How much is a New York wrongful death case worth?

That’s going to depend on the particular circumstances of the decedent. That’s because New York does not just say “If you’re killed, then your heirs should receive a certain sum of money.” In fact, New York does not allow any grief damages, unlike some other states. In New York the damages are limited to the loss of financial support of the dependents of the decedent. The classic example is the worker who leaves a spouse and children and they are deprived of that worker’s future income.

If, however, you’re dealing with an elderly person, or a very young person, then that becomes more speculative, especially if they have no dependents. You have to do it on a case-by-case basis. Someone who’s middle-aged, working at the peak of their career and now is deceased, and has children, and the spouse were deprived of that income, that’s worth that person’s lifetime earnings, largely.

If it is a young person who, say, a child, who’s not working, has no track record, or an elderly person who may be retired, or has no dependents, then there is no losses there for that, because New York is limited to pecuniary losses, financial losses of the dependents of the decedent.

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