The death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be especially painful if it was preventable. While the thought of filing a lawsuit is rarely at the forefront of anyone’s mind in the aftermath of such a loss, it is important to protect the family’s claim and prevent further harm caused by the loss of support from a deceased family member, both financial and emotional.
New York law permits the surviving family to make a claim for damages where their loved one’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another.
Wrongful Death Harms the Whole Family
Medical bills and funeral expenses are only some of the financial consequences a family may be left facing after a loved one passes due to a wrongful death. The surviving family may have also relied on their deceased loved one for financial support. Even where the deceased did not provide financial support to the family, the family may nevertheless be harmed by the loss of their loved one’s emotional support and guidance, and other services, such as raising children, helping with elderly parents or otherwise contributing to the household.
If you are uncertain what to do, contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free confidential consultation with experienced wrongful death lawyers in New York, Westchester and the Bronx. We will discuss how to protect your family’s rights and the options available to you going forward.
Criminal vs. Civil Wrongful Death Cases
Someone can be held both criminally liable and civilly liable for causing another’s death. For example, a person who was driving recklessly and caused an accident that resulted in a death might be charged and convicted of vehicular homicide. The district attorney decides whether to bring the charges in criminal court and the potential punishment may include prison time.
Family members of the person who was killed may file a claim against the negligent driver seeking financial compensation for the loss of support of their loved one. The family members cannot use a civil claim to punish the person responsible with jail time.
For more information, contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel to discuss to discuss your options. It’s free and confidential.
Wrongful Death Legal Requirements
Before a lawsuit can be commenced or a wrongful death claim can be settled, the court must appoint a personal representative of the estate to bring the wrongful death claim. If there is a will, the executor is usually appointed by the court to bring the lawsuit. Where there is no will, usually a surviving spouse or child is appointed.
Tomkiel & Tomkiel will work with you family to help have the right person appoint as the representative of the estate so that the family may seek justice for the wrongful death of their loved one. If a loved one in your family passed away due to another’s negligence, speak with experienced, local attorneys in New York, Westchester and the Bronx. We will provide a free, confidential consultation about ow best to protect your family’s rights.