Bronx Wrongful Death Lawyer
Bronx families cope with unimaginable pain when they suddenly lose a loved one. The emotional trauma of losing a child, a spouse, a parent, or another family member is layered with financial stress from medical costs and a potential loss of income or financial support. Facing the tragic loss of a family member is likely one of the most difficult experiences a person might have to go through in life. Knowing your loss could have been prevented if not for someone else’s negligence or intentionally harmful actions makes matters even worse.
New York law permits eligible surviving family members to seek compensation for damages caused by a tragic death by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. No amount of compensation can ever replace a loved one who died in a tragic accident, nor can it heal a family’s pain. Yet, money can help pay for the costs associated with losing a family member, relieving the unexpected financial burden and helping a family move forward.
If you live in the Bronx and have lost a loved one because of another party’s reckless, negligent, or purposeful actions, the compassionate wrongful death lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, are here to help you during this difficult time. Contact our Bronx personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation with our personal injury lawyers to discuss the events that led to the death of your family member.
What Is Wrongful Death in New York?
A wrongful death is a death caused by a wrongful act, failure to act, or negligence of another person or entity. Under New York law, a personal representative of the estate of the person who died obtains the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit whenever the deceased would have been entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties, had he or she lived. In other words, think of a wrongful death lawsuit as a personal injury lawsuit in which a representative of the estate of the deceased person takes over that person’s legal rights to sue for certain damages related to the injuries that caused the death.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Results in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The skilled legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has advocated for injured clients and the families of Bronx residents tragically killed in accidents for more than four decades. Our firm’s dedication to professional excellence, justice, case preparation, and client service has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars in compensation for the harm our clients have suffered in a wide variety of tragic accidents and incidents.
Our recent wrongful death case results include:
- $299,000 settlement for a client’s estate after he died as a result of a pedestrian accident
- $2.4 million for a widow and her four-year-old son after her husband was killed when a semi-truck crashed into a church van in which he was riding to attend an upstate church function
- $3.25 million settlement for the estate of a 25-year-old student who died from a fire when she couldn’t escape from her sixth floor apartment
- $5 million verdict after a nursing home denied a resident needed medical care, resulting in his death
- $5.7 million for an eight-year-old girl who was killed by a runaway school bus who ran her down
The cases above are only examples and do not guarantee a particular financial outcome for your wrongful death lawsuit. Each case has distinctive circumstances that affect the value of a claim. However, every client of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can rest assured that our experienced and diligent wrongful death lawyers will work tirelessly to uncover the facts relevant to the death of their loved one and to build the strongest case possible against those who caused their loss.
“My legal team at Jacoby & Meyers worked hard to get me a fair settlement, to them I just want to send my heartfelt thanks for all of their support and hard work. Their knowledge and guidance was very helpful. We greatly appreciate all the time and direction that was dedicated to my case. Thank you!” -H.B.
Many Different Scenarios Can Lead to a Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, a wrongful death caused by a negligent party might occur anywhere at any time. Some of the most common scenarios include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Traffic crashes are likely the most common cause of wrongful death in the country. Drivers and passengers in cars, trucks, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles risk death when involved in severe traffic accidents. The New York State Department of Health estimates that at least 1,100 people die in traffic accidents each year on New York roads and highways, including those in the Bronx. Traffic collisions occur for a variety of reasons, but almost all of them share a common trait: they are preventable.
Reckless motorists who don’t follow the rules of the road, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive while fatigued, drive aggressively, or get distracted by cell phones, put everyone on the road at risk for fatal accidents and face potential legal liability in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Each year hundreds of New Yorkers suffer fatal injuries in pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents. Bronx residents who get around by biking, running, or walking, do not have the protection afforded by a motor vehicle when a reckless and negligent driver plows into them. Few pedestrians and cyclists are fortunate enough to walk away from an accident or knockdown. Most face a high risk of suffering fatal injuries.
Most of these types of accidents result from negligent drivers in cars and trucks. Those who drive on the road have a duty of care to pedestrians and cyclists, especially because these groups often have the right of way. Drivers who cause fatal injuries to a cyclist or pedestrian risk financial liability in a New York court.
Most workers spend at least eight hours per day on-the-job, making it common for wrongful deaths to occur in the workplace. According to the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), more than 300 workplace fatalities occurred in New York in 2017.
Approximately one-third of those workplace fatalities were a result of falls and slip-or-trip accidents; 53 injuries were a result of workplace violence; and 78 fatalities were a result of transportation related accidents. Other fatalities were caused by dangerous fires or explosions, contact with heavy machinery, and exposure to harmful or toxic substances.
