Manhattan Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one suddenly can leave you reeling. When someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you want to take every action possible to hold that party accountable. Not only that, you may also find yourself with substantial expenses related to the loss of your loved one, all of which can pile up quickly.

While a wrongful death claim cannot bring your loved one back, it can provide the much-needed funds your family requires to start rebuilding your lives. If someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, contact the Manhattan personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today.

Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Our Wrongful Claim Results

At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have worked with our clients on a wide range of personal injury claims, including wrongful death claims. Take a look at our past results in wrongful death claims:

  • $5.7 million awarded after a runaway school bus caused the death of an eight-year-old
  • $3.25 million after a fire death in an apartment
  • $2.4 million after a church van crash

Our results in past results cannot guarantee the amount you will receive for your wrongful death claim. When you work with Jacoby and Meyers, however, you will receive:

  • A dedicated team of attorneys with experience in the New York court system. We understand the factors that can influence your claim in the New York court system, and we will work to ensure that you maximize the compensation you receive for your claim.
  • Clear advice about the compensation you really deserve for the loss of your loved one. Following a wrongful death accident, many insurance companies will issue a low settlement offer shortly after your loved one’s loss. At that time, your family may still struggle to make decisions, especially logical decisions based on your future needs. A wrongful death attorney, on the other hand, can provide you with vital advice about the compensation you deserve following the loss of a loved one.
  • Support throughout the wrongful death claim. Often, filing a wrongful death claim causes substantial stress. You must already adapt your family’s daily life based on the loss of a loved one. Dealing with the insurance company, handling negotiations, and seeking evidence, especially without your loved one to give testimony, can raise your stress levels even further. By turning the claim over to an experienced wrongful death attorney, on the other hand, you can substantially reduce your stress and make it easier for you to take care of other responsibilities in your life.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. After losing a loved one to an accident, you will need to know several things about wrongful death claims.

Your family can only file one wrongful death claim against each entity responsible for your loved one’s loss.

Following the loss of a loved one, your family will need to work together to seek compensation for your loved one’s loss. While you may need to file a claim against several entities who share responsibility for your loved one’s loss, you cannot file separate wrongful death claims for each family member impacted by that loss.

Depending on how your loved one died, multiple entities may share liability for the loss of your loved one. In an auto accident, for example, you may need to deal with the responsible driver’s insurance company, the auto manufacturer, or a mechanic who missed vital repairs to the vehicle. Wrongful death accidents may also include construction accidents, medical malpractice accidents, nursing home neglect accidents, or premises liability accidents. Talking with an attorney can help you better determine who bears liability in your loved one’s death and, therefore, who you need to deal with as you file your wrongful death claim.

The people with the closest relationship to the deceased have the first right to file a wrongful death claim.

The spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death claim. If no spouse exists, the children of the deceased have the next right. Each child of the deceased has an equal right to file a wrongful death claim or accept a settlement, so you should work together as a family to decide how you want to handle the claim. When no spouse or children exist, the parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.

Other family members who had a financial dependence on the deceased—elderly family members supported financially by the deceased, for example, or a cousin raised in the home—may also have grounds for a wrongful death claim if there are no other close relatives who have the right to file that claim. If no close relatives exist, the estate of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for medical bills and debt left behind by the deceased.

Your loved one need not die immediately for you to have grounds for a wrongful death claim.

If your loved one suffered injuries in an accident that ultimately led to death, the surviving family may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. To decide if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim, consider whether your loved one could have filed a personal injury claim, had he or she survived the accident. If so, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim.

The compensation you receive in a wrongful death claim will depend on a variety of factors.

Each wrongful death claim looks a little different. Even if you lose a loved one in a very similar accident to someone else, you may not receive the same compensation.

Policy limits. In a wrongful death claim, the limits of the policy will determine the compensation you can receive for the loss of a loved one from an insurance company. In New York, for example, drivers must carry a minimum of $50,000 of wrongful death coverage for victims who die in an accident. If two or more people die in an accident, the coverage may max out at $100,000 for all parties who died in the accident. In other circumstances, including medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, premises liability accidents, or construction accidents, the insurance company may offer higher coverage, which in turn can increase the compensation you can receive for your injuries from an insurer.

