New York Wrongful Death Attorneys
Seeking Justice on Behalf of Families in New York & New Jersey
Losing a loved one is a tragic, painful experience. When a loss occurs because of someone else’s negligence, the tragedy is unbearable. Families who have suffered from such a loss need an experienced New York wrongful death lawyer who will fight to help make the lives of family members whole again.
At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, we fight for our clients with all of the professional and financial resources of our firm. We provide our clients with a constant shoulder to lean on through a very difficult period, and we continue providing supportive understanding and compassion, even after a case is concluded.
Our partners have decades of experience representing victims of wrongful death in New York and New Jersey. The settlements or judgments we have won for our clients, totaling many millions of dollars, have helped pay for expenses such as hospital bills, funeral and burial costs, and, in some instances, compensation for the loved one’s lost wages and the loss of the loved one’s companionship.
When Can Someone File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the simplest of terms, a person may file a wrongful death claim when the death of their loved one was the result of someone else’s negligence. If another person or entity was careless, reckless, or acts wrongfully and your family member suffered fatal injuries as a result, you could be entitled to bring a claim and seek wrongful death damages.
In both New York and New Jersey, wrongful death claims often arise from the following types of accidents and incidents:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Semi-truck/commercial vehicle accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Unsafe property conditions
- Dog bites/attacks
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Subway/mass transport accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products, such as faulty smoke detectors or defective drugs/medical devices
Essentially, any time a death could have been prevented had the at-fault party acted with care, eligible surviving individuals are able to seek compensation for their financial and emotional losses.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
The state of New York is somewhat different than other states in that it does not allow family members to file a wrongful death claim unless the family member is also the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. Only the personal representative of the estate can bring a wrongful death claim in New York.
In order to file a claim, one must prove all of the following elements:
- A death occurred
- The death was caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct
- Had the deceased lived, he or she would have had grounds to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party
- At least one surviving person suffered at least a single loss due to the death
- The estate is eligible to recover damages
Although only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is permitted to file a wrongful death claim in New York, he or she does so on behalf of both the estate as a whole and any surviving heirs, beneficiaries, or dependents who sustained losses as a result of the death. These damages may include things like funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses associated with the deceased’s final medical care prior to death, lost income and benefits, loss of inheritance, pain and suffering the deceased endured prior to death, loss of household services and support, and more.
In New York, claimants are not eligible to recover compensation for their own pain, suffering, or emotional distress as a result of their loved one’s death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?
Like in New York, wrongful death claims in New Jersey are most commonly filed by the personal representative (or executor) of the deceased individual’s estate. The personal representative/executor seeks damages on behalf of certain eligible individuals who depended on the deceased in life.
These individuals may include:
- The surviving spouse or child/children of the deceased
- The surviving parent(s) of the deceased
- The surviving grandchild/grandchildren of the deceased
- The surviving sibling(s) of the deceased
- Any individual who can prove that he or she was dependent on the deceased in life
Damages in a New Jersey wrongful death claim might include things like medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of household services, loss of companionship and support, loss of financial support and benefits, and the value of childcare services provided by the deceased prior to death. Similar to New York, the state of New Jersey does not allow claimants to recover compensation for their own emotional distress, pain, or suffering.
Time Limits for Filing Wrongful Death Claims in New York & New Jersey
In both New York and New Jersey, you only have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. There are very few exceptions to this rule. In nearly all cases, failure to bring a claim within the designated statute of limitations will result in your case being dismissed.
Though you are facing a number of immense challenges—emotional, financial, and otherwise—it is important that you do not wait too long to speak to a wrongful death attorney about your legal rights and options. The sooner we can begin building your case, gathering evidence and working with our team of accident reconstructionists and medical experts, the better your chances of a full recovery.
Contact Simonson Goodman Platzer PC
The first step in the healing process is getting in touch with our New York wrongful death lawyers and requesting a free initial consultation. We will sit down with you and take the time to listen to your story, answer your questions, and address your concerns. We truly care about you and your family and are ready to do everything we can to obtain the justice you need to move forward.
We provide our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay any out-of-pocket or upfront costs. Instead, we only collect attorneys’ fees if and when we recover compensation for you.
Call (800) 817-5029 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.