After losing a loved one while they are working, you need a wrongful death attorney who has significant experience with workers’ compensation claims. Wrongful death cases at the workplace involve complicated legal considerations that implicate property owners, business owners, employers, contractors, and many other third parties. A qualified attorney knows how to tease out the most important factors and parties involved to identify who has liability.
The sudden and tragic death of a loved one devastates families, but when death results from an act of medical malpractice, it can make the pain even worse. We go to medical facilities and practitioners to fix, cure, or diagnose our medical ailments, not to make them worse.
We put trust in doctors, nurses, and hospitals to uphold their legal obligations to provide a certain standard of care. When medical negligence, medical error, or intentional harm during care or treatment results in death to a patient, it can turn our beliefs about medical practice on end. Many different types of actions or failures to take action can fall under the broad category of medical malpractice.
Some examples that can and sometimes do lead to death include:
- Failure to diagnose a terminal illness
- Misdiagnoses of illness
- Wrong site surgeries
- Unnecessary surgeries
- Surgical errors, including leaving foreign objects in the body
- Failure to take a complete patient history
- Failure to provide proper aftercare
- Medication errors including the wrong medicine or wrong dosage
- Improper use of medical equipment
We have only covered some common wrongful death scenarios above. Over our years of practice, we have represented clients who lost loved ones to a wide variety of additional tragedies as well, including boating accidents, aviation accidents, subway accidents, swimming pool accidents, domestic abuse, child abuse, and more. No matter what kind of accident or incident took the life of your loved one, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help.
Eligible Family Members in New York Wrongful Death Suits
If your loved one would have been eligible to file a lawsuit had he or she survived the event that led to death, New York law allows you to have a personal representative of the estate of the deceased file a lawsuit on your behalf. The representative must file the lawsuit within New York’s two-year statute of limitations.
If the representative prevails in the lawsuit, the settlement money or court-awarded damages will go to the estate of the deceased. New York’s intestate laws dictate how the estate will be distributed among eligible family members. First, damages will go to eligible survivors based on their proportion of quantifiable losses. Parents of the deceased only share damages with a spouse when no children or grandchildren exist.
The order of priority follows:
- A spouse receives the entire estate when no children exist.
- When both a spouse and children exist, the spouse receives $50,000 and half of the remaining estate. The other half gets split equally among children of the same generation.
- When no spouse exists, surviving children receive the entire estate divided equally among them.
- Surviving parents receive the entire estate when no children or spouses exist.
- Siblings of the deceased must split the estate equally when no surviving spouse, children, or parents exist.
Types of Damages in Bronx Wrongful Death Lawsuits
New York courts stand out from the majority of other states to the extent that they don’t allow family members to receive compensation for their so-called “non-economic” losses related to the death of their loved one, such as mental anguish, loss of companionship of a spouse, or loss of parental guidance and support for a child. Instead, the representative of the estate may only seek for pecuniary damages in a New York wrongful death lawsuit. Pecuniary damages are tangible damages that can be quantified.
Examples of pecuniary damages a court may award to your loved one’s estate include:
- Medical expenses related to the injuries of the deceased before death, including ambulance and emergency services, emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic imaging, nursing services, and medication
- Lost wages and benefits of the deceased until the time of death
- Expenses for a visitation or wake, and funeral or memorial service
- Cost of cremation and/or burial
- Lost inheritance for children
- Value of financial support and services provided by the deceased before their death
- Pain and suffering of the deceased until the time of death
- Mental anguish of the deceased until the time of death
- Other non-economic costs that apply to the deceased before death
Contact a Bronx Wrongful Death Attorney When You Lose a Loved One
Wrongful death claims are exceptionally complicated compared to other types of personal injury cases. They require the expertise of a skilled wrongful death lawyer. If you have lost a loved one as a result of another party’s negligence or intentional harm, you and your family deserve compensation for losses you must cope with as a result of your loss.
Contact one of our seasoned and compassionate Bronx wrongful death lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, at (718) 294-0813, online, or stop by our Bronx office at 656 Fordham Road for a free case evaluation to determine your eligibility for compensation and the best course of action for you and other surviving family members.
We are empathetic to the fact that you and your family are going through a massively challenging time and we are here to help you with the bothersome details of your wrongful death suit as you cope with your loss, try to put your life back together, and move forward in a healthy way. We have the resources and experience to investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death and to advocate for you, so we can hold those who caused your loss accountable.
We handle personal injury cases, including wrongful death cases, on contingency. This means you don’t pay attorney fees up-front; instead, we deduct our attorney fees from any compensation we secure for you in the form of a settlement or court verdict in your favor.