

When the direct or indirect actions of another cause a death, there may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Under New York law, there are five requirements that must be met for a wrongful death claim to move forward. They include:

  • A person dying
  • The death being caused by the wrongful actions of someone else
  • The claim being brought forward on behalf of the deceased, with the understanding the victim would have been able to file if they had lived
  • A surviving person who suffered a loss due to the decedent’s death
  • Damages that are recoverable by the decedent’s estate

Only if the previously mentioned criteria are met will the representative of the decedent’s estate be able to proceed with a Long Island wrongful death claim. 

Differences Between Civil Claims and Criminal Charges for a Long Island Wrongful Death

A civil claim like a wrongful death lawsuit is different from any criminal charges that could be brought against the liable party. In fact, there are several differences between these case types. 

First, in a criminal case, the state’s prosecutor will file criminal charges against the alleged responsible party. If found guilty, penalties might include probation, community service, fines, and jail or prison time, for example. 

In civil cases, however, the claim is brought by the injury victim or their representatives. In your civil claim, you’ll be seeking compensation for the various psychological, physical, and financial losses you or, in this case, the decedent endured due to the actions of the liable party.

The burden of proof is also quite different. Criminal court requires the prosecuting lawyer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. 

But things are different in civil court. Here, your personal injury lawyer will need to prove based on a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent is liable. This means that the evidence presented shows that the liable party is, in fact, responsible for causing the victim’s injuries.

Recovering Compensation After a Wrongful Death on Long Island

Are you hoping to get the most out of your Long Island wrongful death claim? Then you will need to work with your lawyer to account for each and every loss. 

This should include both the financial and nonfinancial losses of both the decedent and their surviving family members. Some of the different types of financial damages that could be included are:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses resulting from the decedent’s injuries
  • Lost wages from the time of the injury to the eventual death
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Nine percent interest on total damages

You can also seek compensation for a number of non-economic, or non-monetary, damages, such as:

  • The decedent’s pain and suffering prior to their death 
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Loss of guidance and support
  • Loss of advice and society
  • Loss of parental care and nurturing (for surviving children)
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of household services 

Note that surviving family members can’t seek compensation for their own pain and suffering, loss of companionship and love, or emotional distress. These losses can only be sought on behalf of the deceased person. 

Many surviving families wonder if they can seek compensation for punitive damages in their wrongful death claim. However, punitive damages are only awarded by the courts in cases where the actions against the deceased were found to be intentional or egregious. It is certainly possible to be awarded punitive damages. But they are not as common as you might have thought. 

These are just a few of the types of damages you may be able to recover in your claim. Your wrongful death lawyer on Long Island will extensively review the details of your case to ensure that both current and future losses are considered. 

Reach Out to a Wrongful Death Attorney on Long Island

To learn more about how a compassionate Long Island wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of Dennis Smith, PLLC could help you, give our office a call at 212-835-1699. When you are ready to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, you can do so by calling us or submitting the quick contact form we have included at the bottom of this page.

Long Island Wrongful Death FAQ

Having to make arrangements after the death of a loved one while struggling to cope with your own grief is challenging enough. When you have questions about pursuing a wrongful death claim, you should be able to find the answers you need easily. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick FAQ regarding wrongful death claims on Long Island. Other questions you have that aren’t answered on this page can be discussed during your free initial consultation.

Who has the right to file a wrongful death claim on Long Island?

The only person who can legally file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of New York is the decedent’s personal representative. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate could be a surviving spouse, adult child, parent, sibling, or any other person the decedent may have named in their will. In the event that no personal representative has been named, the court can appoint one to handle the decedent’s estate, arrangements, and wrongful death lawsuit.

What is the statute of limitations for Long Island wrongful death claims?

Wrongful death claims in New York have a statute of limitations of two years. This means that you will have two years from the date of the decedent’s passing to get your claim filed in the civil court system. This is critical, as failure to file before the statute of limitations expires will result in dismissal of your Long Island wrongful death claim.

How will wrongful death compensation be distributed between family members?

The decedent’s surviving spouse, heirs, and beneficiaries of anything that is awarded will be entitled to their share of the compensation based on the individual details of the case. It will be up to the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to distribute the funds accordingly.

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