The extent of your financial losses. Following the wrongful death of a loved one due to another party’s negligence, you may need to show your financial losses as a result of your loved one’s death. You may not be able to tangibly calculate some losses. Others, however, you can assign a specific monetary value. Consider these factors when building your wrongful death claim with your attorney:

Your loved one’s medical expenses before death. In many cases, the accident that caused your loved one’s death might not have resulted in immediate death. Many types of injuries lead to death days, weeks, or even months after the initial accident. During that time, your loved one may have accumulated substantial medical expenses. Make sure to include:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • The cost of hospitalization
  • Physical therapy
  • Durable medical equipment needed before death
  • Occupational therapy

Your loved one’s pain and suffering. In addition to physical pain and suffering caused by the accident, consider how your loved one’s life changed due to the accident. For example, spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injury could prevent your loved one from participating in many of the leisure activities that he once enjoyed. A long hospitalization may have caused feelings of isolation.

The loss of your loved one’s income. If you lose your family’s primary breadwinner, it can leave your family struggling substantially with financial difficulties after his loss. Your loved one’s income could represent security for your family—and without it, you may struggle to provide for your family. Including the loss of your loved one’s income as part of your wrongful death claim can make it easier for you to support your family following that loss.

The loss of services your loved one performed for the family. Not only did your loved one provide financial support for the family, your loved one provided services for the family as a whole that, in many cases, can add up to a greater value than the financial value of missing income—especially for a stay-at-home parent or a full-time caregiver for an elderly or disabled loved one.

When defining your wrongful death claim, make sure you include the services your loved one performed for the family, including:

  • Childcare. Annually, childcare can range between $4,000 and $22,600 for a single child, depending on the number of hours you need care for your child and the specific hours you need available. If, for example, you need childcare during odd hours, you may need to pay more for that care than if you work a traditional 9 to 5 shift.
  • Senior care. If a loved one who received round-the-clock care from your deceased family member must enter an assisted living facility, it may cost around $132 per day. While some services provide in-home care for seniors, those services can add up substantially when it comes to cost—and many of them have a set number of hours for each visit, even if your loved one does not require more care.
  • Housekeeping services. The cost to clean up your home will depend on the size of your home and, in many cases, the number of occupants since more people in the home can lead to a larger mess. In many cases, maid services charge by the hour, so if the mess gets out of control, the cost of maid service can add up substantially.
  • Lawn care. Simply mowing a yard can add up during the year. More extensive services, including maintaining flower beds and landscaping, can create even more prohibitive costs.
  • Home maintenance. If your loved one provided the primary source of maintenance for your home, you may have to turn to a professional to get those things taken care of. Home repairs quickly become costly when you need to hire someone to do it.
  • Vehicle maintenance. Your loved one may have taken care of your vehicles, from changing the oil to addressing minor repairs. Losing that service can leave you scrambling to find a reliable mechanic, not to mention substantially increasing your overall maintenance costs.

Loss of your loved one’s companionship and guidance. Most spouses plan to grow old together. Losing your spouse can leave you adrift, struggling with the lack of that companionship and a romantic relationship. When children, even adult children, lose a parent too soon, it can leave them without the vitally necessary guidance and support they expected to have during those years of their lives. Your relationship to the deceased will help determine what the loss of that companionship means in your life.

Having a lawyer can often increase the compensation you receive in a wrongful death claim.

When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, having an attorney on your side can substantially increase the funds you receive for that loss. While you do not have to have an attorney to file a wrongful death claim, many insurance companies will significantly increase their settlement offers after realizing that you have an attorney on your side. Not only that, having an attorney can also substantially reduce the stress associated with your wrongful death claim, allowing you to grieve without worrying about the funds you can receive.

Top 100 National Trial LawyersJacoby & Meyers, LLP: The Manhattan Wrongful Death Lawyers You Need

When you lose a loved one to someone else’s negligence, you may find yourself with many questions, including how to begin filing a wrongful death claim. Contact the empathetic, experienced wrongful death lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today by writing to us online or at (212) 445-7000. We will conduct a free case evaluation so you can start learning more about the compensation you may be entitled to after the tragic loss of a loved one.

Testimonial

His firm was very understanding and attentive to my needs throughout the process. I highly recommend them. Thank You!!
P. Joshua / Jacoby & Meyers, LLP

Manhattan Office

39 Broadway
Suite 1910
New York, NY 10006

212-445-7000